By sandi | August 8, 2012
Tomorrow is Paul’s first full day of kindergarten. While it isn’t his first experience with school the school is far different than his preschool.
He is known by many around the school already because his sisters have gone there and he is always hanging off my arm. I don’t feel worried about him feeling sad about me being gone. I don’t worry that he won’t know his way around. Those things he can overcome easily and learn from.
Bottom line is I am worried about racism. My Girls experience it all the time. From small comments of, “that can’t be your brother he has brown skin” to other more judgemental sentiments. It is amazing to me how brutal these kids can be.
The Girls are tough though and they stand up for their brother. They get upset by some of the comments but most of the time they are strong and resilent. They understand how our family was formed. They know Paul is their brother and they know that love holds a family together. They have heard me comment back to ignorant people in passing and they do the same when questioned. They use tons of the catch phrases I use in response to people and their racist comments and walk away.
Bottom line is Paul isn’t them. He is the person with brown skin living in a family that has white skin. He is the person who suffers from abandonment issues. He is the person who is on the defensive when he goes out. (I am not able to find a post on the blog where I wrote about how he always introduces himself and then tells people I am his Mom. He has done this for years and I think it speaks volumes to the amount of times we are asked if we are babysitting, or if he is my child. He tells people before they ask.)
I’m not stupid and I know that there are going to be days where racism is a very real issue in his life and I know it will happen in that building.
Keeping Paul home and in a safe little preschool wasn’t scary. I was always there to help him with the tough moments in life. I was there when somebody on a playground said something derogatory about his skin. I held him. I told him those people were wrong.
Of all my children I am afraid to let him go the most. It was scary trusting the world to not feed Kimberly peanuts. It was frigtening to think of Madeline having a grand mal seizure and me not be there to give her mouth to mouth or call 911. Trust me when I say none of those hold a candle to the horrifying fear I have of my son experiencing racism away from me. Why? Because I know it will happen.