All the training, the conversations, the mental practice – all of the effort means nothing when a child frankly asks why my son’s skin is a different color. No judgement or cruelty was intended; just curiosity.
We heartily and falsely casually answered, “He was born that way!” Was that the right choice? The questioner is 4. How far can that conversation really go? It’s not that far off from “Why is the sky blue?”
Ignoring race is foolish. Our family is mostly white. Remy isn’t. Why on earth would we expect kids to ignore that obvious fact? And yet, watching the subject of the question and the asker bounce in a bounce house at a party doesn’t seem the right moment to dive into the complexity of interracial adoption.
Addressing adoption and race doesn’t happen in serious, sit-down situations. I suspect it will continue along these lines – well-intentioned and slightly awkward questions from strangers and family as we navigate our lives.
I find it interesting that some people feel we make too big a deal of this; and yet, at some point these same small moments may feel like pinpricks to my children. As a parent, I must be ready to show them possible responses, deflections, and bud-nippers.
All of that to say, questions from a kid I adore do not offend me and shouldn’t offend my kids. Our day continued on from that nonchalant response and we had a wonderful time!
Haircuts, on the other hand, remain sketchy at best.