|Brown with a white background makes a nice combination|
Annika has been making note of her brown skin color lately. And today, in our learning co-op, we had our first Black History lesson. We talked about skin color. I gave them a coloring page of a map of Africa, showing them Nigeria on the map, and then they all promptly cut it to pieces with their scissors. I think it might be a bit soon for geography lessons.
But anyway, all (three) of the students just happen to be biracial children. So discussing skin color was a fun conversation to have with them. I was pretty excited to have come up with this lesson plan, based on the research in Nurtureshock that says you should talk to your children about skin color.
Of the other two kids, one is half white and half Ecuadorian. The other is half white, one quarter black, and one quarter Mexican. When we discussed their skin tones, the other two children told me that they were white, while agreeing that their fathers were brown skinned. Technically speaking, they are no darker than me. I suppose when you are 3 years old, skin color is, like all other things, exactly what it appears to be when you look at it.
It didn’t seem to phase any of them when we discussed the fact that they each had a parent whose skin color was not the same as their own. When Annika proudly announced that she and her daddy have brown skin, and mommy’s is white, it didn’t seem to confuse any of them. I found myself faltering a bit when I started to over explain why parents can sometimes have different skin colors as their children. Then I realized that I was boring them with information they clearly seemed to already have grasped. Duh. It’s their reality. Why should they question it?
The conversation with Annika was not unlike a similar mention she made last week when we stood in our kitchen one morning, getting breakfast together and discussing our clothing for the day.
Annika: “Mommy, you have on a blue shirt and my shirt is white! You have on blue jeans and so do I!” She squealed excitedly. She loves it when we have on similar clothing. Then, “Mommy, you’re wearing white feet and I’m wearing brown feet!” With the same enthusiasm.
If only we could all look at our differences with such purity.
It’s nice to think that our biracial kids are going to grow up with such a no nonsense attitude toward skin color. I think they will be good for the world.