I don’t pretend to understand what it means to be black, nor can I understand what it means to grow up and have to find a balance between being white and black. It will be a series of trials and missteps and there will be many things that I get wrong. What I know I can do for my girls is teach them to be good people, and to be compassionate and giving to others. That is my job.
A report came out yesterday that stated there are less interracial marriages than in years past. I didn’t try and read between the lines to determine if this was good or bad, but it stayed with me. Because to me this—us—is normal, and it’s now gotten to a point where I have to remind myself that it’s not normal for everyone. I find a lot of joy in our normality, and from the time Khary and I started dating I have been able to have tunnel vision and block out the moments when people around us are surprised. Here in the Bay Area, there are not often surprises. But I’m aware that we live in a bubble and I need to prepare my girls when it pops. Or explodes. We won’t know until it happens, but they’ll need to know to hold on when the boat is rocked, and how to manage the shitstorm that follows.
Years ago a friend of mine asked if Khary was my type, and I couldn’t answer right away. I had never really considered dating a black man prior to Khary. When we did start dating it was not because of or in spite of the fact that he was black. It was because he was Khary. We had been friends for years and so once we finally got together it felt right. The question of race didn’t come up for another year, once we started talking about children. I have to admit that it made me stop and really consider what it meant to be a white mom and whether I would always have a disconnect with my children. Khary convinced me, rightly so, that our kids would love me no matter what. Identity could be an issue at one point but if there is a question on the part of our girls, it will never be a question of choice, him or me. They will love us both unconditionally, and that is what matters. The rest—the questions, the boat and the shitstorm, we will deal with as a family.