February 14, 2010

I'm Not The Babysitter - Really

It happened.

Someone thought I was the babysitter today at the playgroup. When I said, "I'm not babysitting, this is my son!" she said, "oh, he looks like his father then." Has she seen his father? No.

Forget the fact Baby has my eyes, my nose, my lips and my ears, he's just a different colour, that's all! And I should probably take it as a compliment that I am right back down to my pre-pregnancy weight; I don't look like someone who just gave birth four months ago. Still, that's no reason to assume I'm not the mommy.

The good thing that came out of it was as it was my first time there, I didn't realize the group seemed to be divided into two cliques: the real mommies and the babysitters. After I yelled out in indignation that Baby was my son, the real mommies started talking to me. Baby made a new girlfriend with a nine month old (he likes older chicks) who was half Japanese, half white (seems a taste for the mixed girls runs in the family). She showered him with sloppy kisses while he smiled like crazy.

I knew it would happen eventually though.

I am of mixed heritage myself. My father is Barbadian and my mother is French-Canadian. As she was a white woman, walking around with two little black babies, people would ask her from where we were adopted from or if she was babysitting and so on. I remember it used to make her cry sometimes. Not out in public, but she would get tears in her eyes replaying the conversation at home. I'm not sure she ever got over the fact her children don't really look like her. (Which is not totally true - my sister looks quite a bit like her. The colour is wrong, yes, but the features are there. You just have to LOOK BEYOND colour.)

I married a white Canadian, of German and Irish heritage, so our child is only 1/4 black. Of course I knew people might be confused when they see me and my son together. I told my mom and she laughed, saying she thought people would have changed by now, but I guess they haven't.

I was a little surprised, but I'm not upset. I do not mind that I don't have the same colour as my son. I know he is mine and he knows I'm his, so that's all that matters. What is probably most comforting to me is that growing up and hearing those ignorant comments from total strangers telling my mom I must be adopted never made me doubt where I came from. Kids don't see colour. I loved my mom regardless and I thought the strangers were total crazies. And I hope my baby thinks exactly like I do.

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