July 30, 2008 7:47pm CST
No, I don't want a pat on the back. That is not what this is about. Race has never been an issue to me. It's the way I was raised. Curtis and his family have lived next door to us since I first moved in here. In fact, I knew his parents before he was born. His mother and I were pregnant at the same time. They were a blessing to me when I was pregnant and alone, with 2 older boys. They would often keep the boys so that I could attend my prenatal classes. So Curtis and my daughther have grown up together and they have been friends since birth. They are both thirteen now. Their "dates" consist of his parents dropping them off at the movies or the pizza hut and us picking them up. During the day, they go outside and play their gameboys, or whatever handheld gameset they have. Curtis is a great kid and my only priority for any guy who dates my kids is that they be treated right. So, Curtis' grandmother has recently come to live with them. SHe is having a hard time taking care of herself and her daughter and son in law are taking her in. My daughter came home from Curtis' house crying. The Grandmother told her that she didn't want a white girl dating her grandson. She said, to paraphrase, that there are too few "colored" girls for "colored" boys and she was taking away from the race. Charlene, Curtis' mother came to talk to me about it, but I wasn't offended. The grandmother is an old lady who has seen a lot of racial problems. She just wants to protect her grandson. I want to protect my daughter too, but I won't stop her from feeling what she feels. We are still neighbors and still friends and I suspect that the grandmother will get used to it; if it even lasts, they are only 13. But what do you think? How should I have reacted? Has this happened to anyone else and how did you explain it to your kids?