I’m white; my husband is black. Our daughter obviously turned out with some color in her skin as a result. I think the first time she realized that not everyone had the same skin color was around age two. I was helping raise a friend’s daughter at the time who was a cute little blonde-haired, blue-eyed thing. She called herself ranch and her “sister” chocolate. I know what you’re all thinking, “Why not vanilla?” Well, the kid loved ranch.
When she was about five or six, my daughter asked me why my skin is white, while hers and daddy’s skin are brown, and why can’t we all be the same color? This is one of those tests of being a mom of a biracial child. She was having a crisis of identity and I want her to always embrace all the cultures that make up who she is.
I sat down with her and asked her to name for me all the different colors and kinds of flowers she knows about. I asked her to tell me all the colors of the butterflies she’s seen. “How many different types of trees and leaves are there? How many different colors of birds, dogs, and cats have you seen? Aren’t there all different types of bugs and spiders?”
She listed off a huge, long list for me in answer to all my questions. We are a very artistic family. Someone is always drawing in our house, and we’re always going with her to parks and art museums. I explained to her that God loves art too, and He wanted to make the world as beautiful a work of art as possible. Just like He made all different types of flowers, birds, trees, and animals, He made people of all different eye, hair, and skin colors as well.
Hearing that God is such a creative artist, like she is, made her very happy. Then, we talked about the little ways in which she does look like me and how cool it is that she looks like BOTH mommy and daddy in many different ways.
I wish everyone in this world would just see each other as beautiful works of art, instead of the superiority some feel over others that don’t look just like them. If we all had the eyes and innocence of a child, the world would be a better place.
I hope my daughter always holds on to this lesson that I have taught her.