Thursday, July 28, 2011

I know they wonder what's up.

So, we were at the pool yesterday...
(don't all my stories start like that lately? Eh, whatever... it's summer!)
and I was sitting in the shallow part with #5 and baby boy.
They were "swimming" all around, jumping on my back, generally having fun.

My mom calls me a "kid magnet" so I generally don't notice when some random small person begins to invade my space.

Well, this really cute little bug in a pale green and white paisley swimsuit with long blonde hair and GIANT goggles comes over to hang out near us... then she says...

and points to #5 - who is face down in the water, flailing and unwittingly freaking the lifeguards out.
"Yes, she is!" I replied.

Eyebrows raised, looking confused, she accuses...
"But... she's BLACK!!" 

(at this point... I was too surprised to be offended, besides she was like 5 years old and probably unfamiliar with any non-white people.)

"Yep...she is! Isn't it cool??", I replied.

She mumbled something under her giant goggles and hung out nearby while I acknowledged several "dives", "floats" and "hey mom, watch!" shouts.

Then she says "Are you sure? She looks like she belongs with THEM over THERE..." and points at a black family nearby.

Seriously. She did! I know! Me too! I was like, ooooh girl...

Then baby boy jumps on my back and says "Mommy! Watch!"

(insert completely mind-blown small child here.)

"Is THAT your SON??" she accuses. Again.

"Yes... he is my son! Isn't he cute?" I replied. Getting slightly amused with myself at this point.

I cut her off by telling baby boy to stop drinking salt water.
It's a good colon cleanser, in case you are wondering... but that's not awesome at the pool.

Then... my favorite part...
#4 swims over... he's slightly tanned from 2 months of outdoor play... but nowhere near the espresso shade of the littles.
"Hey mom! Watch me do a flip under the water!"

Her poor little brain couldn't take it!
She tilted her head, looked confused...
and swam away.

I, of course, started laughing...

So, what do you think?
Did I handle it well?
I didn't feel like segregating my children into "adopted" vs "non-adopted", or whatever... for the sake of her learning process. I didn't think getting into the reasons why my children look like they do would be good for them to overhear, even if it might make her a less-offensive little girl in the future. We just wanted to swim and play and do flips and puke salt water  have fun... but not launch into an adoption education spiel with a very young, obviously un-diversified little girl.

And the rest of the pool evening was uneventful!


  1. again- i am just preparing via your social interactionns. I guess i would have just said to her "yep cute kids and families come in all colors!" I am in the deep South BUT i am in a very diverse city (maybe one of the three diversecities in SC)- where mixed families are more common....but iam gearing up for awkward social interactions- so keep yours coming so I will no what to do :).

  2. ack "so i will *KNOW* what to do" yikes...that typo is probably forshadowing of me doing the wrong things

  3. That's what I would have done for what it's worth. I had one of those kind of moments but with an adult when K was little

  4. This is really funny! I think people do things like that about my family all the time! My husband is from Ecuador...I am clearly white...and my daughters are Ethiopian. People are always looking at us like, "could those girls have possibly come from those two?"...I want to yell at them....NO....The oldest is 12 and the youngest 9...I am not even 30....NO...I did not have a baby when I was 17!!! We also have two blonde foster children...that really messes people up! We leave a crowd of confused people behind everywhere we go in our small southern town!


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