Thursday, June 12, 2008

She baffles me

OK, the girls and I are sitting on the sofa the other night, looking through my copy of the Playgroup Cookbook. Now, the Playgroup Cookbook is a project that Mrs. Nielson put together when the first of our playgroup hens flew the coop a few years ago. She collected a couple of recipes from each of us, and then put it together with pictures, quotes, and it is really very beautiful. SO beautiful, in fact, that once we saw how great our collective gift to Allison was, we all decided we had to have one. (And? Mrs. Nielson totally made it happen!)

So, we three girls are looking at this book, when I point out a picture of me reading a book to the kids at playgroup one day. I mention that in the picture I’m pregnant with DD2. I kid you not (with Husband as my witness) DD2 looked up at me and said, “That was before you knew you were having white babies?”

What in the world? This is like the 4th time she’s referred to my not being white. The thing is? I am white – just like her. I have darker skin than she does (she is very fair) – but my sister doesn’t. My sister is actually darker than I am, and she thinks Aunt S is “white”. But… not me. For some reason she sees me as “brown”, and she was a little crushed when I looked right at her the other night and said, “Honey? I am white. My skin is a little darker than yours, but I’m still white like you.”

Now, let me clarify something... she has made it clear in the past that she doesn’t think I’m good looking. (And? If you knew my daughter this wouldn't shock you - she is truthful to a fault) I have many examples of this, the funniest of which is when she was 3 years old she started to have an obsession with lip gloss. She was in the car with me one day and playing with her gloss, and she said, “I wear lipstick.” I said, “Just like mama! You look so pretty.” She shoots back without a hint of irony, “Oh mama. You not pretty.” (It was too funny to even be humiliating, trust me.)

She wants to be like her sister – who looks nothing like me (and has olive skin, I might point out). I'm not concerned that she doesn’t think I’m pretty… she loves me to distraction and is heart and soul a mommy’s girl. I have never been a great beauty. I adjusted to this a LONG time ago. I’m not ugly, I’ve just always been one of those girls that the longer you knew me the cuter I got. But I wonder if her thinking I’m brown is her way of distancing herself from the way I look? Maybe she sees me as something different so she doesn’t have to worry about looking like me?

Or? Maybe the world is changing and she just thinks that people of different races are just naturally part of the same family. That it wouldn't be unthinkable that her mom could be "brown" even if she herself was "white".

I will tell you, though, that I have tried to curb my sadness around her. Because if I tell her I'm blue? She'll be ruined for life!


Vanessa said...

She sure is an open minded little girl. And not afraid to speak her mind!

PS Dodi, I think you are pretty.

Mrs. Kravitz said...

I thought you were pretty when I first met you, and now that I've known you for 4 years, I think you're totally gorgeous, inside and out!

Martha said...

Again, I wish I could upload a photo in my comment, because I've got a picture of a beautiful brown friend of mine reading a story to a gaggle of kids. She was beautiful then and she's beautiful now. But who knows what's going on with your little one: she keeps you guessing that is for sure!!!!!

And well, Mrs. Kravitz' son before he really got to know me, was most confused one time to see me without my "friends from China". I think he was wondering where Thing One and Thing Two fear not they'll all say something a little off from time to time.

But yeah, better not tell her you are blue, especially if you've also let her see the original Willy Wonka Movie!!!

Hugs and Kisses my beautiful friend...

Dodi said...

Well, I truly wasn't fishing for compliment, but thank you very much for thinking I'm pretty. I'll be sure to bring it up to DD2 next time she comments on my looks. (It comes up a couple of time a year)

I don't think I'll ever understand her. I think perhaps I'll stop trying and just go with the flow.

Sitting in Silence said...

Dodi....You are beautiful......

One Yummy Mummy as we say here in OZ....LMAO


MorningGlory said...

Your BEAUTIFUL! :) And DD2 will see that later for sure. My mom had olive skin. Beautiful..and Im will never look pastey. Year round tan minus the melanoma posibility of tanning in the sun. Everyone thinks hubby is HER son when they see pics of us all together. LOL