Interracial Kids

Thursday, October 4, 2018
It happened once when Olivia was eight months old. An Applebee’s waitress greeted our table and shortly after she said, “You girls are so beautiful. Is this your mom?” I quickly answered with an assertive “'YES” and I remember thinking… who else’s kids would they be? Justin went on to start our order, I began to nurse Olivia, and Ava colored to her heart’s content.. I didn’t think anything else about it until I got home later that night. When people see me with my children in public do they think I’m not their mom? That thought alone was like a punch in the gut. Before Olivia was born, no one had actually ever asked that question. Maybe because Ava inherited her beautiful skin tones from her mama’s genes? The soulful brown eyes and beautiful brunette hair? I have no clue. It was just never a question. When Olivia was born, I guess Justin and I sort of assumed that she too would look something like her sister…

We were wrong. My beautiful second born baby came out with blue eyes, fair skin, and red tones in her hair. In her first few weeks I remember saying to myself… “This is my baby. I’ve got the video/photographic evidence to prove it.” It was so insane to me because it felt like she didn’t have a single ounce of the WHOLE OTHER HALF OF HER IN SIGHT. I realized quickly just how crazy genetics can be and how strong Justin’s genes really are. Fast forward to giving birth to Liam, we had no idea what to expect… to be honest, his features were the last thing on my mind when he was laying there on my chest for the first time. As he’s gotten older, he too has retained some of the same fair skinned genes that Olivia did and I’ve been wondering lately.. am I going to have to face that question again? When our family is whole it “makes sense” at least that’s what someone said to me before... but when I’m with my kids alone... I just hate thinking that the question of wether or not I’m their mother is going to continue to come up.

I also wonder if Ava is going to feel “different” because she’s got a different skin tone than the other two. A darker one. We have never emphasized about skin color or differences between the kids with the kids, because… it just doesn’t matter. They have the same parents, we are a family, and families don’t always look the same. Especially when you are dealing with a melting pot of cultures/races into ONE KID. The whole thing just bothers me. And if this rabbit hole wasn’t enough, I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to discussing “what we are” and things of that nature. Justin just sums it up by telling Ava that she is an American. I mean, that’s true. She is. But I struggle with the idea that not informing the kids about their heritage will be detrimental to their upbringing. I want them to know that “Leilani” derives from their Hawaiian roots and that their angel grandma is the reason why we have such a MASSIVE extended Ohana. I want them to know that both sets of their grandparents are Puerto Rican and that is the reason why their mama has so much pride for Puerto Rico - Boricua Por Vida. I want them to know that they also inherit a LONG line of “black girl magic” and that each and every single piece of culture that they have is worth celebrating, worth learning about, and worth mentioning to their children and so on and so forth.

And not only do they inherit ALL of that from me, they also have their dad’s heritage to consider. Dutch, French, Irish… I mean our kids are literally the definition of a melting pot in America. They have a little of everything. Maybe the goal isn’t to make them feel comfortable with what we share, but to aid them in embracing just how wonderfully made they are? Will that prevent the “where do I fit in” questions that might inevitably pop up in the middle of teen angst? Will that keep them from ever having doubts about their identity? Will my kids one day be ashamed because they have a mother… like me? So many thoughts and questions have been racing through my head lately. I felt a little guilty. We did this to our kids. It instantly took me back to a comment that was made to Justin when he was a teen. “Don’t marry outside of your race. People won’t understand and it will be harder.”

I’m quickly reminded that if we listened to people like that, we wouldn’t have each other… and that would be a shame because we wouldn’t be on the greatest adventure of our lives.

So, Im closing off that door of negativity right now. It seems silly for us to worry about something that shouldn’t really matter, right?

Sadly, it is the rest of the world I am worried about.

Post a Comment