Recently, my family made the trek from Houston to Austin for the one-year birthday party for the twins of one of my oldest friends. [aside: Texas geography lesson coming up]. I knew that Pop Culture Toddler wouldn’t be the only biracial child there, because the G twins are also biracial. That meant there would be at least three biracial kids there. I knew the odds were that there would be at least a couple more, but I had no idea that we would be attending the unofficial Texas biracial baby convention.
From the second we walked in the door, we were surrounded by swirly toddlers. There were the two cuties at the craft table, who were undoubtedly part-black despite the fact that they were sitting with their white mother. There was the British couple in the corner (mom black, father white) with their gorgeous six month old daughter. There was the blonde “black” kid with the dreadlocks. There was the mother who appeared to be herself biracial or maybe Jewish (close call) with her two children, one of whom appeared to be Hispanic, the other of which appeared to be half-black (they were both, in fact, half-black). There was my friend’s cousin, who I hadn’t seen in over a decade, with her daughter who was undoubtedly half-white (confirmed after I met the hubby). It was amazing! And I swear more and more biracial kids popped up after our arrival. Even better, most of these kids were generally my daughter’s age.
At one point, my friend checked on the hubby and I to see if we were having fun, and I confirmed that not only were we having a great time (well worth the three-and-a-half hour drive), but props to her on filling her house and backyard with so many mixed kids. Her response was something to the effect of, “Wild, right? It’s like a little Swirly Baby Convention!” That was the perfect description.
I know that biracial families are not unusual these days. As I’ve previously blogged, even the media (PBS Kids in particular) is starting to catch on that families these days look a little different from what people may have seen 10 or 20 years ago. I know that my daughter is not even the only biracial child in her classroom. That all being said, I have seriously, never in my life, seen that many biracial couples or children in one place at one time, and I loved every minute of it.
My daughter isn’t yet at the stage where she’s aware of race, but she has learned her colors, and she is smart enough to observe differences in people’s appearances. I know that when she says “Mommy, brown. Daddy, white. Caitie, white,” she’s merely reciting colors (and she hasn’t yet learned “beige” or any other fancier color descriptions like “raw sienna”). I know that when she sees a picture of a darker Hispanic girl with curly hair, points to it and says her best friend’s name, she’s not being unintentionally racist; she really thinks it looks like her friend (who, incidentally, is also biracial/multicultural). At some point, these observations will turn into awareness of differences. While I hope this “some point” is later rather than sooner, I’m glad that it seems there will be enough kids around her age with family makeups like her own that it won’t seem so unusual to her. Too bad almost all of these particular kids live so far away.
Speaking of… Check my next post for a Texas geography lesson.
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