At daycare last week Bee’s class took turns looking in the mirror to see what color their eyes are.
“What color are your eyes?” I ask him as we snuggle before bed that night.
“Black.” His eyes are so dark that they are almost black. And shiny, like polished stones. I love them.
“What color are your eyes, Momma?” He asks back.
“My eyes are greenish-brownish. Green, I guess.”
“What color are Zip-Zip’s eyes?”
“What color are DaDa’s eyes?”
“They’re brown, too.”
“You’re tan like C. and Zip-Zip,” Bee announces next. C. is his best friend at daycare.
“That’s right. We are tan. What about you?”
“You are brown! What about Daddy?”
“DaDa is brown too.”
I kiss the back of his little hand. “I love your brown skin,” I tell him.
“I love you, Momma. Thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much.” He stretches his arms wide.
“I love you this much, too.”
And so it begins.
It’s the first time Bee has brought up our colors. And that’s all it is to him, at three years old, color. Matter-of-fact. I’m brown, you’re tan. Eyes come in different colors. Skin comes in different colors. Toys and crayons and t-shirts come in different colors. That’s all.
I think of the post I wrote a couple of months ago, about how our job as parents of children of color, when they are little, is simply to lay a foundation for healthy identity.
It begins. I plant the first seed. It is so simple. Your brown skin is wonderful. I’ll plant and plant over the years. I start weaving a warm blanket around him. So someday if someone ever dares to suggest anything to the contrary, he’ll know it isn’t true. He’ll know, because he’s always known, My brown skin is wonderful.
With a little encouragement from my friend Justine at A Half-Baked Life, I am linking up with Perfect Moment Monday at Lavender Luz. “Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.”