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What it Means to Raise a Colored Child

I can’t count how many times we were brought to the limelight because, for some compelling reason, people would stare at my boy, say with astounding rumor, “Uuuy, anak ng Negro” (Wow, son of a Nigger).

I cannot imagine how my facial expression is at that time and I don’t always know what to do. So I put on a big smile towards my boy and walk away completely- save the chastise.

Hey, I don’t have murder in my heart and I cannot blame them. It’s even tolerable in Manila compared to when we lived in Bangkok because, here, all I’d get are amusing stares. We stayed several years in Thailand where my boy grew up until we moved home; he was 20 months. Every weekend I’d take him in his stroller for our morning walks and I’d get stares, glares, and complaints on why my boy didn’t get clear skin like Mommy’s, straight and smooth hair like everyone else’s, or why I even like black, oh and did I know blacks are dirty and stinky, etc.

And because I’ve enough Thai language to understand and talk back, I tell them politely how beautiful my boy is and how I’ve found a jackpot of a husband- the kindest, most patient, most handsome- to last me this lifetime. End of the conversation. Walk out.

See, I don’t get how people can think it is absolutely fine to comment things on color, on complexion, or explain what they think about you right to your face. Gosh, I can’t even imagine why and how people think they have a say on how you parent. Makes me have this horrible, horrible, anxious thought, that when my boy finally grows up, there’ll be more of this sick, stupid judgment.

For now, be still, my heart.

For now, and until forever, I’ll tell my boy everyday that everything he is, is beautiful, loved.

For books on racial diversity, check out my personal recommendations:

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