Daily Journal

Dr. Livingstone I presume

So… my three year old daughters best friend at school is a black kid called Livi. I mention his phenotype purely because it frames my story somewhat.

My daughter joined this school three months into the year because we suddenly took a dislike to the drastic changes happening at the montessori we had enrolled her in previously. So we didn’t get the whole orientation experience and hadn’t gotten to meet any of the other parents.

Livi. We had been told in passing was short for Livingstone. Which I thought was quite an interesting name, perhaps a little colonialist (in an African context), but I’m quite naive like that, so I just assumed it must be true. After all I once met a black guy whose first name was Verwoerd. Which I guess is some akin to a Jewish family naming their kid Heydrich.

In any event, turns out Livi is actually short for Livenkosi. Its Xhosa and means ‘The King’. Which… makes a lot more sense. But I found myself feeling a little disappointed. (that I wasn’t going to be able to use my Dr. Livingstone salutation at some point)

Last night we met Livi’s parents for the first time. There was a kids art show at the school which doubled up as a bit of a fund raiser and social.

I whisper into my wives ear. ‘Damn, Livi’s parents are waaaaaay too hip for us’. She whispers back, ‘I know right?’

We are the scruffy white trope. I’m wearing shorts, flip-flops and black 511 tactical cap without a patch. My wife is in jeans and a Red Hot Chili Peppers t-shirt.

Livenkosi’s mom is ridiculously cool. The sides of her head are shaved with a topknot arrangement of dreads. She’s wearing a dress with hightop converse sneakers. Livi’s dad is more corporate, with a shaved head and an immaculate beard.

We are a little intimidated. Ha ha.

They turn out to be immensely likeable and we make tentative arrangements to get together for a playdate

I don’t tell them that for most of this year I thought their kid was named for the Scottish doctor and explorer… I don’t want them to think I’m some kind of moron…

2 Comments

  1. Michelle Louring

    October 17, 2019 at 8:11 am

    Oh, you are going to embarrass your kids so much once they become teenagers xD

    1. Jo

      October 17, 2019 at 8:26 am

      Yeah… I always imagined myself as one of those cool dads… its not looking good for me…

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