the6parkers

the6parkers

Friday, December 30, 2016

Race and Shifting Perspectives.

When I was a kid, I was very aware of the perceived differences between black and white people and the basic separation.  It was rare to see an interracial couple and when you did, it was a big deal.  And not necessarily in a good way.  I didn't have an issue with it, but, yeah, it seemed strange.

As I got older, it was less strange but still noteworthy. In college, I even kissed a black boy, mostly so I could say I did...and because he was cute. ;)  But, oh, I felt so wild! haha. (Shout out to Adrian, wherever you are!)

In my 20's, a black guy asked me out and I felt so brave going to dinner with him.  (That seems so ridiculous now, but it didn't seem that way then.)  I was sure that everyone was watching and judging.  And, quite frankly, they might have been.  But, I didn't really care.  Well, that's not true.  I don't like being judged and I don't like being looked at so I did care.  But, I didn't believe for a minute that I was doing anything "wrong."  Sadly, my "fell in my lap" opportunity to prove that I didn't care was cut short by the fact that we really didn't click.  And he never asked me out again. haha.

Now I have black children and my own version of an interracial family.  Ok, it's technically called transracial, whatever. :)  The important thing is that we are all kinds of mixed up and I couldn't care less.  I mean, I care about the fact that I have a steep learning curve still when it comes to doing Lizzie's hair. But, I don't care that they're black.  And I don't care that we're white.  And, you know what, not a lot of people do.  I care that I love them and that they are mine.

As I have told the kids (as recently as this morning), as time goes by, transracial families and many other types of families will get more and more common.  As families continue to evolve, blend, change, and just get all mixed up, in general; it will be hard to tell what "normal" is or was.

Of course, there are still prejudices in this country and there are still people who act on them.  But, time does march on and people do evolve.  Most, anyway. ;)  I don't want to sound naive.  I know what's going on.  I know that there are still racial issues. I know that there is still a divide. I know that it's not as bad as it was, but I know that it's there.  I know it every time that Kaleb goes off with his friends.  And, I know it when I remind him to be extra polite and respectful to adults while knowing that it might not be enough.  (I know that parents of white children have similar worries, but this is just my perspective.) I know it when people are afraid to use the word "black" to describe my children.  Even though, they are in fact black and it is very much not a bad word.  I know it.  But I have to believe that things are ultimately heading in the right direction.  And I have to believe that our family will be less and less unusual as the future becomes today.  I have to believe that.

Back to this morning. 

Somewhat randomly, Antwan said that if he ever stops being homeschooled and goes back to public school and someone says something about his family being strange because he's black and we're white, he will just tell them that our family is special. 

Well, I really can't think of a better answer.   

Just as I know that we as a world still have a ways to go.  I also know that we're special.  We're special because those kids of ours make us special. :)