Tuesday, November 6, 2007

a conversation about color

The boys and I were in the car today and I waved at a friend who was driving by. Mr. P asked me why I waved and I told him that he was a friend. Mr. P then asked me if the person that I waved at is a boy or a girl (the dude has LONG dreadlocks). I explained that he's a boy and that he's from west Africa, just like Mr. P! It was quiet for a minute and so I tuned back into the radio.

"Why aren't there any white babies in Liberia? That's not fair... I mean, equal. Why can black people be from America and Liberia but white people aren't from Liberia too?" he asked me, totally out of freakin' right field. I scrambled for an answer that was suitable for a six year old.
"Well, honey, how many white people are in Liberia?"
"Not so many."
"And how many black people are in Liberia?"
"Okay... If there aren't many white people in Liberia then there simply aren't going to be many white babies there. So until more white people move there, no white babies."
"So... if you moved to Liberia then Mr. O would be born black but if you're in America then he came out white?" (I tried not to laugh at this unbelievably cute and innocent thought)
"Not exactly... if you mixed brown paint and white paint, what color would that make?"
"Little brown."
"Right, light brown."
"And if you mix white and white what color would you get?"
"More white?"
"Right! Making babies is the same way. No matter where I am, America or Liberia, my white paint mixes into the babies that I make. So if I had married a black man then we would have made light brown babies. But I married a white man and so we made white little Mr. O. You get it?"
"Ummmm so why doesn't Mr. O have orange hair like you?"
"Well... that's because brown genes are dominant and red genes are recessive. Eventually red hair won't exist any longer."
"Maybe Mr. O's kid will have orange hair."
Then Mr. O pipes up, "My baby won't have orange hair because I'm gonna marry a brown girl."
"I'm cool with whateva, Mr. O. As long as she's got a good heart."
To this, Mr. P laughed, "A good heart!? Why not orange hair too?"
"Ya, and fire powers!" added Mr. O
"Mom, if a mom and a dad have fire powers, then will the baby have it to?" Mr. P asked
"ABSOLUTELY!" I responded

And when we got home, Mr. P made this picture of he and I, the "fire family". Notice that in our hands we hold flames that we can throw at all of the bad guys.


Aly Cat 121 said...

ohhh the color issue, that's deep. children know even tho we think they don't. Did you ask him why he wanted white babies to be born in Liberia?

Raquel said...

I didn't... but I'm pretty sure that he doesn't have any idea of race ~ just skin tone difference. Does that make sense? I may ask him, though, now that you mention it...
Have you read "I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla?" It's a REALLY interesting book on the sociology and psychology of race.

here's the link:

Jeromy said...

Nothing deep here...just the simple acknowledgment of an awfully cute story that made me smile from ear-to-ear, causing the others in the coffee shop wonder what I was reading.

Question: What happens when someone with fire powers marries someone with ice powers? Is the ice the recessive gene? Just curious.

Raquel said...

Based on the research available and a majority of cases, that the child will have the power to speak to microbes. This isn't always true, but it is generally safe to assume.

mountain-quiltist said...

Man, I love your kids! I like that they have it all figured out in the sweetest way, and I think you'd be freakin awesome with fire powers, Raquel!

Euphoria said...

this is SO cute! what a conversation!! Your kids are so smart and so curious- love it!

Killer superpowers too!

Rebekah said...

What a precious conversation. And you did very well considering the topic. I have to agree with Jeromy, I was smiling ear to ear reading this post

Dancer said...

I just about cried. Very sweet. Good job momma.

Stephanie said...

how cute!!! :)
Your babies are so sweet.

tAnYeTTa said...

Very cute! I love it ;)

The fire family portrait====classic.

p.s. i loved this part: **Ummmm so why doesn't Mr. O have orange hair like you?"**

LOVE IT! kids will keep us on our toes at all times.

Bananas said...

Hilarious! and so sweet.

Angie said...

HEHEHE sooo cute! I am cracking up. Once again you have my coworkers thinking I'm crazy :-)