When Milo was born, he had fair skin, he had blonde(ish) hair that often looked ginger because of all the oil we slapped on due to cradle cap! He had blue eyes and he was quite bulky. It started pretty much immediately. The comments and the questions. “Is he going to get darker?”. “Will he stay blonde?”. You know all of the questions that I quite frankly could not answer because I do not have a crystal ball!
I was twenty when I gave birth and when I got these types of comments I often laughed and shrugged them off which I think was due to me not feeling confident as a young Mother and also because yes he was fair. In hind sight with a lot more experience, actually what I should of replied with was exactly what I said above “I do not have a crystal ball and does it matter either way?”. People would constantly ask why is his hair so blonde? How am I meant to answer that question?
Maybe that is me being touchy and slightly more sensitive than I need to be. I guess it is natural to feel curious about what your babies will look like a little later down the line. But when you are slandered and questioned all of the time, this is what happens. And may I add, why do I need to discuss this with strangers and so forth.
As Milo got older, he got darker and his eyes went from blue to green to brown. He developed beautiful curls and we was rarely asked about his heritage.
When people hear the ‘mixed race’ title I think people automatically build up a picture in their heads of what that it is. Technically the boys father is mixed race even though some may think it is not necessary to state this as he is more Caribbean than Caucasian. I personally think he should identify himself as mixed race as it almost disregards his heritage and his ancestry. Exactly the same way as I should identify that part of my ancestors are from Jamaica.
When Oscar was born. The questions started in the same way. Questioning his hair, eye and skin colour. The common comments I’d get is ‘ mixed race babies get darker with time’. Our health visitor kept asking us if Miles was Oscar’s father. She kept emphasizing that Oscar looked very ‘white’ and that he had almost no ‘black’ features. She visited home again and looked for conformation in her colleague that Oscar was pale, unlike his father and that he did not resemble Caribbean people. She even said to Miles are your sure Oscar is yours. Which I think is very insensitive.
When we have attended various appointments together with Oscar and the health professional never wants to speak to Miles and almost stutters when asking if Miles is his father. Of course there is a second variable in this and that is that I am the Mother and he is the Father. Maybe this is why?
On social media we have had a mass of messages and comments asking if Milo and Oscar are ‘full’ brothers. People often start their messages with your children are beautiful (buttering me up), do your children have the same Dad?. Ok, I have an open profile so I should expect questions such as this but just to let you know that these types of questions often get declined and deleted immediately. I really do pride myself with speaking to you all and replying to all of the messages I receive. However, if the nature of the message is as above, I will not reply because I am sick of it.
Additionally, I get messages telling me that I have been unfaithful and that I need to admit that Oscar is not Miles’s baby because he has blonde hair and blue eyes. In my head it makes sense that Oscar can have light eyes. I have green eyes, my mum has grey/blue eyes, my father has blue eyes and Oscar’s other Nanny has green eyes who is also mixed race.
I personally hope that Milo and Oscar do not need to face the silliness about whether they are or are not mixed race. They need to be educated about all of their heritage and need to recognize and identify themselves as both of their direct backgrounds. I want them to both feel that they do not need to justify why they look the way they do. People need to accept everyone for the way they are.
Is it that hard?