Thursday, 4 August 2011

Kumbaya, My Lord, Kumbaya

Driving T to sports camp the other morning.  She looks out the window and says "If I have a black boyfriend when I grow up, I'm going to dump him."

Quick internal debate.  Should I ask her why she would agree to go out with this hypothetical guy in the first place if she knew she was going to dump him?  Should I tell her she doesn't have to worry about boyfriends, she's only six?  Or, is the temptation to jump on my soapbox so great that I will take advantage of any opportunity to start preaching?

"What? Why would you dump him? You are allowed to have a black boyfriend.  You can have any boyfriend you want.  Black, white, green, anything."  (Soapbox it is. Bet you saw it coming.)

"REALLY?" (shocked).  "Thanks Mom, you're awesome".

That was too easy.

"Mom, have you ever had a black boyfriend?"

Umm, define black.  Define boyfriend.  Define had.

"Yeah.  I dated a few black guys a loooooong time ago."  Whether or not one guy ended up getting a PhD from Harvard and is a distinguished professor today probably isn't relevant to the conversation.

"So wait a second, this means Dad coulda been black? We coulda had a black Dad?  I gotta tell the brothers about this one."

Wait a second, I tell her.  Who I went out with is my private business not to be shared with the brothers.  I go on to explain about knitting girl talk, and how when a girlfriend or a mom or a girl cousin shares something in confidence it is not to be repeated.  Especially not to boys.

Then I remembered she just finished kindergarten.

Few hours later I'm giving the brothers a lift and I realize I better tell them the whole story  before they start posting on facebook that they could've been the illegitimate love children of Mos Def.

I open with "Funny story.  Driving your sister this morning..." and end with "a few black guys a looong time ago."  Whether or not one of these guys was captain of a varsity team at the time probably wasn't relevant to the conversation.

B looks at me and says "Are you seriously telling me she didn't know that?  I thought everyone knew."

The complaint tie-in:

To avoid complaints later about who your kids are or are not dating, its probably best to state your preferences up front.  When they are six, it's all new information, but by the time they turn 12, they probably know more than you think.

1 comment:

  1. and you worry about me and my big mouth!