Sadly during our walk to the park Daniel decide he wanted to take his nap a bit earlier then usual. As I watched my son nod off I decide to continue to the park and just enjoy some "me" time. Once at the park I found a nice bench, parked the stroller next to me and started the zoning out process. Since it was early in the day only a handful of people strolled by. Most people I just ignored until I saw a flash of anime colored red hair framing a honey brown face.
The women who caught my attention was walking her dog past my bench. As she walked by I casually asked what is quickly becoming a normal question for me to ask people...
Nosey me: Excuse me but are you mixed with Asian?
Red Hair: Yes, I'm mixed with Korean and Black.
Nosey me: You are! That's interesting because so is my son.
Next thing you know, two strangers are bonding over the Korean and black connection. I learned that Stef was born in Korean but adopted by a black family and raised in America. While she does know some things about her half Korean history, she mostly identifies as being black. Stef is also a mother and like Daniel her son came out looking more Korean event though his father was a black man. We joked that the Korean gene sure is strong.
Then we started talking about our son’s and issues that surrounded them. I shared with her my fears that I'm not doing enough to teach him his Korean heritage, that somehow he'll grow up and ask my why I didn't teach/learn/show him something. I asked her how her family dealt with this issue
She shared that her son, who is grown, denies his Asian heritage. Her son also identifies as being black despite he's strong Asian features. Oddly enough he was also born with reddish hair and had dyed it black since he was a child. She's tried to help him accept himself. She explained that no matter what we as moms do, in the end it's up to them to choose who to be.
We also talked about the men in our lives but most of that is personal so I wont share it here. But one thing we agreed on is we miss the old fashion type of men. The men like Dr. Martin Luther King who grew up knowing how be men of action. Men these days have lost something and it's sad not just for women seeking partners but for our son seeking role models.
As we talked Daniel woke from his nap and wondered who the strange lady with the red hair was. As I made the introductions I noticed Stef's reaction to "seeing" Daniel. It's a reaction I've seen before when Daniel first met Sheila, who's also korean and black.
But I suspect it's a reaction any blasian will have when meeting another blasian. It's one of recognition, one of "I know you because you are me" and ultimatly one of "I'm not the only one". It's an intereting reaction and one I'll talk/explsore/obesse more about in another blog. For now I was happy I went to the park today and met this blasian stranger.