We were at the park, the kid was playing happily, and there was a nursery school class playing as well.
She’s developed a habit lately of telling me about things that she does that she knows I would be happy with, like sharing her sand toys with the friends we met for a play date.
She came to me and she turned and pointed to the nursery school.
“Mommy, I gave the brown girl, with the face and the nice sandals, I gave her a turn.”
“That’s good love, good job.”
She’s noted people’s skin colour before this way, once when we were in line at a store she asked me about the “brown” boy in front of us and why his nails were the same colour as hers. When she was a baby she used to stare at people with very dark skin, fascinated – it struck me because I’ve always found people with very dark skin beautiful (I love looking at model Alek Wek).
Here’s the thing, I’m white. I’m a white girl desperate not to offend people while teaching my daughter that yes people look different. People look different and speak different languages and have different backgrounds and it’s a wonderful thing about this country that we can be exposed to all this.
What I don’t know is what to say when she points out someone is “brown.” The first time I told her, yes, that’s right, that boy is black and left it at that. This time I didn’t say anything I just marvelled at the description of the girl with the face and the shoes.
How do you teach your kids different but equal?