I used to work with a guy, Jose, who was very proud of his Mexican heritage. He would tell me stories of his childhood and he visited his family in Mexico as often as he could.
One morning, Jose brought his little boy to work with him. It was early and nothing was happening yet, so Jose asked if I would mind keeping Antonio in the office with me while he ran out to do a couple things. I didn’t mind – I figured I would be able to keep up conversation with a 4 year old. Here’s how it went:
Me: Hi, what’s your name?
Antonio: Antonio Hernandez
Me: Oh? That sounds like your Dad’s name.
Antonio: No, he’s Jose Hernandez.
Me: Ok, what’s your Mom’s name?
Antonio: Sofia Hernandez.
Me: Hmm, why do you all have the name Hernandez?
…expecting him to say, “because we’re family”…
Antonio: Because we’re Mexican.
All these years later, it still makes me smile.