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?

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