An ordinary (transracial parent) rant
Ordinary is one of the words of the week. We play with words at our house. A list is a challenge. A game in the making.
Mary Baba was not an ordinary girl.
Gummy bears for breakfast is not an ordinary request.
Correct, it is not ordinary for you to wear matching socks.
A merry-go-round in the mall, is beyond the ordinary indeed!
Yesterday an all too ordinary exchange jarred and pickled me more than ordinarily. It went like this:
A swim instructor: Are you Sam’s mom?
Instructor: Good. Then I would register him for the next level he is ready for…
Fantasy Me: Who the &%#?! else could I be?
For six weeks you’ve watched us come in together.
You’ve seen me dig into my bag for his goggles.
And glare at him when he doesn’t mind you.
Watched as I almost fell in trying to catch his big dive on film.
How about when he calls me MOMMY?
Beaming with pride because he can now swim
in all of his beautiful Blackness from one end of the world
to the other.
Unassisted by you.
It’s a drag is all.
On us. That folks can’t just assume
when they see us being as ordinary mother and son as it gets-
that that is just what we are.
I have learned that it is much better to err on the side of the familial:
She must be his mom,
Or he must be his dad.
Because then if I am wrong the good natured auntie, caregiver, teacher or friend can say;
“Oh no. I am not his mother, but how lucky I’d be if I were…”
Instead of having to rage silently inside that:
- YES. And he is BLACK and I am NOT.
And you noticed.
Aren’t you OBSERVANT?
Thank you for reminding him, me, everybody
that we are not just ordinary as a family
- through your unextraordinary eyes.