My Aunt Linda babysits Max. But now that he’s two, we’re thinking maybe he should go to a daycare centre once or twice a week. You know, with other kids. (Uncle Rex, you are the size of a 10-year-old, but remember – you share your name with a dinosaur.)
So I have Max on several waiting lists in the city, but it seems he has a better chance of getting into Harvard. But hope springs eternal. I hope this daycare has six or seven other children who are gentle, vaccinated, and cootie-free. I also hope one of them is Asian, and one of them is black. Maybe I’m just mackin’ on terrorist slayer (not to mention super cute) Barack Obama right now – holla! But seriously, I see great value in raising my family in a diverse community. Which begs the question: why do I live in Torbay? The town’s theme song is A Whiter Shade of Pale. They don’t even sell blackberries at the Price Chopper.
Growing up, I was lucky enough to have a couple un-white families in our community. One from the Philippines, one from Laos, and a handful from Asia. Doctors and their families, mostly (shocker). In spite of my small rural existence, I knew there was variety in the world; we weren’t all pasty-as-me-arse honkies of English or Irish descent. (It’s okay, I can say the h word because I am one.) Dad subscribed to National Geographic, so that helped too. Although for a while there I expected all black women to have boobs down to their knees and wooden thread spools in their ears. My friend Tina also had a black Baby Brenda doll. So we knew babies came in all colours. In fact, one Christmas during our church concert, we put Black Brenda in the manger to play the role of Jesus. The kids who were playing Mary and Joseph were white as the driven snow, but no odds – this conception was immaculate; God was Jesus’ baby daddy! I’ve always entertained the possibility that God looks a lot like Morgan Freeman. Fat freckles are the birthmarks of angels.
When they were toddlers, my friend Kelly took her twin boys (two of my greatest sources of blog material) to the swimming pool. They saw a black guy treading water nearby, and the boys started to panic. No, they didn’t think they were going to get mugged. (Does that sound racist? Sorry, I’m a writer – anything for a cheap joke.) The boys just didn’t know what it was; they had never seen a black person before!
On another occasion, they were in the checkout line at the grocery store, standing behind a black man. One of the boys looked at his mother and said, quite loudly, Why is that man’s face so black? Not sure what to say at the moment, Kelly shushed him. What the heck is the answer to this innocent inquiry anyways?
Because there are all kinds of people in the world, honey. Of all shapes and sizes and colours.
Because that man is clearly of African descent. I’ll show you Africa on the map when we get home.
The dude overhears and interjects: Sure I’m from Mount Pearl, b’y!