Jules (koken23) wrote in thequestionclub,

We've recently moved from Australia to a small village in the UK, and I'm not sure our new neighbours quite know how to deal with my son.

In the four weeks or so that we've been here, I'm yet to see a face in Credenhill that's not basically white. Again, this probably has something to do with it being a country village, rural Herefordshire, etc etc etc.

I'm not white, certainly not Anglo, but I can at least sort of pass in the right light or if I'm not standing next to my father. If I stand next to him, people notice the bits of me that look like him and can pick that I'm from South America in about ten seconds flat; if I'm next to my mother, people tend to see the red hair and so on instead. I'm pretty sure the general assumption here so far is that I'm Anglo; they know Australians speak English, so they can't work out why I keep asking them to repeat things more slowly (English isn't my first language, and the local accent is WEIRD), but they figure I'm like them. Maybe slightly deaf or a little bit dim - you have to account for repeating everything somehow, after all - but basically like them.

Hence the awkwardness.

If I'm out on my own with Caleb, I'll often see people look at me, then look at him, then back at me...they'll smile and say isn't he such a handsome boy and all the other things people say when they see babies, but you can sort of see them thinking about it and trying to figure out what his father must look like, trying to come up with some explanation for why my son has dark skin and I do not.

Then the questions start.

"Is he adopted?"
"He's very young to be out with a nanny...?"

If they see my husband out with us, they get it - he's black as the ace of spades, and tall enough that he's a little difficult to miss. It's just the times when they don't have all of us there to look at that they're a bit slow to put the pieces together. I swear though, the next time some well meaning soul asks me how I got my son, or where he comes from, I'm going to give them the full spiel.

"Well, you see, when a mummy and a daddy love each other very much..."

Has anyone else had a similar experience?
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