8.28.2012

My Boys


At first glance my boys look very different from each other. W has dark hair, dark eyes, and a more olive skin tone. B is fair with blond hair and blue eyes. Their eye shape is different, but their noses, cheeks, mouth, and chin are very similar... Except people don't usually look long enough to notice it. They take a quick inventory and then ask me how my two boys look so different. I've grown accustomed to making a joke of it, rather than pointing out their similarities.

While I was reading the amazing novel The Baker's Daughter I couldn't help but think that if we were in a different place at a different time these differences could allow for very different lives for my kids. If we were living within the setting of a book and were a Jewish family living in Nazi Germany, B would fit the perfect Aryan stereotype. Would he have been spared? Would a family have taken him in to protect him? Would I encourage him to pretend to be something else to protect himself, even if it meant W wouldn't have the same chance? I found myself wondering this again and again throughout the book. And I still can't shake the question.

I'd like to think that we live in a place and time when these simple differences don't matter and the world will view each of them the same, regardless of hair or eye color. But, we all have stereotypes, right? It can't be compared to real true bigotry or genocide, but I do wonder what the future has in store for two boys who outwardly might look so different at first glance.

This post is inspired by Sarah McCoy's The Baker's Daughter. In a small Texan town, Reba discovers Elsie's German Bakery and falls in love with more than the pastries. Shes drawn to Elsie's life in Germany during the last year of WWII. Join From Left to Write on August 29  as we discuss The Baker's Daughter. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

6 comments:

Amy @ UsingOurWords.com said...

Sounds like this was a great, thought-provoking book. I wish both your handsome boys great happiness and every opportunity -- regardless of their looks.

Thien-Kim aka Kim said...

I'm glad that we don't live in those times anymore. Your family is beautiful and your boys will have amazing opportunities because of you and your husband.

Some Suburban Mom said...

I find it sad that physical traits can carry so much baggage. When we look at people, of course we notice their physical characteristics like height, weight, hair color, eye color, and such, but those things have zero bearing on what kind of person they are.

You have a beautiful family.

Alicia said...

My daughter was born with jet black hair and eyes to match and a beautiful olive complexion. My son was born with blue eyes and blond hair and a light olive complexion. When he was around 5 years old someone asked him, "So you are half white and half mexican?" (My husband was caucasian and I am mexican.) My son said, "Nooooo, I am White, my sister is Mexican." Luckily it has never bothered either one of them. Your boys are beautiful and as a mother you would have done all you could to have saved both in Germany.

Karen said...

Your family is beautiful. Looks and genes can play out in such different ways. My friend is adopted, but looks like her parents. My kids look like each other, but their hair is nothing like mine. Hopefully, we just raise them to look past the outside and love what's on the inside. :>

Rachee Fagg said...

My daughter has a darker complexion and I'm always amazed when people remark at how she doesn't look like me. There are times when she does look exactly like her father but she looks like me, skin color be damned!
Your family is so beautiful. Love that picture