Talking about Race Takes an Unexpected Turn.

This morning, Daniel, my three-year-old sweet and wild child was having breakfast after waking up unusually late. My (almost!) one-year-old baby gal Penelope had been awake for hours and was happily crawling around the living room. So I took my cup of coffee in the kitchen so I could spend some time with Daniel while he ate.

He’s a really curious child (like most, right?) and always asks a ton of questions, which we try to answer as honestly and accurately as we can. Even if we have to Google it. Even if I haven’t had quite enough coffee to keep my eyes all the way open. He takes a bite of his waffle, holds my hand and asks, “Hmmm, what color is your skin?”

So, in my head I’m like, OK. Put your game face on. Your kid has some questions about race and now is the time to really mold his precious little mind to be inclusive and know that everyone is equal. This is not a drill. 

Me: Hmm, well, some might say it’s white. [Some might say ghostly Irish pale] What do you think?

Daniel: I think it’s kind of… pink-y!

Me: Yeah! I can see how you would see that. What color is your skin?

Daniel: It’s pink-y too!

Me: Yeah! It is. Some people have skin that looks different than ours, don’t they?

elainahdtilt
Miss Elaina from Daniel Tiger

Daniel: Yeah. Like, what colors?

Me: Hmm. Well, like brown?

Daniel: Yeah! Like Miss Elaina!

Yes! Yes! YES! This is going great. Screen time is not bad. It obviously promote diversity and free thinking. I am an excellent parent! 

Me: Very good observation! Miss Elaina’s skin looks a little different than ours. Some people have brown skin or black skin, some people have pink-y skin like ours. But, we’re all the same on the inside.

At this point, Daniel’s jaw drops and he gasps.

Daniel: IS THERE SOMEONE INSIDE OF YOU? …is there something inside of me? IS IT A TYRANNOSAURUS?!

Nailed it. Pass the coffee. I’m going to need another cup.af85f51460f1e66a379c47b4c5d0ff0c

 

 

Published by Farrah

Farrah Alexander is a writer whose work focuses on feminism, parenting, social justice, politics, and current events. Her work has been featured in Huffington Post, BUST, and Scary Mommy. Her commentary has been discussed in Scientific American, Buzzfeed, Refinery 29, Yahoo, Hello Giggles, Woke Sloth, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Perez Hilton, Daily Mail, BBC, and others. Her debut book RAISE THE RESISTANCE: A Mother's Guide to Practical Activism is forthcoming from Mango set to release in the Fall of 2020. As an advocate for gun reform, she previously served on the board of Whitney/Strong, a non-profit founded by mass shooting survivor Whitney Austin. She now is a member of the Everytown Author's Council, which was designed to "harness the power of the literary community to amplify the gun safety movement." She lives outside Louisville, Ky. with her husband, son, and daughter.

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