Things I wish I could say to people who comment on my interracial family

“In the future everyone will be beige like your kids, and racism won’t seem like such a big deal.”
“In the future everyone will be beige like your kids, and racism won’t seem like such a big deal.”
Image: Reuters/Mike Segar
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“Were your families against your marriage because of, you know, the race thing?”

Why, since you asked, let me tell you all about our intra-family race politics in great and excruciating detail! Because that is precisely the sort of simple, carefree, and not-at-all-personal topic I love to discuss with strangers I’ve only just met at a dinner party.

“I’ve found that the farther apart their native countries, the more interesting the couple.”

Yes, ours is truly a story for the ages. Just like a modern-day Michener novel, had Michener ever decided to write about a fascinating interracial couple who met at a BBQ at the university they both attended in the country they are both from.

“With your backgrounds, your daughter is like a poster baby for the UN.”

That is actually why we decided to have a baby. “Now there will be peace in our time,” we said. Still waiting on that one; had another biracial kid in the meantime just to make sure we were doing our part.

“She’s yours? I thought you were the babysitter.”

Oh, I am the babysitter. “Mama” is just her adorable nickname for me.

“Hmmm, they don’t really look anything like you, do they?”

Indeed, I often find myself gazing at them and asking myself, Who are these children? Are we related? Why do they keep following me around? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve clean forgotten whether or not I was even physically present for that combined forty-five hours of unmedicated labor. Fortunately they are both just super great about following me home when I have these little forgetful spells about whether or not they belong to me. They’re such good kids! Whoever they are.

“They must take after their dad.”

Shhhhh, please, I have a pretty good idea who their father is—let’s just say I’ve narrowed it down!—but I would prefer not to talk about it in front of them until I’m absolutely sure. Thank you so much, I knew a person as sensitive as you would understand.

“What are they, exactly?”

I see human…children? Oh, god, is that not what you see? Usually they only transform at night, and then only under a waxing gibbous moon, but it’s possible they just got excited when they saw you gaping at them for so long. They like to show off, you know. Stop that, guys, you know it makes people stare and ask me ridiculous questions! 

“In the future everyone will be beige like your kids, and racism won’t seem like such a big deal.”

I believe that children are our future / teach them well and let them lead the way / but you’ll still need to talk with them about racism because we live in a fundamentally prejudiced society and multiracial families have no power to magically undo generations of aggressive white supremacy

“I think kids are so much cuter now that more people are mixing up their cultures.”

Right? Monoracial people—like me for example!—I mean, gross. This was definitely the foremost thought in my mind when I met my spouse, fell in love, and decided to build a life with him—all I could focus on was how adorable our progeny were going to be because of the culture-mixing! I insisted that we put it on our wedding invitations: You are invited to share in our joy as we mix our cultures for the sake of beautiful children. Reception to follow. It led to some rather awkward moments with our wedding guests, of course, but I don’t believe in living with regrets. It was Our Day!