Saturday, March 14, 2009
The Color of Water
I just finished this interesting memoir, The Color of Water, which chronicles the life of a white Jewish woman and one of her 12 black children. It compares and contrasts their experiences growing up and eventually living in the projects of Harlem, as they both experienced predjudice and multiple challenges (due to having an inter-racial family and simply living in the era in which they did), yet both ultimately overcame. In asking his mother as a child about what color God's skin is, the author tells that his mother said His skin isn't white or black it is the color of water. What a great description!
Anyhow, the book started off a little slowly for my taste, but in my love of memoirs I continued on and truly enjoyed getting to hear about experiences which have been so very different from my own. At the same time, I am very invested in the area of inter-racial families and some of their stories definitely hit home.
I couldn't help but think about them, as T was falling asleep on my chest the other night. He really likes to talk as he falls asleep, and he will often sing, or chat to himself, or lift his head up and give me a kiss. This night as he snuggled in, he kept sporadically saying, "I You, Mama" (that's how he says "I love you"). In that moment I just wanted to freeze his innocence. I just want to cherish these moments and pray that he never feels displaced because our skin colors are different or the way he joined our family was different than other kids. He is a very amazing little man, and I don't know if I will ever be able to show him how much I adore him or how very thankful I am for him. I know I won't always be able to protect him, but I am glad right now I can express to him that our differences don't matter to me...he is just my sweet baby boy and that I most certainly love him, too.