Kristen’s right…dare to mention race at anything above a whisper and shocked silence will drop like stones around you.
“I am at a playdate with a group of other moms. There is a new mom there, and we are making small talk, as people do. She asks about the ages of my kids, and I ask about hers. Then she asks which children are mine – and glances out at the playground, where about 20 kids of similar age are playing.
‘My daughter is the blond there, in the pink dress…with the ponytail. And the other one is the blond toddler on the ladder. And my sons are the two black boys.’
She looks like a deer in the headlights. A couple other moms look stunned, too. Someone pipes in to explain that my children are adopted, but I feel like what she’s really trying to do is rescue me from my guffaw. I quietly wonder why I feel like I have to play the ‘descriptor dance’ whenever pointing out my boys at school pickup or after church. Why do I have to list 5 descriptors when one is the most obvious? Especially when they are so often the minority, why do I have to skirt around it and describe their shirt, their hair, their age…when referring to their race cuts to the chase?”