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One of my favorite memories of Phebe, when she was little, is actually centered around a picture. She had a little friend her age…probably around 5 years old. Her friend was VERY white and Phebe was VERY black. The picture was of just their hands. Her friend saw the picture and asked which hand was hers and which hand was Phebe’s. I remember loving the fact that the color of skin wasn’t noticed even though this little girl knew her colors.

Growing up bi-racial in an all-white community was…well…let’s just say interesting. I was called a few colorful names. I never told anyone. Those names hurt me to the core. I think it’s funny how as I get older my skin seems to get lighter. When I was little I remember wishing I could take a bath in bleach so that I could look like the rest of my family. I would try to stay out of the sun as much as possible just so I didn’t get too dark. The problem was I loved to swim too much to not be in the sun. Now most people don’t even realize I’m part black. Shoot, my husband didn’t even know it until he heard me talking about it a few months after we were married. :-)

My son Abner is quite dark too. He has had some very rude and crude comments said to him over the years. I recall when he was about 6 he came to me and asked what a certain word meant. I asked him where he had heard it. He said his fellow teammate in T-ball had called him that. For me that was a very sad day. I try to protect my children, but sometimes it’s just impossible.

I’m sure a lot of people would think I’m too concerned with color. I don’t really care. I do everything I can to protect my children from cruelty. Today someone stopped by the house to pick something up I was giving away. I wasn’t looking my best so I was going to send Phebe to the door. I suddenly was afraid that the people wouldn’t take it because a black person was giving it to them. So at the last second I sent Abner to the door and told him to be a gentleman. Abner is a bit lighter than Phebe so I was hoping it wouldn’t be a problem. I listened from the living room to the whole conversation. To be honest I was a nervous wreck. I imagined this woman throwing the item away the first chance she got. A couple hours later I received an email from her. She wanted to thank me for the item and to praise my son for having such good manners. WOW! I decided to let her know my fears. She wrote back and said I was a silly woman. That I should be thankful I have such a wonderful son, and that I must be a very good mom to have a son like mine. She agreed that we do live in a very funny world and she understood my fear, but that for her it wasn’t a problem.

Isn’t it funny how we can let our imagination run wild? Well, maybe you don’t, but I sure can at times. We have lived in the Kalamazoo area for almost 2 years now. It just struck me today that since we’ve lived here we only have had one incident concerning color. Maybe it’s time for me to relax a bit about this issue and enjoy where we live.

I’ve wondered many times who will marry my older children. Will they be the same color? I couldn’t care less, but many people don’t feel that way. I love how Moses married a black woman, and God honored their marriage. In fact, he caused Miriam to have leprosy for making fun of his black wife. I wish I could do that sometimes. I pray that my children marry godly spouses. I don’t care what color they are. I also pray that if they are a different race that the extended family will accept them just for whom they are.

So tonight I rest my head…thrilled that we live in an area that accepts my family and go to a church that loves my family! We have quite the array of color. I’m anxious to see what our new little one will look like.

I would love it if she was as dark as her big sister. Boy, wouldn't that turn a few heads. *snicker snicker*


Marlayna Ross said...

I'm really curious to see what my baby will look like too, and whether he'll be light like me or darker like his dad :)