I love warm, sunny days where I can comfortably wear sandals. I’m happiest those days. Often I wonder if I feel that way because of epigenetics - the part of my heritage from tropical islands.
Yesterday my oldest son E and I were talking about where he wants to live when he grows up. He firstly made it clear that he doesn’t want to feel guilted to live near me when he grows up because apparently I’ve been doing that. Second, he wants to live on a tropical island like Hawaii or the Bahamas.
E is adopted and his ancestry is from the Bahamas. We often remark we have this tropical history in common, especially when referring to how hot I keep the house. He complains it’s too hot. I tell him he should like it because we have similar tropical heritage. He tells me that I am nuts, but in a sweet way.
As the child of an immigrant, it was difficult to hear that he would want to live in the Bahamas. The thought that came to me was, “Our families worked so hard to come here, to make a better life for themselves and for us - why would you do that?” Sarcastically, he was like, “Really?”
He wants to escape the racism in our country, and I don’t blame him. He doesn’t feel safe here, and I don’t blame him. In fact, I worry about my black son when he goes out without me. I can feel how, when we’re in public together, my tiny, “exotic” body puts people at ease around his healthy black one. “If a person like her can be around him,“ they think on a non-verbal, subconscious level, “he can’t be bad.” That’s the signal we get, and everybody moves on. How do people think of him when I’m not there? I can tell you this much: I don’t like it.
I also thought about the epigenetics of my European heritage in relation to the sunny day yesterday. If anyone there appreciated the cold or snow, that didn’t get passed down. I do like the rain though. A good downpour to dot sunshine. The happy and the moody. Those are, in order, my two favorite kind of days. At the pinnacle of all days, though, are the ones where I get to connect with my boys. I’ll take quality time with them over any weather, anytime.