I Didn't Know You Had a Mixed Baby!
[Editor's Note: Being in a mixed-race family myself, I don't always think about the fact that we are a mixed-race family. Then sometimes, I get a comment which reminds me of the fact-- in a way that calls a little too much attention to it. And I live in the Bay Area, where interracial marriage is quite common. Michelle Parrinello-Cason of Balancing Jane writes about being a white woman living in St. Louis, and the kind of reactions she hears when people see a photo of her bi-racial daughter, who is half-black. Read some examples below and then see her full post on her blog. --Grace]
Their reactions are always interesting to me, and there almost always are reactions. This semester, I've gotten several versions of "I didn't know your daughter was mixed!" (Of course you didn't. I don't walk into the classroom and announce "Hi! I'm your teacher. My daughter is biracial.") Usually they make that statement, tell me how cute she is, tell me about their own kids, and then we move on to their papers. There have been a few variations on this conversation this semester.
"Your daughter's mixed?! I could tell you had too much soul."
"Is that your daughter? She's so cute! Is she mixed? I knew that you . . . How do I say this? I could tell that you were cool with everyone."