“Hurry, hurry!” I called to the girls as we ran across the soccer field after Adi’s first practice. We were late for the ice cream social at the girls’ new school. This is our life, hurrying from one thing to the next, trying to make everyone happy!
As we parked the car, the girls quickly unbuckled, eager to join their new friends on the school’s field. As we approached the other families, I noticed Wren tense up a bit as she scanned the crowd for her friends she knew would be there. “I see them!” she cried. “Can I go say hi?” As she ran off to greet her friends, I navigated the ice cream line with Adi and Rose.
Before I knew it, I was holding three abandoned bowls of ice cream, the playground and friends more appealing than a sweet treat. Since my hands were full, I knocked elbows as I introduced myself to Wren’s fourth grade teacher. I also caught a glimpse of all three girls, standing around a spinning apparatus, surrounded by other kids. My nerves seemed to relax a bit, seeing for myself that they were settling in…making friends.
After tossing the bowls of now melted ice cream, I joined the girls on the playground. “This is my friend Eliza from my class,” Wren said, introducing a girl they were all playing with. I noticed the way Eliza took a second look at me and then back to Wren. I smiled at the girls and saw Eliza look between us again, puzzled. I could tell I wasn’t the mom she was expecting.
Later, when I finally peeled the kids off the playground, we headed back towards the car. “Eliza seemed nice,” I said to Wren. “Was she surprised that I was your mom?”
“Kind of,” Wren replied. “She asked if you had different color skin than me. So I told her that dad has darker skin and mine is a mix of both of you.”
We talked about how maybe Eliza hadn’t ever met a family with parents with two different color skin. I praised Wren for her ability to explain this to her friend. “This is how you teach people. All families are different.”
Wren nodded, not phased at all by the interaction with her friend. I’ve been left for days thinking about this blip of a moment and who Wren is becoming. She is so much more confident and brave than I will ever be.