This post is a bit more personal. I was going to write something different tonight but because I have had this on my mind, I think I will share it.
My daughter, who is seven years old, plays with a few of the girls in our neighborhood who are around her age. A few of them I like...a few I don't care much for. But something that she mentioned to me tonight that one of them said to her, really took me back by surprise a bit. And sadly, I'm not all that surprised at the same time. But I'm actually more hurt. In fact, I even started to get so mad, I was crying.
Here is a letter I'm unofficially writing to one of her friend's that lives down the street.
To My Daughter's Friend,
I understand children will be curious. They will ask questions. They will feel the need to laugh, play, make fun of, explore, shame, bully, get excited, and everything else in between. Children like you and my daughter and all the other little girls in the neighborhood will always crave knowledge. You will always crave acceptance. You will always crave praise.
I cannot blame you for every fault in your words and actions. I have to point the finger at your parents as well for your hateful words and unkind behavior. For these types of things are taught, not born with. I also know children will be children and sometimes say mean things to each other and not realize their words could hurt as much as they do.
But please never ever again tell my daughter she will never have a real family. That her family can never really love her and show her how a family should be, because she is mixed. Because she has a white mom and a black dad does not mean she is loved any less than you are. Or any other child around our neighborhood for that fact.
Please do not tell her any more that because you are white, and have white parents....they love you more and that you are all a real family. And my daughter will never have a real family because her parents decided that they loved each other and looked beyond their skin color and start a family.
We are a family too. Even though you do not think so because our colors are all different and we do not match. Just because I am her mother and I am white....just because her father is black.....just because she is tan and so are her brother and sister.....does not make us any less of a family that loves her unconditionally.
Family is not skin color. Family is beyond that. Family is about the people who love and care for you. Just because our family may not look like your family, does not make us less of a family. I hope you one day understand this. But until you do, I want you to respect my wishes and do not say these things anymore to her ever again. Or to anyone else you decide to play with and become friends with. Hate does not need to be spread. Do not make another child question the love their parents give them because you feel to voice your opinion on how a family should be.
I am writing this because my daughter told me that she was told these very words by the little girl down the street that she plays with everyday. She was told that because we are different races, that we cannot be known as a real family.
I know kids hear things from everywhere. It could be another child, a parent, a television show, music they listen to....who knows. It can come from anywhere. But I'm asking to please stop the hate and start showing love. Love for each other and love for yourself. I tell my daughter everyday to be proud of who she is, where she comes from, who her parents are....be proud to just be you. And I let her know to not listen to this other girl and know that she has a real family no matter what anyone else thinks.