GASP! Nobody Told Me! Why did nobody mention it?! I cannot believe I didn’t know!
Someone just told me my daughter is not white!
Oh. My. Gosh. Really? (Heavy Sarcasm).
I look very much like a potato farmer in honour of my Irish and English heritage, and the person who I look most like is my Irish Grandad.
My daughter is half from me, and half from an English chap whose parents were Jamaican.
So, he is dark skinned, born here in England, is English, but his ancestry is Jamaican.
He is not Jamaican per se, can you see the difference?
His heritage, of which we are all proud, is Jamaican.
So Missy, she was born with a very tanned complexion, beautiful straight nose and straight black hair.
Over the years her hair curled, but it is European hair in spiral curls, not so much afro as Irish-fro, which is a real thing, ask any Irish woman with crinkly hair on a blustery morning.
When my daughter straightens her hair, she looks Indian (dots, not feathers – to quote the beloved Robin Williams).
Indian parents of her school friends speak to her in Urdu and for a while got miffed with her when she would not realise she was being spoken to.
In the end, when it all came to light what was happening, they all laughed and are now on speaking terms again J
She’s a firm favourite with other children’s parents which pleases me no end.
When my daughter leaves her hair natural, she looks like a Diva.
Total Gone Crazy Big Old Spiral Curl Adornment.
She looks like she should be in a Beyoncé video or an 80’s Brat Pack film.
It is awesome!
So back to the shock revelation.
Several times people have told her “Why don’t you go back to where you came from”.
She’s had most of her classmates in junior school try to persuade her she was adopted, because the kids hadn’t seen her dad, only me!
She’s been mistaken for an asylum seeker but I assured people it was only Grunge Rock Fashion, not hobo-refugee chic.
She’s been mistaken for an immigrant and accosted by knuckle heads.
She’s been spoken to in Greek when we go to Greece.
She’s been spoken to in Spanish when we went to the Spanish Islands.
She’s been spoken to in Jamaican English when we go to Jamaica.
She’s been followed by security staff in the shopping centres.
She’s been yelled at for “being racist” by overly concerned, politically correct, liberal leftie white people when joking with friends whether she should sit at the front or the back of the bus after a history lesson on the American Civil Rights movement. (This was a bumpy one… in a back and forth, supported by a friend who confirmed she was part Jamaican… Missy advised Leftie-Lady “You clearly thought I was Indian, which is presumptuous on your part. I am black and I can joke about ‘those darned civil rights activists always getting on the bus’ if I want to”).
And was yelled at to stop lying!
She’s been refused service in a Bible Bookstore because, even though she was holding the money in her hand, she was told “these books are not for your kind”.
And the kid laughs it off!
Now I have a lovely little generation of children in my class, when I tell them that the teenagers will be teaching Sunday school this week, confused and unable to hide it, that I introduce Missy as my daughter. Their little children brains are perplexed that this curly haired, very tall, all makeup’d up and glamorous girl could possibly be related to me.
Then the next week we chat about the people who shared their feelings from the pulpit, my daughter being one of them, and the kids get confused again, still unable to make the leap of how potato farmer me could have a daughter like Missy.
One of the children leans in to me and whispers, as though it is a secret, “She wears a lot of make up”, and I reply, “Yes, isn’t she beautiful” and they nod.
Then the next week that the child is in class again, I see the whisperer wearing bright red lipstick in honour of Missy, and I smile at her, and she smiles back, thrilled I’ve noticed.