He was telling me about the avatars he had made. “I made you, but I made you black.” He went on to say that he had made Daddy black, too. I don’t think he was sure how I would react, and I didn’t really know how to react. So, I asked him, “Is that what you wish? Do you wish we were black?”
He paused and said “Yes and no.”
Even though, it wasn’t much of an answer. I could tell it was the most he wanted to give and, anyway, I still kind of got it. It would be much simpler if we were all black. But then again, we wouldn’t be us.
I’ve come a long way from the beginning of our lives as parents. Right after adopting the boys, we were interviewed on the news as part of a story about adopting transracially. I was very cavalier about saying the color didn’t matter.
But, now I realize, it does matter. It matters because it’s who we are and it’s who they are. It matters because for their entire lives, they will be black and have white parents, and that’s unusual. But, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I don’t want my children to focus on the color of their skin and the different color of ours. But, at the same time, I don’t want them to be afraid to acknowledge it. Tricky stuff.
Now that Antwan is getting older, he’s noticing it more. The other day, he told me that he wished he was “yellow” like me. I responded by talking about how beautiful his skin is. He seemed unimpressed by this. And, when I was telling him a story about me as a baby, he asked me if my skin was brown like his. I thought that was interesting. And, boy, is he going to be surprised when he stays black! 😉
But, the love is obvious. I look at these children and I don’t see my black children. I see my children. My amazing, beautiful, intelligent children.
Every family has complications. Well, this is ours. I can laugh when I accidentally confuse a mom or see the surprise in a child’s eyes as we pass. Or I can dwell and worry. This was the advice that I gave William. To try to find the humor in it and accept that it’s going to happen. But, me, honestly, I do both. It is amusing, but I do worry about how they will handle it as they get older. I know more comments are coming and I can only hope we are preparing them. When the kids at William’s preschool asked why his mom was pink, we laughed. But, when a kid asks him about me (I know it will happen) and it’s mean and deliberate. It’s not going to be so funny. That scares me.
Well, moments after he told me that he made us black and I still had heavy thought in my head, he also said he made me bigger than Daddy and gave Daddy glasses. Then he started rattling on about his Mario Kart game. I think we’re going to be ok.