Family Rainbow

My children continue to maintain that they have always considered themselves biracial. This surprises me as much today as it did the first time they said it to me. They, in turn, are  surprised that I didn’t know what they were thinking. To them, its obvious and they bristle when I ask them what gave them that notion.  Yes, we have the Lithuanian mother and the Egyptian father combo, but so what*? This is just our family and I don’t believe I’ve ever mulled over if we are all the same group or not.  I’m sure Sam hasn’t either** or it would have come up somewhere along the line. Just our family.

Ted  is home for the weekend, gearing up for interview #3 at a NJ company on Monday. Yesterday, he casually drops into the conversation evidence to back-up his point.

Ted –  "Oh, it’s official now – I’m not white."

Mother – "What?"

Ted – "I went shopping for a new tie and none of the white guy ties looked good on me."

Mother – "What?"

Ted – "The salesman asked me about my background because he realized none of the white guy stuff suited me."

Mother – "What?"

Ted – "I had to go to the Olive Group."

It’s not much, but he was so smugly satisfied to be able to deliver this news to me.

One of the revelations of parenthood for me right from the start was that my children did not automatically know what I was thinking.  When did it happen that I don’t know what they’re thinking?


* We also have a dog from Wales – does that mean we should start celebrating the Queen’s birthday, too?

** The one person who did manage to bring it up – and right away – was my mother. When I called her to say that I was bringing someone special home for everyone to meet, and started talking about Sam being Egyptian, a deafening silence descended on the phone line. Next thing heard was wracking sobs. I can still hear her voice in my head as she said: "The only Egyptian we know is Anwar Sadat, and he’s bla-a-a-a-ack.

13 thoughts on “Family Rainbow”

  1. The only comment I see fit to make here is that the 4 Rizkallas are included inthe exclusive group of people for which I would walk thru fire (aside from the core rut group here in pa. ) ! I never gave the shading issue a thought…………..Ever.
    You know as well as I do that we grew up rather “color blind” in good old NEPA and damn it.. I am very glad.

  2. It depends on your opinion on teaching old dogs new tricks. As long as he doesn’t bark or growl at elderly women in bad hats that’s probably suficient.

  3. “…does that mean we should start celebrating the Queen’s birthday, too?”
    Yes, and I’m rather surprised you haven’t brought it up before…

  4. I descend from a long line of people who couldn’t keep their clothes on and cared nothing for pedigree. Thus, my people are exceptionally good-looking. I’m sure your children are gorgeous.

  5. also, i think it is easiest for you to assume that the world views us all as equals, since you are the honkey of the family. i know that i am the whitest white girl to ever live, but the fact of the matter is people view you in one light and they view daddy in a different light. you can see the momentary shock on peoples faces when they meet him, because they were unprepared for the accent and the skin tone(since i hardly think to bring it up).
    i love it though. have you ever met anyone from maine? boooooring. the whole state is a homogenous loaf of wonderbread. what do they even talk about all day?

  6. My dog is from Oklahoma. What does that make me? 😉
    Sorry I’m slow on the uptake — got behind blog reading and now you’re over here and all new and stuff. I love the new title, and I’m glad we didn’t lose you.

  7. i also think it is interesting that people have responded in a way suggesting that we feel bad about ourselves or our heritage. it never affected anything really. thats why it was never brought up. its just true. we are quite well adjusted and love everything about the people that made us. mom and dad never gave us a reason to be self concious (well, there was that time you sang annie on the steps of monmouth university…). its just how other people see us and our family. and i know that aunt tina doesnt see us as anyhting but family, but not everyone is connected to that way and i think its naive to not at least acknowledge it.

  8. I suggest you fake a third child and go visit colleges so you can once again hear the “cultural diversity” lectures. Fascinating!
    And, hey, I love the new logo!!!!

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