Happy MLK Day
When my KISA and I got engaged the idea of us having kids was one step closer to becoming a reality. We’ve talked at lengths about how we’d like to raise our kids and have agreed on almost every piece of it. (Raising a dog is a whole different story.) Our plan started on August 25, 2011 according to my iPhone notes. It said:
(My KISA) & My Living Plan
- Live in Madison until the end of September 2012-ish
- Refinance the house, create an LLC, and rent out the house effective October 1, 2012
- We move to San Francisco to live for two years minimum. Start on our family.
- After the 2nd-ish baby, realize how much we love living in a big city, but move to a suburb on the East coast.
- Once we find a house we love, sell the house in Madison and reinvest the money into our new home. Raise our family. Live happily ever after.
We actually had plans to follow this, but were four months behind. And, the housing market picked up more than we’d expected when we wrote it, so we sold the house instead of renting it out. So far we seemed to be living out our plans.
However, living in San Francisco has reminded me of one major thing I didn’t take into consideration in picking the idea place to raise our kids. See, we chose Massachusetts because they have some of the best public school systems in the US. Plus, we wanted to raise our kids near one of their grandparents. My KISA’s parents are presently 66, so by the time we would move back it would be nice to be close to them if they should need a family member (my KISA’s brother lives in Chicago and the rest of their family lives in Michigan). It sounds great on paper and what’s more important than a child’s education and having family close by?
I’ve posted many pictures of my KISA, so one of the things you may notice about him is that he’s African American. And one of the things you may have noticed about me is that I’m European American (I believe that’s the PC terminology). Our children will be interracial children and in my own biased opinion I believe they’ll be gorgeous.
I have the luxury of having close friends that are American minorities. In growing up in a farming community you have a certain naivety towards race as everyone I knew was white. Being a blonde, short, or pale was the only minority in my town. Because of this, even when I moved away from my hometown I never made friends based on their race, nor chose who I dated. So, I was shocked when I had two girlfriends (individually) open up to me and share the bullying and cruelty they had growing up in a prominently white community. These are pretty exceptional people, so why would people tease them because of something that made them unique in the community? I’m not sure if it’s fear, ignorance, or just something I don’t understand. However, it destroyed my naivety and made me hurt for my unconceived children.
San Francisco is the most color blind city I’ve ever experienced. I notice more biracial couples than “uniracial” couples here in the city. Most get-togethers with our friends look like a United Colors of Benetton ad. There are no stares of people (that are maybe just curious, but still stare none-the-less). And, a few of my CA friends were shocked that race would even be something noted back in the Midwest.
Since our children will be biracial I already fear for any struggles they may have in “relating” to one race versus the other; I would not be able to handle any children teasing them or them feeling like they don’t belong because their parents didn’t try to control falling in love with each other. Because of this, the diversity of the environment they are raised in has moved to the top of my list in figuring out where we’ll settle down and raise our children. I share the same dream as Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Let’s hope our generation teaches this to our children. Happy MLK Day, everyone.