Thursday, October 20, 2011
Dad! Mom's a Black Lady!
A couple of weeks ago, Baby D picked out a photo of two children in Time Out New York (its how he plans his weekends). Pointing to the young black girl sitting next to her young white male counterpart in the picture, Baby D exclaimed, "Mommy!". He has gone on to do this with other photos in books and magazines, always picking out the brown-skinned young woman or girl in the background (never women appearing my age - the kid knows how to flatter a gal!).
Two things struck me about this little demonstration:
1.) He never picks out the white male and says "Daddy!", even when his dad is holding the magazine.
2.) I've been Black this whole time, and he's just now mentioning this.
The photos in which he spots the Black Waldo Mommy in the crowd always feature the subject with her head turned. He is probably guessing that its me based on the skin color and hairstyle. He never says it when he can see the woman's face. Come on! The kid is sharp - he recognizes his own parents!
What I would really like to know is what hue he associates himself with. Does he think he is brown like Mommy? Or more like Daddy because of his fair skin? I refuse to put him into a box but I would love to know how he thinks of himself.
I'm watching his identity form right before my eyes. I'll admit that this process is fascinating. And undoubtedly very complex.