Now that the twins are here, it seems like we attract attention everywhere we go. I’m not sure if it is the twin-thing, or the six-kids-in-the-city thing, but I can’t get through the grocery store or down the sidewalk without comments and questions from strangers. I know people (usually) have good intentions, so I’m (usually) happy to stop for a chat. At the very least, it is a nice excuse to branch out and talk to people I might otherwise pass by.
The other night we took the kids out to dinner at an old-school Italian place here in the city. As soon as we walked in, the comments started. “What a nice family!” “Wow, you don’t see big families like this anymore!” “I always wanted to have a lot of kids!” We took our places at the red-checker clothed table and I prayed the kids would behave.
Just as we opened our menus, a waitress from the other side of the restaurant approached us. She had a warm demeanor as she kindly complimented us on our large family. She fondly mentioned her own four children who are all now grown. And then she sweetly smiled wide and said:
“Thank you for populating the white race.”
My stomach sank. My mouth went dry.
I didn’t know what to say. Or do. I was completely unprepared to handle a comment like that. On one hand, I wanted to unleash on her racist ass: White race?! Try HUMAN RACE, you psycho lady. I didn’t give birth to these six miracles just to further your crazy cause, bitch. I think it is important to speak up when I see or hear an injustice. But, on the other hand, we were at a restaurant with our kids, and getting into an argument with a wacko while other people are enjoying a dinner out might not be the best plan. I chose the latter. There is no sense in trying to reason with such an unreasonable person.
But, part of me wonders if I should have spoken up. Could it have been an opportunity to teach my young kids about this whole, huge, multi-faceted race issue we have in our country? Maybe. I’m not sure. Fortunately, we live in a part of the city where people of all shades live, and on a very regular basis the kids and I have conversations about how people are different and special in so many ways. I hope we’re off to a good start to a continuing education that will last their lifetimes.
But, I am really bothered by the fact that this racist waitress thought Chris and I are “on the same team” as she. What is it about us that made her think a comment like that would be appreciated, accepted or agreed with? I don’t sympathize with any part of her nonsense, and much to her chagrin I’m mothering six people who will live against everything she stands for on that issue.
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