That’s My Family

First…I am over at Dutch Being Me today as her inaugural guest poster on her new Words of Wisdom guest series. I’m talking about my words of wisdom for being a new mom.  Go check me out!

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It’s my first Wednesday of summer vacation and I am excited to bring you yet another Sluiter Nation Recruit!  Don’t know what a Recruit is?  Check it out here.

This week’s recruit is someone who I LOVE!  She is my sista from another mista here on the interwebs.  We found each other over a year ago and have bonded over our hardships and the unfairness of life and how funny it can all be anyway.

I love Dawana because she is not afraid to speak her mind.  Ever.  Sometimes I wish I could be that open and free here on Sluiter Nation, but this is a family-friendly place so I try to keep it clean for our Grandmas and for any students who might end up here.

Anyway, this post means so much to me because we have an interracial extended family.  I have a place in my heart for my girl, Dawana, and I know you will too once you meet her.

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I have to say, I have a potty mouth.

Like, really bad.

So when Katie told me that I could be a recruit (yay, me) and during the week of my wedding anniversary, I was super psyched to say the least. I thought it would be all sweet to write an Ode to my marriage. Then, we went on a family trip and got pulled over by a cop who thought it would be fun to stereotype my family, so I wrote a post about that.

Love me as she may, Katie had to gently let me know that said post had way too many curse words to be published on Sluiter Nation. Not only was I embarrassed, but it made me realize how horribly filthy my mouth can be. I don’t curse all day every day, I promise! Like Katie, I am a teacher, but I teach the little ones. This year I was blessed to have 22 6 & 7-year olds in my midst.

Truly, though, I try to reserve severe cursing for when I get mad. Which I was. Racism is never fun.

Katie suggested that I write about being in an interracial relationship in today’s society and I thought… what do I write? So, here goes nothin’.

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York by a 100% Jamaican family and my husband was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska by a 100% Nebraskan family. His paternal great-great grandfather came over to Nebraska from Switzerland (Sweden? … I often forget- don’t tell him I said that though).

We met at work- he taught P.E., me- fifth grade. It was a whirlwind. Friends, Love, Marriage, Baby and here we are 6 years later. I love my husband. I love my daughter. I love my life. I cannot say that it has been without its interesting moments, though.

My favorite part, I think, about being in an interracial relationship is when we go out together- whether it is to Costco or Chili’s and people think we aren’t together. Never mind that it’s him, me and our daughter. At Costco, we may walk in together and the greeter asks him for his card (we’re together sir) or at Chili’s we may get asked if we are on separate checks (nope, we are on one). That may or may not be weird, maybe other people get asked if they are on separate checks often, but it strikes me as weird every time. I also see the looks that people give my husband sometimes, the “that’s your wife?” look. To which he does not take lightly. I also see the looks they give me if he comes into a store where I’m trying on clothes or a restaurant where I’m already seated and when asked he says he’s looking for his wife.

When my daughter was young, people would often ask me “Is her father white?” or “Is that your daughter?” which, seriously? Aren’t you rude! (I ranted in an entire post here about that)

And really, not everyone is that ignorant. We’ve lived in Florida, California and Colorado and Florida is the place where we feel most at home. No one stares at us (at least not that we notice), no one questions if my daughter is my own.

I don’t think my family is any different from anyone else’s. But to always have to say “we’re together” or “I’m with him” or “I’m his wife”… it gets old. In 2011, the ignorance is still there. Maybe they live in a world where people stay with people of their own race? I don’t know. I don’t even know if it’s racism or just warped views.

It doesn’t get to me for the most part and I’m usually used to it, unless it comes in the form of abuse of power- like the police officer in Nebraska that pulled my family over and was disturbingly rude for no reason.

I guess I worry about my daughter (and any other subsequent children) growing up with ignorant people and being squeezed into a box because someone can’t figure out “what they are.” My husband and I, we are adults and know how to deal with stupid people and when appropriate, we may tell them where to shove it. My daughter, I will have to teach her how to guard herself against stupidity (’cause it’s contagious) and how to handle said stupid people with class.

And really? We don’t think of ourselves as an interracial couple. We are just like any other couple. We love each other deeply, we fight hard, we make up even harder and? we make beautiful babies. What do they say? “Love is blind?” Color blind

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I told you she was super awesome!  Now go follow her blog, A Bittersweet Existence and follow her on twitter.

Need to read more of Dawana’s words now?  Check out these:

She started a series where she “translates” rap lyrics into standard English.  LOVE!  But don’t read if you don’t like rap lyrics.  Because, um…they have “naughty” words. But if you do?  Go read  I Got The Magic Stick.

I love D because she is so honest.  She bares all.  And she does so beautifully in her post, Stripped.  Oh how I relate to the feelings of being “damaged goods” as she calls them.  Sigh.

I also know how she feels in her post Everybody’s Pregnant. I’m pretty sure that dude that got pregnant?  Happened after one of my miscarriages.  There is nothing like the pent up rage that lives in a woman’s soul when she wants to have a baby and can’t.  But it seems everyone else can.

And part of my reason for wanting to Write Away Cancer is so women do not have to go through what she describes in her post The Biopsy.

People?  Dawana is one hardcore awesome chick.  And I love her.

 

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