Recently, I was walking down the hallway to my office holding hands with a little boy who needed my help when one of my new co-workers walked by and asked if he was my son. I replied “No, my son is only 3 months” and continued walking, trying to ignore the fact that this particular boy does look an awful lot like me. He is blond with freckles, blue eyes, and pale skin. I know that this person didn’t mean it to be mean or hurtful by asking if he was my son, but it made me a little bit sad because I realized (again) that I won’t ever have children who look like me. Both my kids have dark curly hair and are a darker complexion then I am, and both of them are dark-eyed. I totally get why someone might think the boy I was walking with was related to me – we look alike! But my children don’t look like me, and I didn’t like it being assumed that someone who does look like me must be my child.
I’m finding it hard to come to terms with the fact that I won’t have children who look like me. I know my kids are beautiful, and that they have their own (good) looks. We get compliments all the time about how cute, pretty, handsome, and nice looking they are and while I totally appreciate all the compliments, I know that people look at us and don’t automatically think we are related. I do see some of myself in them. My son has my eye shape and my daughter has my nose, but the obvious physical traits people notice at first glance are all my husband’s.
When my new co-worker asked if the little blonde boy was my son I thought for a moment how easy life would be if my kids looked like me. I thought about how we wouldn’t get stared at in the grocery store, how people wouldn’t make rude comments to us, and how we wouldn’t feel like outsiders in social situations with families who are all the same race. Life would be easier, to an extent, if we were not a mixed race family. But then, I look at Buggy and her little dimples and big round eyes and I see her growing up learning acceptance and tolerance and learning from the awkward and rude situations we face on a weekly (if not daily) basis. I see her brother with his dark curls and big brown cheeks smiling up at me and I know that he will be stronger for having to face adversity due to being biracial. It would be nice not to have to navigate though situations or to try to protect my family from unwanted comments regarding their racial background. It would be nice to have children who look like me. But I love my family so much, and they wouldn’t be mine if they looked just like me.