Ayanna Toye Barrows
While a mother was walking along Myrtle Beach in South Carolina with her daughter, a boy came up and began talking to her little girl. He showed her what was around his neck and the two became friends fast. Before parting ways, the mom snapped a picture of the pair, not realizing what else it caught until after.
Ayanna Toye Barrows was strolling alone with her daughter, taking in the serenity and calm as the sun set over the water. Seemingly out of nowhere a little blonde boy approached her child and began talking to her as if the two were long-lost friends. Excited about his shark tooth necklace, he showed it off to her daughter.
The two exchanged a few more words of child-like conversation, before the boy told her goodbye and ran off in the opposite direction. It seemed like that was the end of their brief interaction, so the mother was shocked when she saw him again.
“A few minutes later he comes running back, in what seems to be in slow motion, yelling out my daughter’s name,” Ayanna said in a post about what happened, that she wrote for Love What Matters. “She turns around and is greeted by his smile.” The mother watched as the new friends shared a few more words, “mainly about his super cool shark’s tooth that apparently gave him powers,” she recalled the boy telling her daughter.
Photo Ayanna took of her daughter and new friend on Myrtle BeachBefore they went their separate ways once again, Ayanna got permission from the boy’s mom to take a picture of her son with her daughter, as she was so touched by their endearing interaction. The resulting photo left a bigger impression on the woman than what she initially saw when she snapped it, after she got home and took a closer look.“No one positioned them, told them to smile and there was absolutely no hesitation on their part at all,” she wrote about the picture, along with why that struck her after looking at it. She remembered the joy the kids had together as they talked, shortly followed by the sadness of saying goodbye, which they did at least 20 times she said. They became instant companions, connected by love, friendship, and the fun they enjoyed together, not hindered by any perceived differences.“This is a moment that we humans understand as just simply seeing no color lines, no judgement, no race, no hate, no shades,” she explained. “It’s just pure….two kids meeting on a sunset walk without a care in the world…all they saw was each other.”
As we get older, we’re told to quit acting like kids, as if it’s a bad thing. In reality, the world would benefit from many child-like behaviors. Kids aren’t jaded by bias, don’t make snap judgements about other people unless they are raised that way, and simply see the good in everyone and all things, rather than creating the bad.
African-American kids aren’t plagued with hate for white kids, or vice-versa, nor would they act on any misguided assumptions about them. If these attributes make living a little better, then more adults shouldn’t act their age.