When I moved to Arab, my boys were 6, 5 and 5 years old. I had moved them from everything they had ever known back to an extended family in Alabama that I yearned for them to know.

In Alabama, there would be no more snow-covered hills for sledding, no need for snowsuits, and no contact on speed dial to plow the driveway so we could get out.

However, there would be sand, surf, lightning bugs and the best summer peaches they’d ever eat.

On a side note, the first time we went to the beaches of the Gulf Coast, they thought the sand was snow. Still one of the cutest memories I have of them as toddlers.

And there was another thing that radically changed: diversity.

My oldest went to a few days of first grade, only to come home that first week and cry to me, “Where are the brown people?”

You see, his best friend up north was a “brown” boy named Josh. He was looking to replace his friend with another like him.

Not in Arab.

Not in 2001.

For more on this story, please pick up Thursday’s Tribune or purchase an e-edition.

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