We were staying with friends in Northland, New Zealand when we first heard about the girl whose parents named her Abcde. I believed the story at the time because it was related to me by a high-school teacher who knew the family.

Aisha playing with a toy mouse, April 2014
The name Abcde (pronounced "ab-sah-dee") was given to this little toy mouse that lives in our housebus.

It’s funny how some stories stick. Aisha took the name (perhaps because it was also so easy to write) and gave it to a little toy animal that has managed to accompany us around New Zealand and Australia for several years. No one has ever told her that Abcde is an unusual name, and when she uses it, I’m reminded how prejudice is something that children learn from those around them.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

If — during this period of their childhood — I shelter my girls from something in “the real world”, let me continue to hide them from the idea that they can judge someone by any factor other than personal character. Abcde’s a great name!