There is something so wonderful about Jen. I mean, hello, she's an amazing kid, but she is so full of complete and utter randomness, that when something 'deep' comes out of her, you just have to laugh. Last night, as I lie on Clairey's bed (in the pink, princess room) with my glass of red wine--all cozy and toasty and clean--watching the girls play "babies," I realized what a good job i'm doing. Moms and dads--you know what i'm talking about. We beat ourselves up on a daily basis thinking that we're not doing well enough as parents--well, i had one of those, "DAMN!! I'm doing a great job!" moments. And it went a little something like this (but you know you're going to get a lot of background and crap, so don't think for a minute this is going to be short):
Clairey LOVES babies. LOVES them. So, for this reason, her room looks like a veritable daycare. She has a baby swing, crib, pack-n-play, carrier, sling, carseat, bunk beds...and the list goes on. I'm sure you get the picture. To go with this cacophony of baby-related items, we also have many, many babies. We have "Victorious" and "Suzy," which were mine, and so named by me; we have "Baby Nina," her realistic-looking baby; and "Audrey Rose," her black baby. I'd try to be PC and say she's an 'African American' baby, but according to Clairey, she's not. Because no one in her family is from Africa--unlike her friend at school, who is actually FROM Africa and can speak an African language. HER baby is from America, and has black skin. So, from the mouths of babes, people--she is Clairey's black American baby. And Clairey loves her. And Jenna loves her. And they fight over the black American baby. (Yes, we're getting to the part about Jenna.)
So, Jenna ended up with Baby Nina and Clairey ended up with Audrey Rose. Out of the freakin' blue, Jenna says, "Mom, I love black people."
"That's great, J. You should love ALL people."
"But mom, you realize i'm going to end up marrying a black man. Since i'll be living in Africa, the chances are, i'll marry an African man."
"Yep, if you live in Africa, chances are, you'll marry an African man. And you guys will be happy, discussing cheetahs at every given moment, i'm sure."
"And I'm going to have a beautiful little black baby, mom. With an AFRO. Oh my gosh! I LOVE afros!!
[and here we go back to Jenna being Jenna...]
"I just LOVE afros, Mom! THey're so cool! Can I have an afro? No, I can't. Because I have 'white-girl' hair, and my friend, Camry told me that white girls can't have good afros because they're hair isn't curly enough, but MOM! I LOVE afros!! Maybe my little baby will have an afro, and it will be the cutest little baby ever!!! My friend, Kamari, has the most AMAZING afro! The other kids at school make fun of him and call him 'broccoli head,' but i told him, 'Kamari, I LOVE your afro. I think it's so cool and it doesn't look like broccoli at all! I LOVE his afro mom! And there's another little girl at school who has an afro, and she's so cute, mom!"
"Yep, you'll have a beautiful baby, Jen. And it may, or may not, have an afro. Because if you're white, and your husband is black, then you're going to have a baby that will come from both of you. So who knows? You may not get this baby with an afro that you so desire."
"I love ALL people. Is that okay?"
"That's beautiful. And YOU'RE beautiful, and your life is going to be beautiful, and your babies will be beautiful....when you're older than 30."
And why did this make me feel good? Because of this: because so many families talk down about different races with their kids--and you hear it in the way their kids talk. You know which family doesn't, and now we have proof? OURS. Damn skippy.
LOVE ALL PEOPLE. And maybe, you too, will have a beautiful baby with an afro. That will like cheetahs. A lot.