I live in a great and diverse city. Central Florida houses people of various walks of life and backgrounds. I love this. I also grew up with friends of many different races, so it has always been important to me that my children are exposed to kids of all backgrounds.
So why am I usually the only mom of color at kid-centric activities?
This is a rhetorical question, because I know that if such answers existed, there would be plenty of them. As a black woman, I know what it feels like to be the only black girl in an organization. Or a social group. Or a classroom. Or at a workplace. I've dealt with it time and time again. But in a world of diverse women and mothers, I had no idea that even playdates could be so, so limiting in terms of diversity.
Let me preface this by saying that I don't have a real problem being the only mom of color at social gatherings for moms—or anywhere for that matter. Yes, I find that I thrive more in diverse settings, but I like to think that I can get along with anyone. I can't help but wonder why there aren't more moms that look like me. Why aren't there kids who look like my daughter?
'Aww, your daughter is so cute. I could kidnap her. I've always wanted to adopt a black baby.'
Do other moms wonder this? Do they feel like their playdates are lacking diversity? Do they look around and only see babies that look like their babies and think, "Hmmm, there should be all kinds of babies here"? Or am I the only one that thinks this way?
Oftentimes, even when I'm not even paying attention to my surroundings, I am forever being reminded that my daughter and I aren't like everyone else.
"I love her hair. How does it get all thick like that?"
"She looks just like the little black girl on 'Grey's Anatomy'!"
"Aww, your daughter is so cute. I could kidnap her. I've always wanted to adopt a black baby."
These comments are never meant to offend me, and I chuckle when I hear them. I'm all about educating, so if it means I have to reply to not-so-nice comments in the attempts to do so, I'm OK with that. I find that the best way to learn more about other backgrounds is to be around them. That way, when you spot a black mama in the wild, you don't have to bombard her with a ton of questions that all have to do with her being black.
With race relations being such a big deal these days, it is my hope that people in general make an effort to at least attempt to expose their children to various backgrounds. Imagine what our world would look if children everywhere saw a rainbow of fellow kids on the playground. The tolerance, understanding and love that our kids would have would burst at the seams.