Mother's Day

Obviously, Jack does not look like me. I often stop by mirrors while I’m holding him, first because he likes mirrors, second because the dichotomy is so beautiful. Pale, Irish-looking, white as white can be me, and dark, tanned-looking, chocolate brown baby.
More than one person has told me that Jack looks like Max. The pharmacist and my neurologist from NH have both commented on that. Max and I don’t see it.
There are probably hundreds of threads dealing with what people say to transracial families, and what the family members should say back. At the doctor’s office, a white nurse asked, “Is he mixed?” I was pleased, because I had just met her clearly biracial daughter out in the waiting room. The nurse gave me some skin-care tips (aquaphor and A&D ointment). When Max’s mom came to visit, a teenage waitress at Applebee’s asked, “Is he mixed?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “With what?” I found that to be hilarious in some way, as though Jack were a cocktail or something. Clearly, she was just interested and saw nothing inappropriate with her remark. Like the time I yelled, “OK, so in every show I’ve ever done, someone has been gay. Who’s gay here?” Completely rude when put like that, but when I did it, everyone laughed, and the gay guy said that he was happy that I was so matter-of-fact about it.
Today, Jack and I ran errands. At Weight Watchers (where I’m down 8.8 pounds in 9 weeks), several women commented on how beautiful, cute, precious, Jack was. At the plant sale, women in gardener’s t-shirts practically mobbed us, asking how old he was, commenting on his alertness and how much he hated the breeze. At Target, everyone looked in the stroller and said, “Awww” or “Cute baby.”
Then, we went to Petco. Jack was getting fussy by this point, as this was errand number four for today. The cashier remarked that he was so cute, and then said, “He must have your… I mean, he must have his father’s…” I looked at her and said, “No, he’s adopted.” Cashier: “Oh wow! What a gift! Is he, you know, Hisp- Mexi-, …” Me: “Caucasian/African-American.” Cashier: “Oh, because he doesn’t look…” Me: “His birthmom is mostly white and his birthfather is all African-American.” Cashier:”Ohhhh. Because here you are, Irish – that is, you look Irish – and,” Me: “Yes, I’m part Irish.” Cashier: “Or Scottish, Welsh, British.”
She then babbles on and on about how adoption is a gift and he’s so cute and how wonderful… blah blah blah. I found her awkwardness amusing. Of course, when Jack is older and people act like that, I’ll have to come up with better replies, I suppose. As long as people aren’t being mean, I have no problem saying that Jack is adopted and he’s CC/AA. It’s the questions like, “Is he a drug baby?” that make me want to stop, stare, then, “What the f*ck? How is that appropriate?”, then wheel around and leave. Fortunately, I’ve only had that question twice.
Happy Mother’s Day!


One thought on “Mother's Day

  1. Pingback: I Do Not Like Mother’s Day | The Chittister Family

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