Yes, My Son is Black!
How horrible is it to be told you are not your race because you don’t fit the stereotype appearance? It happens to a lot of multicultural families. We are often questioned about our children’s identity and even whether they belong to us by people who don’t know any better or are quick to judge.
Some people didn’t believe my son was my husband’s because my son didn’t look “black”. When my son was born, he was born extremely light with straight hair like me. I was happy he was healthy and gorgeous his complexion was the least of my concerns! By 3 months he was a little darker and his features were really changing, but still straight strands of hair. Then by the time he was 7 months, he was as pale as ever with a couple of curls. It wasn’t until his 1st birthday that his hair was a lot curlier and it bloomed from there. However, he’s never gotten any darker.
It actually makes me feel quite sad that this even crossed people’s minds. I know it shouldn’t matter what people think, but it hurts. As a parent you want to protect your babies from the hurt. Strangers find the need to approach us, maybe out of curiosity. Their questions and comments are sometimes mind boggling and hurtful. Like the time my family was out shopping and my husband was asked if he was babysitting our son. Or the time where my husband was asked who was our daughter’s mom. When he pointed to me she was in shock and still asked if I was really the mom! Unfortunately, our own family also questions us. Even when our family jokes, it’s not funny. My husband was told jokingly, “You need to go to Maury and find out if that baby is yours.” I was shocked and offended! I even did that nervous laugh as I was being told “I’m only joking”. Half of me wanted to fight back with words the other half knew it would probably turn out ugly. I think I regret not doing anything about it because to this day, it still bothers me that they would have thought my son wasn’t ours.
My son’s appearance and features shouldn’t determine who he is. My husband and I know he is ours and that’s all that matters. Stereotypes about appearances create identity issues and I want my children to grow up proud of who they are. I plan to educate them best as we can because I don’t want them to feel hurt or angry. I want them to be able to understand and explain to someone that they are different but that’s OK. My children will be raised BLACKXICAN (Black and Mexican). They will love who they are and grow up proud.
Ruby is many things, but foremost a wife and mother to her 2 little ones. She and her husband are trying to raise bilingual/bicultural little beings. She’s originally from Orange County, California, but recently moved across country after her husband completed his duty with the US Navy. They now live in New Jersey, where her husband is originally from. Ruby enjoys time with her family, visiting new places and people, all things crafty and of course, meeting other bicultural parents! Find her on her blog, Growing Up Blackxican.