Race: Ana Nelson

It's skin deep.

June 30th, 2007 wedding bells rang and a new life of marriage was created. A decade. 10 whole years. That's how long we've been married since then, I was 16 years old and my husband was 19... yeah I know we were young but can you believe we're still together and madly in love? Thank you Jesus. 


This year we celebrated this wonderful event and we stayed up late night thinking back on the last years and how much we have grown as a married couple and as individuals. As we stayed up thinking, many memories ran through my mind and I started remembering all the hardships, (not sure why such sad things came to mind on such a happy day) I guess it was just years that created this life. The hardships that created the bond we have.

I'm Mexican, as in born in Mexico and my husband is white he was born in the Northwest. We met in Highschool my Jr year and we got married that same year. So you could say we are Highschool sweethearts. 

Being married to a "white boy" was such a huge deal on my side because everybody knows white peoples are rich. Sarcasm. So many family members asked how much money my 19 year old husband had, we lived in a basement then. Hint hint. None the less the remarks that I had married my white husband for a green card or his huge mansion I had yet to see we're coming in loads and to this day come without warning. To make things worse my husband had to endure some things on his side not only claiming he had mixed his blood with something equal to a dog but he was given the advise to sign a prenuptial agreement. Again we lived in a basement at the time, not sure what they were fighting over. I was constantly asked if I married him for money or a green card. I was advised to not have the child I was carrying. He was constantly asked why he even married outside his race. Being married to someone of another race is hard.. if you allow their words to penetrate your heart and marriage. We quickly realized that if we wanted our marriage to work we just had to ignore them. Between my husband and I it wasn't a huge deal, I mean sure there were tons of cultural differences but nothing that we fought over. We thought all the remarks were over and done with, until we had children. 

The following year we welcomed a baby girl. 

I remembered the time that I was eight months pregnant with her, my husband and I walked in to an arcade and an elderly white woman frowned at me (not only because I was 16 and pregnant) she looked at my husband and said,     " how dare you mix your race like a dog". Nope, I'm not kidding and yes those word hurt. All I remember was crying my eyes out. I remember a few days before we had our first daughter a family member said, "I hope she takes after our families skin color". On my side many relatives prayed, no joke that my daughter looked white because white is prettier. Almost every time we had family gatherings someone made commmet about how much lighter my daughter was getting and how pretty it was, and they always said, "maybe your next child will have colored eyes and white skin". 

Two years later we decided to have our second baby. 


we were told, " you guys are having to many mixed kids, mixed children get confused". Ummm ok as if I could choose what one would be full Mexican and what one should be all white. My second daughter looking even more Mexican, her skin color was significantly darker and my husband loved it and did I. We got a "maybe the next time you will get lucky", comment.  I'm not sure if it's a cultural Hispanic thing or just the crazies that surrounded me but in the Hispanic culture there is an obsession with having fair skin and light eyes. I had an uncle once tell me that he was glad I married white because my kids will be better looking. I'm one of three dark skinned children in the whole family on my mother's side and we were constantly told we were to dark... the fair skinned cousins were the "prettiest" and the adults weren't afraid to say it outloud. So this whole white skin thing isn't new to me. Regardless of their ignorance we tried for baby number 3. 

Years passed and we had our third baby and this time, according to them; we got lucky. 

 

Many times I'm asked how it feels to have a "white" baby. I'm never sure how to answer this question because to me he's my baby who happens to take after his father. Just like our two daughters took after me. If I had a penny for every time someone asked me if he was my son, I'd be rich and he's only three months old. Many times I'm asked if my husband was my daughters step father and our son his bio child. 

I never want my children to feel that their skin color is ugly because someone decided it was. I never again cried due to other people's comments about being married to a white man for his money or green card. My husband proudly shred pictures of all 3 of his children with all different shades of color. Now as an adult I educate those who have things to say about dark skin on the works of skin pigmentation and genes. I proudly teach my children about the beauty of being a family with two cultures. 

So that night I layed there thinking on the things we've had to hear and the actions of people due to our mixed marriage and after it was all said and done I smiled and looked at my husband and he said, "let's have one more baby" and I said, "maybe this one will come out in a different shade of brown".  


We both laughed and went on with our night as we celebrated 10 amazing/ difficult years of mixed marriage.