Thursday, December 3, 2009
Yesterday was a day of mixed emotions of my children's diversity. Jacob has had several experiences this year which have made us question whether it was some sort of racial harassment. It may seem obvious, but it isn't quite that simple.
Tues. he was hit in the nose at the playground making it bleed by one of his "best" friends. Then yesterday a little girl in his class - kindergarten mind you - said, thankfully in front of a staff member, "I'm going to tell my big brother to beat you up." Now, we homeschooled our first group of kids so maybe this stuff isn't unusual, but Ella is in 3rd grade and we've never had any of these issues with her.
My heart breaks for him that he has to deal with this stuff - for the rest of his life - just because he is a black child - and sooner then I will be ready - a black man. Mark and I both realize we can't possibly do that ourselves and are grateful we have friends and family in our life who can advise us. It's an odd spot to be in when you have to remind yourself to see these situations through a "racial" lense if you will. When you've grown up white in a primarily white community you just never think - I wonder if they said that, looked at me that way, hit me, pushed me etc. - because I'm white. I'm learning to do that for my kids, but am trying to walk that delicate line between being too easily offended or jumping on the - it's always about race - bandwagon, and being clueless to that fact that, yes it sometimes - lately, it would seem, often is about race.
Then last night Ella and I attended our third annual Black Nativity at Penumbra theatre. It is always so very uplifting and makes me so proud of the culture and history of my children - and how very grateful I am to be a part of their history as their parent. And so, although it makes me weary sometimes, I will press on because they have no choice and neither do I as they are my beloved children and I will do all I can to make them proud of who they are - because I most certainly am blessed beyond measure just being their mom.