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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