In case it hasn’t been completely evident by now to the 5 people that read this blog that are also not my friends and family – I am in a cross-cultural, multi-racial, dual-gender, bi-ethnic relationship. My husband is Caucasian – a POWG (plain old white guy), and I am Indian – a DOBG (deaf old brown girl).
Our two kids look a little like one of those United Colors of Benetton ad – but at first glance do look a lot like my end of the ethnic spectrum – having inherited the genetic juggernaut of brown hair and brown eyes (suck it blond hair and green eyes). Recently there was a lot in the news about kids being removed from their birth parents because they look very different so I want to go on record to state that Dave has been involved with everything – starting with conception! We got family pictures taken recently and Maya commented how “Wow…Dad is …ummm….quite pale“!! And it did really look like we had adopted him from a Russian orphanage!
So while Dave has had the occasional stranger look askance at him in grocery stores and on airplanes when he’s alone with the kids, and one lady ask if Maya was adopted (seriously!!), he’s also had some unforeseen benefits. When the kids are throwing massive temper tantrums he has turned to me and said- “Ma’am, can you please keep your kids under control” – well played Dave!!
The only time I’m overtly aware of my kids’ mixed ethnicity is when I’m filling out health forms because I recognize that certain genetic traits are related to ethnicity and so I’m very meticulous when providing doctors and nurses with information. Most of the time I just check both boxes for Caucasian and Asian in these forms. Now, before you say “Well, YOU’RE not Asian” – ummmm… yes I am!! None of the forms have South East Asian as a category and I am not a Pacific Islander or European… that makes me Asian!! It’s a big ass continent so just deal with it!!
However, one time, a doctor’s office insisted that by checking two boxes I would break their computer system – probably the same system in charge of getting the Healthcare.gov site up and running – and so it was absolutely necessary that I choose one. I’m sorry…. how would you suggest I do that? I’m all Indian, my husband is Western European mutt – so my kids are ….. a genetic gumbo! Or perhaps more appropriately – an ethnic mulligatawny!
I could choose based on color of skin (me) or hair (me) or eyes (me) or general slothiness (me) or ability to raise procrastination to an art form (me) or being extroverted (me) or optimism (me) or love of movies (me). But there are some huge ways in which the kids resemble Dave. They are all nose bleeders- like gushing, arterial spray, Dexter crime scene style, nose bleeders. Beans give all three of them wicked gas – I, on the other hand, have the constitution of a cement mixer! They can kick my ass in board games – all the time! And they share the same eye rolling technique – usually accompanied by heavy sighs – I’m the lucky recipient on many occasions. How can a checked box cover all these differences?
Now, the one way thing they have inherited from both of us – something that has just started manifesting itself in random ways – is their sense of humor. Recently we were at a party and I was holding my friends’ little 2 month old beautiful baby boy – is there any better joy in the world than to hold a sleeping baby and know that if it wakes up and cries or needs a diaper change you can just hand it back to it’s parents! Anyway, so I think I was holding this baby for about 15 minutes and he was sleeping and my blood pressure had dropped and all was right with the world – when Adam came charging up and demanded “Hey!! Who is that?!“. And Maya – without missing a beat – deadpanned – “that’s the baby she’s replacing you with“!! I didn’t know whether to be horrified or proud! I’ve decided to go with cautiously proud!
For the Weekly Writing Challenge