July 12, 2007 by multiracialsky
Yesterday we spent the day as a family at the big lakes. The kids loved the swimming, writing and digging in the sand, making nests and recipes with smooth lake rocks, climbing up and jumping down sand dunes, and trying to catch minnows in their hands.
There were no people of color at either lake (besides our family). We walked along the edge of one lake to get to our spot, my husband far in front carrying Teri, then Jaja, then me carrying Gretel, and finally Rico. As Jaja passed this older guy drinking a beer, he said to her (pointing to Teri), Your little sister’s way up there. And my other little sister’s there, Jaja said without a pause, pointing right behind her to Gretel in my arms.
He sure did a double take then. He had put Jaja and Teri together as sisters because of their skin-tones, but he wasn’t so sure about Gretel. We actually got that a couple of times, people not wanting to believe all four of the children were ours. The girls are wearing matching bathing suits, I wanted to yell; all three of the older kids had matching fleeces and baseball hats. Somehow the physical cues that would normally indicate family are completely overshadowed by our widely varying skin-tones.
After dinner we wandered around, migrating towards some live music we could hear. We came around a corner and there was a three-piece band and a woman singing–and a large multiracial family (or 2?) sitting in the crowd of 30 listening to the music. The family group appeared to include biological and adopted children, multiracial and monoracial people. The mothers and their older children smiled at our kids and pointed out Teri, who was dancing to the tunes. We settled ourselves in the grass and listened to several songs, until our ice cream cones had melted and it was time to go home.
In the car driving back to the cottage, I said to my husband, Okay, so it’s not all in my imagination. Sitting there next to that family, while listening to the music, made it that much better. I was able to relax knowing there was another family sitting just behind us who believed in some of the same (some of the most important) things we believe.
I can only imagine how it will be when every time we go out, there will be families of color, and likely other multiracial families, present.
Multiracial community, here we come.