I spotted this at Fierce and Nerdy and just had to share it with Honeysmoke readers. This post reminded me of when Simone and Nadia were infants. (Yes, time goes by very fast.) For this mommy and her beautiful daughter, race hasn’t come up. Color, though, has been an issue. Take a look.
By Ernessa T. Carter
© Ernessa T. Carter
So by far one of my most popular posts has been “Raising Biracial Children,” which I wrote before I had any actual Biracial children living outside my womb or the gleam in my eye. I suspected as I was writing it that my perspective would change once I actually had said child, and I have to say that I was pretty much right about that.
I think what has been most surprising is how little I think about Betty being biracial. Beforehand, I thought this would be a subject that would stay on my mind 24/7, but in reality being a new mother eclipses all issues of race. For example:
Day 1: Oh my God, she turns red when she cries! Is that normal? (I am assured by my white husband and Betty’s doctor that it is).
At 1 week: I’m not thinking about the color of her skin, I’m thinking about the color of her poo. What’s up with the green tint? (Doctor says it’s the formula we’ve been supplementing her with for the jaundice.
At 2 weeks: Oh no, not diaper rash!
At 6 weeks: Yes, let’s talk about Betty’s skin. Seriously, what’s up with this baby acne all over her face, back, stomach, and neck? That can’t be normal. (Doctor once again assures us it is and it goes away in 2 weeks.)
3 months: Look at Betty’s gums. Do you think she’s teething early? Also, Betty seems to get a little confused when my sister comes to visit. (Though she doesn’t really like strangers at this point, Betty decides that she digs this Sorta-Looks-Like-Mommy. This will kick off a trend of her being extra smiley with dark-skinned black women. Funny.)
4 months: I love this baby fat! In fact, I just made up a crunk song called, “Do the Chubby Leg.” Do you think we should record it for YouTube? (CH just laughs and shakes his head. Not sure if that’s a yes or a no.)
As you can see, race hasn’t really come up with Betty yet, but let’s not sleep, we know it will eventually. So over the next week I want to explore these questions:
1. Special, Lucky, or Confused? Do we really need to spin biracial?
2. How responsible are you for your child’s views on race?
3. Protection vs. Prevention vs. Preparedness.
So do come back and weigh in on all of these topics. Til then, if you want to hear more of my thoughts on pregnancy and new motherhood, the kind folks over at Mommie2Be have made me their October Mommie of the Month, and I answered a bunch of questions on both topics.
Oh, and one more announcement. I decided to dedicate the last week of our Month of Minefields to Feminism. Like Religion, this isn’t a topic people asked me to write on, but I’ve been having so many discussions about it lately, I thought it would be a good one to bring to the table. Hit me up in the comments if you have any thoughts on subtopics for this one. I’m open.
Ernessa T. Carter is the author of 32 Candles.
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