It's a cold Saturday morning outside my home, just twenty-five miles north of Philadelphia, and I am about to sit in a chair in my room with a good book open in front of me.
The book, Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid, is a novel I began yesterday. It’s a story that starts with a late-night phone call made by a young mother to her babysitter, asking the woman to take her two-year-old child to a grocery store “to get her out of the house for a while” because “we had an incident with a broken window.” and doesn’t want the child to see the police" who are on their way.
Once at the grocery store, the sitter, a young black woman named Emira, is confronted by a security guard who accuses her of kidnapping the precocious child, a child who asks questions like “Where is that squirrel’s mama?” and "Why don't we know that lady?" and who, according to Emira, is “always at the edge of a tiny existential crisis.”
In the second chapter, we learn that what the child’s mother didn’t tell Emira is that the window was broken because of something her husband, a news anchor in the city of Philadelphia (of all places), said on the air. It’s a remark that is “slightly racist.” Is there such a thing as slightly racist,” I wonder as I get ready to settle in to a long afternoon of reading and, hopefully, some intermittent napping.