A race for two

I love people.

Oh, your daughter is just darling. Such a pretty face. Is your husband white?

Thank you. Wait. What?! Is my husband white? So much so. Okay, so I didn’t really say that. But that’s because she’s never seen him dance. Yes. He is.

Oh. I just love mixed babies. They are some of the most beautiful children.

A race for two

The combination of flattery and peculiarity is a rather strange feeling. You feel torn between being grateful for such sincerity and yet a little put off by such candor. Perhaps a question like that could be preceded with “May I ask” and then it wouldn’t sound so crude? Are you from China? This one annoys me more than any other question. Ever. But because I’ve gotten so accustomed to hearing it, I use the manners my parents taught me and politely respond with a No, I was born in South Korea. At least she didn’t ask me; what are you? That’s my favorite. I’ve considered responding with; I’m a person. You know, the same as you. But those darn manners, again. Plus, I’m kind of a chicken and wouldn’t have it in me to actually say that out loud. And as I’ve previously mentioned, I don’t get offended easily. [Read why here Offense. Nonsense.BUT it doesn’t mean I don’t get annoyed when people can’t filter with a little more grace or want to scream loudly that (albeit the largest) China is not the only Asian country on this planet. Ah yes. Diversity at its finest. {Smh} The world is a wicked one. Fortunately, age has taught me it’s hardly worth getting my undies in a bunch over every little thing. Life has its way of bestowing a perma-wedgie if you let it. But frankly, I choose not to let the discomfort ride up. So I just roll with it. Is my husband white? A question that seems like a private discretion but at the same time, one that’s not at all personal since it’s pretty much a hard fact. Yep. He’s white. It’s a physical observation and one that isn’t secret to anyone with eyes. The gal who inquired fits the mold of what you might expect. Probably in her early seventies with a hint of both innocence and ignorance. You’re familiar with the type. She was kind. And complimentary. And I was touched that she took time to stop and chat. I always appreciate kindness from strangers. Really. I do. I wish there was more of that. But it doesn’t mean that her question was a little obscure. And maybe overstepped the boundaries of small talk. But some people blur those lines. Leaving you with an opportunity to reveal yourself. React wisely.

My daughter is beautiful. She’s a true genetic blend of Caucasian and Asian, somehow blessed with the best of both my husband and myself. {Ask me again when she’s sixteen and having a teenage tantrum; I might feel more cursed by anything but the best of us}. It’s really quite an adjustment after having a son who looks just like me. So it doesn’t surprise me much when strangers ask about her ethnicity when we’re out together, alone. Different is a catalyst for conversation in some way, shape or form. People are intrigued and bothered by interracial relationships that spawn little offspring. It’s not nearly as taboo as it once was. But it’s diversity and people still struggle with that. Because society can’t always keep up. Someday I hope people embrace diversity like the Kardashian’s do with fame. Then maybe we can eliminate the race card, altogether.

Naturally, as I get older the less impacted I am by the race thing. Maybe it’s because I’ve learned that it just doesn’t matter. Although, it took time. And moments of pain. Unfortunately my children still have to travel down that irreverent road. As times change, it’s possible they may not experience the same kind of torment I did as a child. {I can hope}. Or fearfully, maybe they’ll get more. It’s troubling to think about the potential abuse that my children may encounter from others as a result of something they have no control over. And other times, when strangers approach me and offer up their admiration {whether it’s wholeheartedly sincere or semi-intrusive}, those distressing thoughts get temporarily swept away. As a mother, I have the ability to fear the worst. The things I can’t control. And the moments that occur outside these four walls. The world breeds hatred and it’s scary. But since I can’t shelter my children from the ways of the world, I just have to teach them how to respond to the words of others. Will they fight with grace? Or with scorn? Let me tell you, they will react by what they’ve learned. Now I realize my daughter won’t remember these grocery store moments but their little selves are already preparing for the ones they will remember. And if I have any control over those then I sure as heck better make sure I’m presenting a worthy example. Thank heavens God gives us children. It’s our opportunity to change our unfavorable behaviors and help us raise kind humans.

My age has given me a little more grace, a little more love and a lot more wisdom. It helps replace the ignorance, the hate and the stupidity. Because let’s face it. There are too many other people taking up those spaces. Have I been ignorant? Hateful? And stupid? For sure. But then I grew up. And started raising halfsies. Children with hearts of gold and a love without boundaries {right now}. So I capitalize on that. And I teach them that diversity comes with a price. But that it also comes with an opportunity to be strong. And full of love. So dear lady; yes, my husband is white. He gave me two beautiful kids. And although, their race cannot be identified by the check of one small box, they will learn that it doesn’t limit them to anything in life. But thank you for asking. And thank you for your inquisitive kindness.

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