Tuesday, December 9, 2014


An occurrence that happened earlier today: I was speaking with a new friend and had the baby with me. The friend's 6 year old suddenly ran up to me, and said in the loudest voice possible: "You have a BROWN BABY! And you are A LIGHT MOMMY!" I said, "yes, that's true." I mean, it is pretty obvious.

The mom-friend was completely mortified, embarrassed beyond belief. She admonished the child and started to explain adoption. The mom was saying that sometimes, mommies and daddies can't always take care of their babies. Not wanting to mislead, I had to clarify and explain fostering. I said that I am the "extra mommy" who is taking care of the baby until the mom and/or dad gets better.

I thought the incident went pretty well. I mean, the baby and I do look different, and young children without filters are apt to point out such differences. It did not insult me. (should it have insulted me? I really don't think so. The child was simply stating a fact.)

However, it prompted two lines of thought for me:
1. My children, and others in similar situations, are growing up thinking that "un-matching" skin tones are fairly normal, if not the norm. I'm glad that they will not be ignorant or close-minded in this regard.
2. It gave me a teeny tiny glimpse of what might happen on the playground in a few years if the baby is adopted by a "light" family. In this case, there wasn't any kind of bias or prejudice, the child was simply stating a fact. What if there was prejudice? How would I have reacted? What would have been the appropriate thing to say to a six year old then?

I know that the best way to combat prejudice and hate is with kindness and love, so I guess I will try that next time.

That is what I will be thinking of, going forward.

I try to be aware of what it is like for "brown" people, how they are sometimes viewed differently.... and it just makes me sad that there have to be such great distinctions and divides in our society. Why can't we all just be one race, the human race? Of course we all come from different backgrounds, we have varied cultural and religious experiences, and that's all fine and good. But I wish with all my heart that people could be more colorblind and less prone to judgement. 

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