Questions From Mixed Race Kids

This weekend I went to Costco with my middle daughter (Mai-lee). I always wonder about what people think about us in public. While my complexion is fairly dark, she is pretty fair. To add to that difference, Mai-lee looks more like Shreemati to the point where Shreemati’s grandmother thinks Mai-lee looks like her own middle child (Shreematis’ dad) – sorry to confuse you with all these relations. So in other words Mai-lee looks more like a Greek girl than she does a Nepali girl.  When it’s just the two of us in public there is bound to be something unique about us. I didn’t really notice anyone turning heads or exchanging whispers, but it must really be strange for people. I know I’m always trying to figure out things like this in my own head.

Jethi, my oldest on the other hand looks more like me and not much like her mother. She is not as dark as me but for sure is darker compared to Shreemati. While Shreemati was out alone with Jethi one person asked Shreemati once if she was adopted (not directly asked, but in a round about way was trying to figure things out). Being almost five, the oldest is becoming very aware of her mixed race existence. A few months ago she asked me why momma didn’t marry a white man. It took me off guard since it kind of came out of nowhere. Then today she said she wished she had blond hair and blue eyes.

There is nothing harmful in these questions or concerns. Its just a little child asking questions and trying to figure things out. I’ve learned that you just have to speak the truth and remind them of their special place and how much care God took in making them just the perfect little people that they are.  It always ends up in a hug. While Jethi is coming to terms with some of these things, I can’t wait to see the questions Mai-lee and Kanchi ask when their turn comes.

12 responses to “Questions From Mixed Race Kids

  1. I agree that every child has those kind of things they wish they had — whether it’s a different sibling, a different name, or different ethnic features.

    Whenever A and I talk about what we will do if we have difficulty conceiving, we joke about how funny it would be to adopt a kid who looks nothing like either of our ethnicities, then watch people try to figure us out in the supermarket. 🙂

  2. *Sigh…this resonates…
    Your daughters obviously have a very supportive father in you 🙂

  3. My kids seem to resemble whichever parent they are with at the moment. When we are all together, it is so obvious that we are a family that no one seems to care anyway. It is all good.

  4. I remember going places with my mom as a child and experiencing similar circumstances. People always guess I’m Italian, while my mother has red hair/green eyes/fair skin. Growing up I was always asked if she was my step-mom or if I was adopted. The funny thing is that now I’m an adult and people comment on how much we look alike (uhm, what?!).

    • Love in London – yep we do evolve and change. There was a time with my oldest daughter looked like a mini-darker version of my wife. Now she looks very much like my daughter. They change. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience.

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  6. 3monkiesforme

    My kids are mixed too with pale skin and auburn hair like their dad who is Japanese, German, Irish and Greek. I’m Hmong and Chinese and have dark skin tones from my Chinese grandpa. My son looks a little like me, but I notice that people do stare when I have my daughters with me when we are out in public. When my oldest was little she was confused with what race she was and told my mom she was just a “people” LOL.

  7. TheYChromosome

    The wife & I had gone shopping (BTW we are brown & white like you). I had my 3 year old daughter sitting on the shopping cart on an attached child seat up top. I pushed the cart to look at some stuff a bit farther away. At that point, a concerned woman rushed up to my wife saying someone may be attempting to steal her baby!!!

    Points for guessing the race of the actors involved:
    1. Myself
    2. My Wife
    3. Concerned woman.

    Hint: Given the ground reality of how society is structured even in these “post racial” days, there can only be one right answer.

    True story, by the way.

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