One of These Things is Not Like the Other
We have been talking about race in our house a lot lately. I am technically “Caucasian” but have Native American and Dutch heritages. I’ve heard family stories that if my great-grandpa would have gotten on the Indian registers we could have had our babies for free, but no such luck. The monkey is Hispanic, which is actually debatable. I said something to my ex-in-laws one time about them being Mexican and you’d have thought I called my ex-father-in-law a serial killer because he yelled, “We’re Hispanic, from Spain!”. I had no idea. I obviously still don’t. I’d like to see how far back my ex-in-laws can track their ancestors to see when and how exactly they came from Spain.
Anywho, it’s always been weird to mark a box on a school application because really, does anyone fit in a box? How specific do I need to be? I usually mark two – – Caucasian and Mexican. Shhhhh, don’t tell my ex-father-in-law, but what do I know? I have also on occasion said, “mutt”, which probably shouldn’t, but makes me laugh. Cranky Pants (Shelby) was talking to my cousin Cindi about trying out for West Side Story and Cindi asked her which part she was going for. Cranky Pants said, “I have no idea, I’m a mutt.” For those of you that don’t know, West Side Story is a modern-day Romeo and Juliet about a Puerto Rican and Caucasian and how their “gangs” don’t approve of the union. And for those that wanted to know, she’s a Jet, which is the Caucasian side. She said, “Well, at least now I know that I’m white”. That Cranky Pants is funny!
The whole conversation of race in our house started when I got an e-mail from the Hispanic Scholarship Fund about how to plan for college. I told Cranky Pants that I wanted to go to the informational meeting because it would probably have really good information. She was mortified that her white mother would want to take her to something that the Hispanic Scholarship Fund was giving and she thought I would stick out. You think? Well, guess what? Who cares. I told her if she could get a scholarship for being Hispanic, then that’s what she is; if she gets one for being white, then that’s what she is. I told her that she’ll be whatever she needs to be in order to get a scholarship and then she said, “So now I’m black?” Well, we probably couldn’t pull that one off, but she’ll be whatever’s going to get her the best scholarship. She’s a sophomore, but they already have scholarships available. Sometimes it’s too much. She’s freaking out because there’s so much to think about, and it’s just going to get worse the closer it gets.
To make her feel better, I called her school to make sure it was okay to go to the informational meeting and the counselor said that it’s just put on by the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, but not exclusively for Hispanics. So I’m all set and I RSVP’d that we speak English just in case we’ll need a translator.
Final Thoughts From Christy: Here’s what I know – – race is not a big deal in our house, never has been. My kids are on the tan spectrum and look nothing like me, especially when they get back from Oklahoma in the summer and they’re even more brown than usual. I know that I look like the nanny when we go out together especially now that I’m a single mom. I also know that I love those little suckers no matter how brown they get, and even if they don’t look like me, they sure do act like me. God help them!