2008-08-09

Adventures In Babysitting

On Thursday night, I had the pleasure of getting my 2 year old niece for visit. She will be visiting for the weekend, and it has been a bit of an experience. She is my niece by marriage, and she is very blond, very blue eyed, and very white. I went to go pick her up at my mother in laws house, and within the context of her home or mine, it makes perfect sense that my niece calls me "aunt", outside that context it seems strange.

I went shopping on the way home with my niece in tow and received some strange looks. I dismissed them, as it might look strange a black woman is walking around with a white child at the store. Yesterday I took her to a playground with my little brother and sister in tow, and I got even stranger looks. I think a few assumed I was her nanny, as she kept calling me aunt and/or on occasion "mommy" (she is two, she hasn't figured out how it all works yet). It was kind of strange.

The past couple of days have had me thinking about race and kids. My niece is well loved by my mother in law and my husband's step father, but would the same love be given to our kids. I am sure from my mother in law it would, she is begging for more grandchildren, but would the step father be so doting? He feels our relationship is an "abomination" (blacks and whites mixing in his mind is a big no no) and any kids as a result of that would be one too, he doesn't vocalize it, but he expressed his concerns about our relationship and my husband's previous relationships. My husband obviously ignored him, but I worry that he wouldn't be as excited about our kids as he is with my niece. He is civil to us now, and is actually very nice, but I think since he has a propensity to wear his heart on his sleeve the differences would be obvious. At least he isn't like my husband's previous step father, who is just shy of being in the KKK.

I also feel weird, because I did notice the glares. I mean I walk around in public with my husband all the time, and on occasions I notice looks, but maybe I have become desensitized to it, considering it has been nine years, but the niece thing is still relatively new?