New Year’s Day Reflections

It’s New Year’s Day, and we’ve been pretty chill.  Hubby has been on his computer all day, and baby girl has been strapped to me in the Baby K’tan while I played Words With Friends, caught up on Facebook posts, and watched movies with  the in-laws.

We first watched the newest Madea – Witness Protection – and now we’re on a Harry Potter marathon.  Both movies make me think about my daughter and how she would fit in.  Would she be a fish out of water at Madea’s house like that family was?  If something happened to us and she had to go live with someone else, would she be deprived of one whole side of her heritage, like Harry was before the big shaggy dude rescued him?

running fish from aquarium

Will we be able to give her fair and balanced doses of both cultures, or does it not even matter?  I mean, it IS 2013…I would hope that she has no trouble finding her place.  It isn’t illegal for her to exist or for her father and I to be together, but she looks different (and kids are still cruel).  Is it possible for her to be confidently secure in both parts of herself and fit in both worlds?

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4 thoughts on “New Year’s Day Reflections

  1. I understand your concern and thoughts here. I often wonder the same thing about my own. I often wonder is it based on which family you were raised closer to that you end up identifying yourself as. Will my son identify as being Jewish, White over his Black roots? And how Jewish, as I am not much in observing the faith…. It would be nice if there were really no lines in this area. There are already people that treat me and him differently, and he’s only three. He already knows he is “Light Brown” and daddy is ” Dark Brown” and I believe he called me “Yellow”, although I guess I consider myself more “Pink” lol. The crazy thing in my case is that when I think about if something should happen, then what… I don’t even have the answer.. my closest answer is my best friend who is neither Jewish, nor Black… so then would he grow up completely oblivious to his roots. I think to be a judge of her character, she would make every effort to maintain his ties with his biological family. The stuff mothers worry about…. I believe as parents we just have to be prepared with open arms and honesty when our children come home wondering if, how and why they are different.

    • I hope my brother, DJ Cisco, reads your comment and chimes in. I asked him a similar question because it seems that he identifies more with being Black even though he was raised by his White Canadian mother. I don’t know for sure, though, so I want him to respond.
      Anyway, thank you for your comment! I love the ending about being “prepared with open arms and honesty.” That’s key, here…honesty. I think confidence is important, too. If I’m not confident in my ethnicity, it will be reflected in how my baby grows up.
      PS. I like the colors part…funny. 🙂

  2. Speaking as a bi-racial man (your brother) I can say Baby Girl will not be a fish out of water at the family homes. She will be loved and respected by 99% of the family and friends. There will be some jealous (haters) people but it’s more out of ignorance than anything else. You will already see those that are (will be) ignorant LONG before she becomes “aware” so you will shield her from those “family” and “friends”.

    If you fear a loss of heritage then make sure you have your documents lined up to protect her and your desires.
    “Will we be able to give her fair and balanced doses of both cultures, or does it not even matter?” Yes and yes. By default you both will instill your cultures and values into her. Some of it will be intentional and some won’t but it is very important that she knows both of her parents histories, life styles, cultures. IT IS WHO SHE IS. Make sure she is around all types of people, not just black, not just white. She needs to see a diverse group of people so she doesn’t “know” there is a difference.

    Having said that, don’t be shy or worried to take her to a family event that is all white or all black. She has to know that there are two distinct families. Even though Deirdre and I are black our daughter still has a white (Canadian) heritage. When She went to Pace she had no idea she was “black” in a 99% white school. She was just a kid. She became “aware” that she was “Black” in the first and second grade when discussions about different cultures started. She came home asking about being “brown”.

    My daughter knows that she has a white Grandmother. She knows she has a white Aunt and Uncles, cousins. She has an Uncle that is married to a white woman. She has two cousins that are bi-racial. She doesn’t care and that’s because we made sure she knew at an early age color is not LOVE.

    You are right. Kids can/will be cruel. You will have to teach her defense mechanisms. You will have to teach her how to combat the cruel jokes from the kids, their parents AND the teachers. Yes some teachers will slip a cruel comment in. Some days she will have to defuse it with education. Some days it will be with a witticism and other days she will have to be just downright nasty.

    Baby Girl will “fit” in as long as you let her develop her own identity based on you two’s teachings. Remember her definition of “fitting in” will not be the same as yours and mine. Does that make sense?

    • Hey D.J. Cisco, thanks for your comments and suggestions! Of course both her father and I will do our best to give her balance, but I wonder if I’ll make us more capable with this insight or just ruin things. Some times it isn’t helpful to look ahead, prepare, or think about things too much. But once you start thinking about something, sometimes it’s next to impossible to turn that off and let nature take its course. Does that make sense?

      Anyway, I’m ahead of myself. Yes, what you wrote makes perfect sense and is very valuable info for us. Fortunately, if there are haters within our families, they haven’t identified themselves yet. So far, everyone loves baby girl. 🙂 She is a bit of a fussy bear, but she’ll grow out of that. I’m not sure yet how to teach her how to combat cruelty because, you’re right, her fitting in will be different from my efforts. But I do find it very interesting that you, a biracial man, seem to identify more (in your comments) with being black than white. How does that happen? Do you identify with being white or of Canadian heritage at all?

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