something of my mother's

4.29.2010
this post is a long time coming...

last weekend i spent some time with a high school friend who has lived out here for years; we've just never connected up until now.

we sat around for a couple of hours catching up and so forth. we spoke of families and our luv lives, etc. and then the issue of biracial children came up. honestly, i've always been quite scared to see how my kids would pop out. biracial women's children are like chocolate...you REALLY don't know what you're gonna get.genetics are magical...

for the first time ever (i know, shocking) i wonder what my mom was thinking when picturing what her future babe with a black bloke would look like...if i'd look like her...if she'd look like my babysitter...cuz i think of those things! i wonder if my kids will come out with blonde hair and blue eyes and make me look like the nanny lol.

i spent my whole life trying to figure out who i looked like. my stepfather's family is sprinkled with some lovely french canadians that have darker complexions and curly hair so i fit right in, but when it comes to my blood--i'm straight thomas. (my dad's peoples)

people say i walk like he walked, moved like he moved, i have his face for sure...but a girl just wants to look like her mom, ya know? i wanted something of hers. both my kid sister's have her curvaceous body...they're all short little hotties while i'm an amazon gumby chick. kind people try to say i have my mom's smile...or chin...or eyebrows (lol!) but it's ok...i realize i didn't get the physical gifts and that's alright.

i DID get her voice. people say we sound a lot alike. i got the love of writing from her (my dad was a chemist), i have her finger nails (which is important considering i would play with her nails for as long as i could before she'd shoo me away as a child) and most importantly i got my mom's goofiness.

people will guffaw at her nerdiness from time to time and i'll just sit back quietly and smile. i definitely got her zaniness for life.

for my dear friends that worry their children will not look like them someday, i say fear not. remember that it's both nature vs nurture when it comes to such matters.

brown skinned, tall, lanky...and whatever else, i am still my mother's daughter thru and thru...and for all those strangers that look at us weird when we hug in public or walk arm in arm, ya'll can gaze at my middle finger nail bed that my momma gave me. (smiles!)


8 comments:

  1. Girl, reading this was like reading my own story.

    I look nothing like my mother.

    In photos from family events, I look like the friend of the family, not an actual family member.

    And since my mother is black, she was often mistaken as my nanny.

    But my mother is one of the most amazing people I know. I like to think I'm awesome too and inherited it from her.

    Plus, you have to be one ballsy chick to hook up with a white man in the 70s.

    Mixed chicks rule!

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  2. It's so weird, because I never struggled with this. Growing up, people always told me how much like my mother I looked. I was just a darker version of her. I have her eye-shape, thin lips and nose. I do wonder if my Abby will ever experience this. She's the spitting image of her dad. Her mom has fair skin, red hair and blue eyes, while Abby has tan skin, brown eyes and dark brown hair. I do see her mom when she smiles and her mannerisms and I always try to point out how much she reminds me of her mommy. Every little girl loves her mommy and wants to emulate her! I think we got to look outside the box to encourage that!

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  3. isn't being mixed swell?! three completely different stories. you definitely can't lump us all into the same group that's for darn sure!

    i like the idea of encouraging all the different ways we're like our parents. it's kind of a big deal to feel like you belong to a family looks wise. while i wasn't the kid crying into my pillow because i had a chocolate belly and my mom didn't, i was still annoyed by the "are you adopted?" questions.

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  4. i am too tired to 'connect' it all together (what i have to say in relation to this post, Tish or the link or any of it...but somehow in my tired head right now, it all seems to be connected...may you and your other readers make the connection via some critical slant! lol)

    this article by Amy Bloom is not on 'biracial' stuff per se but related to traits we get from our parents.

    here

    and more over in re people giving looks or not understanding or whatever...

    i just wrote this thought today on twitter: i wish those...anywhere in the world of any background and skin color(s)...who are unable to or unwilling to connect with others not familiar or beyond their comfort zone...would at the very least not undermine those who can and do.

    in short: what a limited life experience for someone to not comfortably be able to ask a race related question to another that strikes the curiosity because of self imposed limitations or 'i would never understand anyway'.

    i am working on an article right now: 'who is an african' given all that is unfolding on that continent.

    i mean i have a 'white' south african friend--his passport says 'african' and he lives in nyc...so he is like: um, in south africa i am an african but here i can't say i am even african american, let alone african.

    anyway. as i said, tired.

    thanks for food for thought.

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  5. i can't wait to read it a. :)

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  6. I feel you Tish.

    It didn't help that when we first came to this country, my mother had to work as a live-in housekeeper for a rich white couple in Long Island.

    Rich white couple + black West Indian women carrying a white-looking baby = my mother is the nanny.

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  7. While I am not bi-racial, I can completely relate to wanting to look like our mothers. I had the most awe striking mother, a true beauty. When she passed away when I was 16, a year later a house fire destroyed most photos of her. I clung to any reminder of her face I saw in my own, and as I get older I welcome the womanly way my face is "softening" the way hers was in her late twenties. :-)
    Beautiful entry and even more beautiful pic of you and mom!

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  8. oh kristen i didn't know you lost a parent too. your story about finding her face in your own is beautiful.

    isn't it a good pic. she actually liked me that day ;)

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