Sep. 24th, 2010

erbie: (Edgar Eye)
What a fascinating time in a mother's life is having a fourth grader. I was woken up this morning by some very interesting questions.

"Mama. Mama. Mama, would you have ridden in the front of the bus?" "Huh?" "The front of the bus. You know, how I would have had to be in the back of the bus? Would you have ridden in the front?"

This led to a discussion of how back when I was born, my marriage was illegal. It took a minute for the literal mind of the nine year old to wrap around the *if I were an adult at that time* part. First thing she said was "You couldn't get married when you were born. You were a baby!"

I'm in unfamiliar territory here. I grew up as a girl and woman, but I didn't grow up as a non-white girl and woman. There's a whole lot more sexualization and exoticness assigned to an Asian female child and I didn't and don't experience that, so I don't know how to guide her through it either. Despite my girls being half white, they will grow up being assigned the ethnicity of Asian, Chinese, Other, Exotic. Given Bob's beauty, this will be compounded. I also did not grow up as a stunning beauty, so a lot of that kind of attention was not directed my way. She already gets that, and has since she was an infant. The first thing a stranger says to me when I'm out with her is how beautiful she is. I don't know how to respond most of the time. Yes, she's gorgeous, but she's also a child who deserves not to be summed up by that alone, not to have her appearance be the only thing that people notice.

I guess I don't really have a cogent point here, which kind of sums up where I am on both issues.

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erbie

February 2011

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