The Cowboy thought about this for a moment, then replied. “He’s a little boy, sweetheart. You’re throwing adult concepts at him. He’s not mature enough yet to deal with this, and you’re not doing him any favors by telling him about it.”
“He needs to know.”
“No,” said The Cowboy. “He needs to be allowed this short, precious time to be a little boy. Let him develop a strong sense of self as a person before telling him about these supposed differences. You’ll help him the most by just treating him like a kid, not a ‘Hispanic’ kid. Teach him to be the best person he can be, and he’ll be prepared for those fights when the time comes, because the better he feels about himself as he is, with the name he has, the less sense the prejudice will make to him when he has to deal with it.”
“You might be right,” I said, suddenly realizing that my parents had done exactly what The Cowboy described. I was not aware of being “different” or “a minority” at all, until I got to college and was told I was. It didn’t make sense to me then, and it still doesn’t make sense to me today.