I’ve come to realize that I no longer see the world in black and white (and red and yellow…. or really, dark brown, light brown, dark beige and light beige).
I no longer see humans with simply one background, one skin color, one mindset, one reality.
Before Annika was born, I liked to think that I was a huge liberal with an open mind and a love for diversity. And I was.
But it took my mind blooming and morphing, becoming the mother of a biracial child to fully grasp the diversity that I once accepted externally, it is now fully internalized.
Earlier this week, I was talking to Toyin about my last couple of posts and I verbalized something that I had not yet even though I’ve known it for a long time. It was, “I see biracial children.”
I see them everywhere too, with or without their parents. When Annika was a baby, I often felt alone. In playgroups and out shopping, in school, in the library, it seemed that most moms and kids were the same. As proud as I was to be Annika’s mom, I often wished I was able to easily mix into the crowd, without a need for explanation or wondering what other people wondered.
But now, I realize that biracial kids are really everywhere. They are seeping out of the cracks of society. I love to see the older kids, especially girls, because it gives me a window into Annika’s future.
People tend to really notice biracial babies, but as they age, they begin to assume racial roles from one side or the other, based on what their skin color might be.
I think that is changing.
For the past few years, I really see biracial adolescents now. I’m sure I noticed them before, but they were just like any other people whom I shared no common bond with and didn’t understand or empathize with their similarities.
I fully admit that many times, I assumed children were adopted when they may have not been so.
Even after Annika was born, crazy as it sounds, there were a few times when I wondered it, and then chastised myself for assuming anything that was so clearly not obvious, having been through that assumption on the other end myself.
Now, I fully accept that parent/child bond without thinking of it much. It does not matter whether a child is adopted, biracial, or multi-mixed from generations of race mixing.
Last week I met a mom with a child who did not reflect her mother’s ethnicity. I easily recognized her as the mother, and as we spoke, I noticed that they really looked alike even though at first glance, one might not have immediately thought that they were related.
Now when I see biracial kids with their moms of another color, I smile. Because now, when I look at those kids, I see biracial kids. I know, without wondering that the parent with them is their mom or dad because I have finally internalized how to look past the skin color. I notice facial features, hair texture, even the way biracial children hold themselves, in many cases, is different than children who come from non-mixed unions. It is uncanny. They are an entirely different race of humans that we are forming. Outside the boundaries of stereotypes. Outside the boundaries of racial profiling. Outside the boundaries of categorization.
Pretty damn cool.