December 10, 2016
It seemed so black and white when they asked if I could care for this little boy who had nowhere else to go. I never thought to ask the color of his skin. That question did not enter my mind. All I knew was, he was a child in need of a mother, and here I was, a mother with a lot of love to give. What else mattered?
And mostly, it hasn’t mattered. Most days, I never give it a second thought. Occasionally, I will see a photo of the two of us together, or I will catch a glimpse of the two of us in a mirror, and it sort of takes me by surprise that we look so different – me with my milky complexion and he with his milk-chocolate brown one. But then the moment passes, and we go back to the only thing that is truly important . . . the fact that I am his mother and he is my son.
Ever since he was a tiny baby, since the day I first met him lying in that hospital bed, I knew that I would need to care for this little boy a bit differently that I cared for my older son – my White son who is now grown. I knew that I would need to take extra care to keep his skin well-moisturized and his black curly hair buzzed close. But other than that, I barely noticed our differences. I know how to love and nurture and train and teach him. What else do I need to know?
He is almost 8 years old now, and I am starting to realize that maybe it is not so black and white after all. Or in truth, maybe it is more Black and White than I originally thought. I can no longer be naïve and pretend that the color our skin, the differences in our looks, do not matter.