Tonight the heart outside my body is breaking

We’ve been together ten years and 7 months. I’ll be 33 soon. Our 6th wedding anniversary is in less than a month – two days after my birthday. He never forgets either.

We’re extraordinarily tall. I’m 6′, he’s got a good 5 inches on me. We love sports, but neither of us played. Which is why it’s funny that most people assume we met as ball players. For some reason that makes being interracial okay. I rarely disabuse people of that notion. It’s easier that way. Safer.

We have two children. Our son is almost 3 and looks so much like his father that milkman jokes take on a new level of irony. Our daughter isn’t even 7 weeks old yet. She’s nursing while I write this. Protected from sunshine, her hand at my breast is as pale as my own.

We’re comfortable – some might even say pushing the edge of wealth. Which is a point of pride because two or three generations back on both sides is poverty. Mine rural, his urban. Our grandparents and parents worked hard. So do we.

And tonight I’m so scared. For my husband, for the son that both resembles and idolizes him. For the conversations I will have to have with the child that my mom never had with my brothers. About how to be less threatening, less tall, less athletic, less urban in appearance. About how the world will demand he be less black. About how there is nothing wrong with him, but he will have to change because other people think there is.

They are my heart, they are outside my body, and tonight that heart is broken.

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14 Comments on “Tonight the heart outside my body is breaking”

  1. So much love for you and yours. I’ve no words.

  2. ProfMomEsq says:

    Sending love and a prayer/wish/hope that our children make this world a better place for generations to come. (((thewholenerdmomfamily)))

  3. I keep telling myself that above all else I will do a good job raising good future citizens who will create a society where this wouldn’t happen. All of us are. We are mothers and fathers and we can do something. xoxo

  4. punkymama says:

    Thank you for being such a clear voice. We have come a long way but we have a long way to go

  5. I just devoured this post. How open and lovely- and I feel for you. I can’t put myself in your shoes because we are all whiter than white, and have never dealt with racial issues personally. But I love you for your strength and honesty- not to mention your beautiful family. XO

  6. Colleen @ The Family Pants says:

    Sending you so much love, mama. You’ve rendered me speechless.

  7. Misty says:

    And cue the tears. I am so sorry. For all of us.

  8. PragmaticMom says:

    I can only offer that I think (and pray) that the world is changing and is less concerned by skin color. The multi-racial kids at our school and neighborhood seem to be accepted for who they are and I hope that will be same for your kids.

  9. Kelly says:

    We have such a long, long way to go… Thank you for sharing these words.

  10. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family – for all black and multiracial families – for the moms who have had to have this talk with their child and for those who face it.

  11. Ann says:

    You all are a perfect family (who have no trouble reaching the top shelf).
    I saw a tweet someone posted on FB that said wouldn’t it to be nice to live in a world where instead one person would offer another person a ride in the rain.

  12. just JENNIFER says:

    I just popped over here because you favorited one of my tweets, and here is this post….

    I have much hope that your children will NOT have to worry about these things you write about. :-)

  13. It’s baffling, in 2013. Hugs to you, mama. That’s all I’ve got. xoxox

  14. Wow, right back at you, lady. A short one (as opposed to my long and rambling one!) that really packed a punch. It brought tears to my eyes. Pinning to favorites.


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