No, he’s my son …

She's my mum, OK!?!

She's my mum, OK!?!

The other day I was  reading an article on Intermix by Canadian ‘Piss’ comedian Sabrina Jalees. (Piss, by her own definition = Pakistani/Swiss). She listed all the pros and cons of being mixed race. The one that struck a chord with me was “Your innocent mother-daughter love is easily mistaken for a ‘creepy sugar momma and her young misguided brown girl’ lesbian fling.” Not that AM and I have ever been mistaken for lesbians of course, but there was that time in Germany last year when the hotel proprietor seemed to think we’d be needing a double bed … ick. AM was only 13 at the time.

Anyway, her comment prompted me to think of the three major ways in which white mum’s relationships with our kids get mis-identified. From birth through primary school people think you’ve adopted them. (Aren’t you good!, they exclaim to you beside the swings).

Then there’s the Cougar phase I just referred to, starting sometime during puberty and lasting, I assume, a very, very long time. 

And finally, I’m guessing that when I’m old and decrepit, people will think he’s a kindly care worker or volunteer at an old people’s home. (Isn’t he good!, they will think to themselves).

I don’t really hold it against people. They’re usually just curious about us. I’m sure it’s good for my patience. This pic at right from when he was little, is for everyone who wonders who we are.

Get used to it.

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12 thoughts on “No, he’s my son …

  1. What an adorable picture!

    I’ve never had the “oh, I want my kids to look like me” complaint/disappointment that I’ve heard from other mixed-race couples, but I do think about (perhaps “am bemused by”) future misunderstandings that might occur when Aditya and I have children. Altho future looks/coloring is a bit unknown – they could look completely white (and be saddled with Indian first & last names, poor babes) or they could be fairly dark-skinned like some of Aditya’s family.

  2. Well, it just gets a bit iresome & I’m sure now he’s a teen he finds it embarrassing – tho of course much easier to disassociate himself from me. And yes, adorable pic. I think he was 3.

  3. My mixed race son always thinks that when he helps me carry my groceries from the store in Ghana, people will think he’s my servant!!!

    I hate the silly assumptions people make.

    • It’s funny how people always make that assumption. I’ve sometimes been asked: ‘where did you get him?’, as though it’s a foregone conclusion. Thanks for dropping by, & the link, I will go check it out. I did indeed read your article, I think you are a trailblazer.

      • There were also been times in the past when people have thought my kids were married to each other, That was even more bizarre!

        In the U.S. there are so many mixed kids and mixed marriages/relationships now. Is that true in Australia too?

      • Oh dear! People’s minds bend in strange ways, trying to come to grips with difference.

        I think the number of mixed relationships has increased a lot in Australia, especially in cities, but that’s just a casual observation, I don’t have any data to back it up. We’re such a multicultural nation now, our last census showed 26% of the population was born overseas.

      • That is a huge difference I imagine. One of the things I remember being struck by when I visited Australia years ago was how white the population was. I’ve been to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast several times, but not recently.

      • Yes, it has changed a lot, although some areas are still very white, especially rural areas. Actually a lot of that 26% I mentioned would be people from places like New Zealand and the UK, & mostly white, but we still have many people from all over the world – & 12% of the population is of Asian background. Lots of change.

  4. Yes, also Bangladesh. There are suburbs which smell of curry spices (yum). Also a lot of people from China & South East Asia.

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