Race: Aiming for August

My husband and I have been together for 12 years now! It’s definitely a long time but even longer when I mention the fact that we’ve been together since we were 14 and 15 years old. Yep, we’re high school sweethearts! As teens, our relationship had the typical trivial issues: jealousy, immaturity, etc. We were very fortunate to not have had to worry about society’s issues with our relationship. I’m black, my husband is white. Although we’ve addressed and noticed our racial differences, we never really had any negative attention from members of society. We were raised in a somewhat diverse suburb in Houston, Texas. We were blessed to be exposed to people of all different races, sexualities, and religions. Our families (for the most part) have always been supportive of our relationship and our matrimony. We’ve been really fortunate but now that we have a family of our own, we know that there is more to an interracial relationship than just the two of us.

After a couple of years of marriage, we decided to start a family. When making this decision, we never thought or knew of the scrutiny and repercussions that multiracial children face. Recently, I’ve read several articles that have depicted life from a multiracial person’s shoes. One article was about a celebrity that was told multiple times that she wasn’t black by members of the black community. She is biracial with very prominent African American features. Another article was about a young boy’s suicide fueled by bullies that made fun of his biracial identity. Finally, I read an article discussing one woman’s identity crisis where she (and most of society) couldn’t decide if she was black or white. When we decided to have children, I honestly never thought of any of these problems for my own children.

We currently have one sweet little toddler girl. She is the perfect mix of me and her father. She has my nose and my sass. She has her father’s eyes and his zest for life. She has deep chocolate brown eyes, a head full of curls, and a forever tan complexion. As I said, she’s the perfect mix but that doesn’t stop people from asking questions such as “Is she yours?” or “Are you the nanny?”. Of course no one asks when our family is all together but when it’s just the two of us, I tend to expect questions. Though it’s super annoying to me, I’ve learned to laugh it off or say a witty comment. Though, I do wonder how these comments are going to affect my daughter as she gets older. We’re also expecting a baby boy literally any day now! I’ve wondered about he’s going to navigate his feelings regarding his racial identity as well.

As the mother of biracial children of opposite genders, I have an important job on my hands. I have to make sure that me and my husband uplift, motivate, and educate our children. We have to make sure that they are exposed to every ounce of diversity, learning both aspects of my culture and his. We, as parents, are responsible for praising our children’s differences while also highlighting our familial similarities. We have so much to teach them about their role in society and no matter what, we have to make sure that they feel worthy. As parents, this is what we must do. It is all we really can do. We plan to give our children the support and motivation that our families once gave us. We know that times are changing and racial controversies are taking place on a daily basis. Right now, we truly hope that we are teaching our children to love themselves and to fight for what’s right.

Erica is the wife of her best friend and the mother of 2 babies, a little girl and a baby boy. She currently resides in the heart of Houston, Texas and works as a Postpartum Registered Nurse. Erica loves watching TV on Netflix, eating sweets, and exploring the city! Learn more about her on her blog, www.aimingforaugust.com, where she writes about modern motherhood, life, and style.

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