Jackson: Yep. I sure did!
Me: Was that fun?
Jackson: An elementary kid didn’t believe he was my Grandpa.
Me: Why not? (I figured I knew why not, but I didn’t want to jump to conclusions.)
Jackson: She thought my whole family was brown.
We talked for a bit about the fact that there’s another brown girl in his class who has a white Mommy. (For that matter, there’s another brown boy in his class who has a white Mommy.) I pointed out that if Jackson still lived with S, his grandfather would be white, because S’s father is white.
Jackson: I know.
Me: How did that make you feel?
Jackson: Sad. And angry. She just wouldn’t believe me!
Me: Well, you know Grandpa Bob is your Grandpa, and Grandpa Bob knows Grandpa Bob is your Grandpa, and that’s what matters.
I’m really surprised that the elementary girl argued with him. I could see being surprised – a few of Jackson’s friends have asked me why we’re white and Jackson’s brown. Jackson likes to tell them that “my birthmudder” or “my other mudder” is brown, and we say he was adopted. The kids accept that and move on.
Jackson couldn’t recall exactly what was said during the argument. I’d like to know. I’d like to know if it was long or short. It could have happened during a time when they weren’t supposed to be talking at all, so there would be the additional anger of being reprimanded by a teacher for talking if that happened.
We live in such a diverse place, and the school is really diverse, with a lot of seemingly mixed race families, that I’m puzzled by the girl’s insistence that my Dad couldn’t be Jackson’s Grandpa.
I have responses prepared for a lot of common situations, but not this one. It seems to me that the best thing to say is what Jackson said: “Yes he is.” and leave it at that.