DCT Mom, Sherry Ward, shares her thoughts and experiences with children and difference.
The book, Last Stop On Market Street, won several awards for many reasons. I loved finding a video of the book being read aloud by the author while on a city bus, and having everyone, of all ages, totally captivated.
There are so many times when we all go through the “haves and have-nots” comparison with our peers. Why do they have this, but I don’t have this…it feels unfair. But, one of the last lines of the book speaks to the perspective that Nana tries to encourage CJ to think about. “Sometimes when you’re surrounded by dirt, CJ, you’re a better witness for what’s beautiful.”
I have ridden a city bus several times because it used to be that my only way of getting around was via wheelchair, and I didn’t have a car. This gave me a unique perspective that my kids just never had. However, my kids have learned what it’s like to have a mom in a wheelchair, and this has organically passed to their friends who learned what it’s like to be comfortable around a grownup in a wheelchair.
When I saw my kids looking at me with curiosity, I always tried to make eye contact and smile at them, and usually they’d smile back. It made me happy when they didn’t turn away quickly in that way kids do when their grownups tell them not to stare. It’s that human connection that we all want to have regardless of our differences.
Please come see this beautiful production. Hopefully you and your youngster will leave with a better understanding of how to also live with your minds and hearts open. We will see you at the theater!
LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET
Winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal
By Matt de la Peña, Illustrated by Christian Robinson
Adapted by Gloria Bond Clunie
Directed by vickie washington
March 18 – April 2
Ages 4 and up
On a Sunday after church in a bustling, ethnically and culturally diverse American city, CJ and his Nana board the public bus for their weekly trip across town to help out at a soup kitchen. Along the way, CJ notices the many differences among people and asks tons of curious questions: Why don’t we have a car? How come that man can’t see? How come it’s always so dirty over there? How?…Why?…With Nana’s fearless and compassionate guidance, CJ discovers that everyone and everything has a unique rhythm and purpose; that the world’s got answers if we listen with more than our ears and see with more than our eyes. This inspiring and imaginative play is based on The New York Times bestseller that won a Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, and a Caldecott Honor.