Our three youngest are transracially adopted. This makes for good times and bad times especially when in concerns being out in public together.
When our children were young we saw a lot of what we now refer to as “ping-pong” eyes. As I was pushing the stroller someone would look at me, then down at the baby, then back at me and back down at the baby with a quizzical look on their face.
We often get the “are you their mother/is she your mother” type of questions. When we’ve had enough I sometimes reply, “No, I’m their Nanny.” Cracks my kids up every time.
Today Gracie and I were at Target when we noticed a young Asian girl about ten years of age staring at us…BLANTENTLY AND FOR A PROLONGED PERIOD OF TIME.
Gracie said, “I just want to smack people when they stare at me like that.”
” I know it is uncomfortable to be seen with a slightly overweight middle-aged white woman, I replied with a laugh. “Maybe she was just thinking you are a pretty girl,” I replied trying to lighten the mood and knowing full well that was not the case.
“No she was staring at me because I look different from you,” Gracie said.
“Well, you are probably right but since her family is Asian, and you’re Asian, maybe she hasn’t seen a combination like ours before. Cut her some slack. Or did you ever consider that maybe she was staring at me because I am a beautiful woman?” I said switching tactics.” You know when I was younger people did look at me once in a while.”
“Why, were you wearing funny clothes?” Gracie asked.
“Did your hair look weird?”
“Were you wearing hippie earrings?”
“Were you smoking cigarettes?”
“No, honey, its just that I wasn’t hard on the eyes,” I said with a smile.
To which Gracie replied, “so what happened?” (stab me with an icepick again my sweet child)
“Life, baby, just life”
“So are you telling me that it is all downhill for me? Is that what you are saying? That all I have to look forward to in life is growing up, growing old and getting (sorry mom) out of shape?” (yep, she did it again)
“No baby. You can look forward to getting wiser, becoming stronger, being bolder, forging your own path, finding yourself, doing what makes you happy, learning to be true to yourself, falling in love, learning about what real love is, teaching your children, teaching your grandchildren, learning to look at the world and realizing it is not just black and white, practicing tolerance, having great sex with your partner, making a difference in this world is some small way, finding your spirit,practicing perseverance, learning to be content with what you have, following your dreams, laughing in the face of adversity, being more honest, and loving, loving and loving some more even when you are not sure you have it in you. And if you are lucky you will get to discover all of this and participate in some much that you hadn’t even considered. And you will appreciate and be grateful for this life that you have been given which so many people are denied. Hopefully, you will live your life to the best of your ability and when you will die secure in the knowledge that you made a difference. Yes, it’s all something you have to look forward to, everything except saggy boobs, you don’t have to look forward to that.”