Monday, May 18, 2015
This is also the weekend that their long time best friends moved from next door to us to their new home across town. We will still get together but it won't be the daily back and forth between the houses that has dominated most of the littles lives. I think KC was about 4 when B and his family moved in and Lissa about 2. The thought of losing the close proximity of their best friends have deeply saddened KC and Lissa.
Friday night when he was lying in bed KC told me he wondered who would move in. I said I hoped it was someone with kids as maybe there would be new friends to make even though we would still be friends with B and his family. He looked at me with concern and said "I don't know about that." I was baffled and asked why. He said that the family who lived there before B was "mean" and they wouldn't play with them because they were black.
Whoa! Say whaaaaat? Cue the clueless parent face as first off I can't honestly remember who lived there before B and his family. Secondly, as my 11 year old tells me that this kid always swore at Rob I am wondering why I never heard about this. I am pretty darn sure I would remember that. KC said he didn't tell me because Rob told him not to.
Hmmmmm. I have read about kids who are adopted transracially who are not comfortable telling their parents about issues of racism. I have talked about that with my kids and made it (at least in my little brain) 100 per cent clear that I have their back. That I want to know if something is wrong, if they are treated unfairly. I have visibly gone to the mat on racial issues that I have seen--most noticably ones that involved the kids and I in stores or gift shops. I have never ever been the parent who didn't want to talk about race.
Granted, this would have been years ago, as KC is 11 now. So Rob would have been about KC's present age when this happened. I think he is much more open in his relationship with me now because I have worked every single day of our lives on it. But for Rob 11 was a hard time. I do remember that. I wish I had known about this. I might have somehow made it a little easier for him. Discrimination is not ever easy, but I always want my kids to know that I am there with them in the fight. Here's to working for open honest dialogues. . . and good neighbors.