Before Baby Sam was in the hospital we took our first family trip to the pool. Baby Girl started swimming as soon as we got home from the hospital. Spring break was the following week so I was going to be home with two kids alone. Since I planned to take Baby Girl swimming I wanted to see if I could manage both kids in/out of the pool with DH as back up in case it all fell apart.
Baby Girl, Baby Sam and I all went to the locker room together. We successfully changed into our swimsuits and managed to make it out to the pool where DH was already waiting. There were two other families there already. The little girl made a bee line for Baby Sam as we got into the pool. She wanted to touch her and talk to her and tell me all about her life. Mom and I chatted mom pleasantries. She mentioned how she couldn't imagine starting over after 4 years (since Baby Girl had told her how old she was). I brushed it off saying how nice it is to have a big helper. This is another post all togther but I honestly couldn't have planned the age difference more perfectly myself and since I had no ability to truly plan my childrens age gap I'm really fortunate. I digress....
The other Mom and her daughter became distracted and moved away. DH and I chatted, Baby Sam relaxed in the pool and Baby Girl was swimming. Suddenly I heard "How did she get that way?" I at first didn't know who she was talking to since the conversation had ended and it was an abrupt question. I acknowledged she had been talking and she then asked "How did she get that way? You know where did she get her skin tone from." I was so unprepared but fortunately her daughter was excitedly telling me about how she was turning 3. I responded to the mom "I know isn't she beautiful?" then turned to her daughter and became equally excited about her 3rd birthday. I made no further eye contact with Mom and Baby Sam began to fuss so I got her out to feed her.
I was pissed- why didn't I know what to say? what is it that makes this woman think she can ask? After further reflection I realize my anger is elevated by the fact that I don't know. I could have had some witty answer of from her father, I dont know what you are talking about, etc. Really though that question of where her brown skin comes from- I dont know. I dont know what her birthfather looks like and neither does anyone else. He is an unknown male that my daughters birthmom likely traded sex for drugs. Her conception wasn't out of love but out of lust for a drug that overtook her birthmoms life. A drug that has overtaken our country. An epidemic that started 15 years ago but we finally are acknowledging. A problem that benefited the drug companies and the prescribing physicians too long and now my child suffers the consequences. Her brown skin is flawless, her deep brown eyes twinkle, and her black hair is soft. I dont know what her ethnicity is besides German, Irish and Polish. Thats not what people see though. They see a brown girl that doesn't fit into my family. I stewed while I fed her.
As I fed her a water aerobics class let out. The older women in their not so perfect skin made their way out of the pool. Some of them admired us without any words. Many of them wanted to know how old this small nugget was- 6 weeks. Over and over I was told how beautiful she was and over and over I was told how fast it would all go. One woman pointed to a younger woman about my own mothers age- it goes by fast; that is my baby.
When we were in the locker room Baby Sam wasn't happy. She isn't a fan of getting dressed. She prefers to spend her time naked. Baby Girl was amazing at getting ready to go. From the peanut gallery the Mom from the pool snarked "Oh she is crying because she is cold." I continued to ignore her. I just had a parade of older Moms come out of the pool commending my willingness to get my girl into the water early.
Once home I wanted to talk to Baby Girl about the pool conversation. I wasn't sure if she had heard or not. We have talked many many times that her birth brother/sister would not look like her since they have different birthparents. Looking different is OK because love is what makes up a family. We talked about how sometimes other people might not believe her that her blonde hair blue eyed self is related to whomever her sister/brother would be. Now that we know that her sister is brown we have talked about the differences people might see but all of the similarities that I see about them. The conversation about the pool was as follows:
Me: Baby Girl did you hear what that mom asked about Baby Sam?
Baby Girl: No (preoccupied)
Me: She wanted to know where Baby Sam got her Brown skin.
Baby Girl looks up at me with an odd look: She was born that way. (and twirls away)
Me: Why didn't I think of that! I need a hug. (to which she humored me).
If only we could all be so simple.