Listening to Martin Luther King

With the three-day weekend ahead of us, I asked the kids during breakfast if they were doing anything at school for MLK day.

“I don’t think so,” my youngest said. He’s in fifth grade now. “At least they haven’t said anything.”

“Not at my school either,” his brother agreed. “Pretty much everyone knows about Martin Luther anyway.”

“Well, I hope they do something,” I said. “If nothing else, you should hear some of his speeches. Everyone should.”

“You mean the I Had a Dream Speech,” my oldest said.

“I Have a Dream,” I corrected. “Not Had, Have. ‘I have a dream’ means he still has it, that the dream is still possible. ‘Had’ would mean the dream is over.”

“That’s what I meant.”

“Anyway,” I said. “It’s a phenomenal speech. You should. . . wait a minute.” I took my phone out of my pocket, did a quick Google, then pulled up a YouTube video.

The kids crowded around me, and we watched as Martin Luther King started to deliver his speech.

“The bank of justice?” my youngest son said.

“Metaphors for the win,” I said.

“Shh!” his older brother hissed.

The three of us watched in silence for as long as we could, but had to break so we didn’t miss the bus.

I don’t know if this little interlude had any effect on the kids at all. I’m not going to claim there was any great educational benefit or life-altering inspiration. I will say, though, that there was something special in that moment.

DaddyTales don’t often have suggestions or lessons, but this one does. If you have a chance this weekend, pick your favorite MLK speech and watch it with your kids.

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