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« Terez Howard Installment #3 | Main | Introducing Terez Howard »

Terez Howard Installment #2

What I’ve Learned From Raising A Biracial Baby

By Terez Howard

I’m black, and my husband is white.  We have an interracial 3-year-old daughter. 

Our daughter does not look like the typical mixed kid with bronzish skin and wavy hair.  (I think that’s typical in most people’s minds).  No, our daughter’s milky complexion is no darker than a fully Caucasian person, and her curls shrink up to about two inches long, even though they stretch past her shoulders.

We get quite a few stares when my daughter, Micah, and I go in public.  People look curiously at this fair-skinned child and back at my dark skin in wonderment.  I’ve also been told that I look like a teenager, even though I’m 26.  So do people think I’m a teenager babysitting someone else’s kid?

It can be unnerving.  In the end, I’ve learned to not sweat the stares because people mostly are plain curious.

To help them understand my relationship to my daughter, I act as a loving mother.  And, I don’t mean to imply that I’m fake.  I talk to my Micah about everything as we stroll down Kroger’s aisles.  I give her plenty of hugs and kisses when stop at Tim Horton’s.  We act like ourselves, mother and daughter, wherever we go, a fact that doesn’t escape notice.

As any mother, I want my daughter to be comfortable in her own skin, even though it’s much different from mine.  I’ve found the best way to teach this is by example.  I have to be comfortable with myself.

This confidence spills into my work.  I don’t scrutinize over words or possible unpleasant reactions.  When I write, I’m honest.  I like to give the unvarnished truth.


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