Monday, May 20, 2013

"It's peach."

Lucy and Nathan were sitting up at the kitchen counter today coloring.

"Nate, pass me the skin-colored one."

Sometimes the race thing pops up in the littlest things.  A marker.  She was coloring a picture of Cinderella and she wanted to color her skin.  Did you know that until 1962, that Crayola color was actually called "flesh"?  It is "peach" now.  And that wasn't just the politically correct change to make, it was the right change to make.

Nate continues to make small comments about his skin color and catching moments like Lucy's with the marker and setting things straight are important as we try to help him navigate life in a transracial family.

"Lu, that's not skin-colored.  It's peach."

It may seem small, you may even think we are being too particular.  But part of our job as parents is to help our kids build up a good sense of self, and to us, allowing a peach marker to be referred to as "skin-colored" would inadvertently affirm for Nate that his color is somehow NOT "skin-colored" and that is not only NOT what we want him to be hearing, but it would be a completely untrue thing for him to think.

Peach is a beautiful color of skin, but there are so many others...let's not forget that.