My biracial kids are a mystery

Anywhere I go with my kids I notice a wave of eyes staring them down. They’re friendly onlookers enchanted by their bright eyes and bouncy curls. At least I assume that’s what strangers are drawn to. Though I really like to think it’s their sweet spirits pulling them in.

mixed kidsIt’s been about three years since the last time a stranger asked if she was mine. My mom asked me if I get that much but I think she’s grown to look a little more like me–Or perhaps I’ve got the “mom look” down now, so no one assumes otherwise.

On my way back from Atlanta this week I stood in line waiting for my Chick-fil-a. The woman behind the counter asked me about my kids.

“What are they mixed with?” She asked me.

“What?” It took a second for her question to register.

“What are your kids mixed with?” She asked again.

“Oh. White…” I said it almost like a question. I was sure, but unsure if that’s what she wanted to know.

“Oh, I thought they was somethin’ else.” She replied.



I chuckled off the innocent comment but walked to the plane with my two kids wondering what she thought they might have been.

I rehashed the story to my husband who told me he always gets asked the same question.

I guess when we’re all together our family makes sense. Apart, and we’re a beautiful mystery.

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  1. I recently got the “Is he yours?” question for the very first time. I told the lady ‘No, I stole him.’ and she kinda half chuckled nervously. Honestly, I think it’s ridiculous and rude to ask someone that question.

  2. Every once in a while people think my kids might have a little hispanic in them. And I get the surprised looks when I say “white” too. Not so much anymore since my oldest is 6… maybe he’s grown out of it? LOL

    But there is definitely a fasination with mixed kids. Not sure why. But yours are so darn cute!

    1. You are so sweet!! Your boys are so adorable. I think you’re right. There is a fascination with mixed kids.

      Come to think of it. I think there have been a few occasions where people still ask me if my daughter is mine but I’ve been so quick to say “yea” in answering the question, I’ve hardly even realized what they’ve asked.

    2. Some people wonder if I have any Mediterranean heritage, because they say I have that skin tone in the summer. But not as far as I know do I have any Mediterranean heritage. My mom also has the Mediterranean skin tone in the summer. As far as I know I’m Irish, British, Scottish, Welsh, French, and German. But you might also guess I was Irish, because of the natural ringlets in my hair, the redish tint in my hair (it looks kind of redish brown), my wide blue eyes.

    3. It’s so rude for people to voice their curiosities with such question! For many the fascination stems from seeing a mixed black/white child, or older person too, and believing that the white genes seem to upgrade the black appearance. When it seems that this appearance upgrade never fails, that’s fascinating to them. For others, it’s not really fascination at all; the “upgrade” is nice so they comment, but all the while are feeling disappointment from the “downgrade” that the black genes have on white appearance, which to them also seems to always to happen.

  3. You’re children are beautiful! I am surprised by the boldness of people. What business is it of there’s and why do they even have to ask. Think to yourself people, mind your own business. You handle the situation with a lot of grace girl! I think it would take me a while to not want to deck them. LOL!! I love your blog!

  4. Wow! People are bold. It’s one thing to be in awe of two beautiful babies and celebrate diversity. It’s quite another to be completely ignorant and spout off rude questions in the name of nosiness. I’m sorry that a stranger felt they had the right to approach you in that way.

    1. People are bold. And I’m not sure if I’m jaded now or just not surprised by much these days but it didn’t offend me. I should come up with a good answer that helps educate people when they ask me something like that in that way.

  5. I am 22 years old & I get asked the “what are you” question pretty often. I am mixed with Hispanic & White. I’ve learned just to brush it off because some people will just ask whatever ignorant question that pops up in their head.

  6. I haven’t really got the question of “Are they yours” maybe because they are light skinned and I’m white. But my husband gets a lot if stares when he is out with them alone. Your little ones are gorgeous!

    I think some people just weren’t taught manners or they have entitlement issues and think they have a right to know, when in fact it is none of their business. So they can just look on and wonder why we have been blessed with such gorgeous children. πŸ˜‰

  7. I’m white and my husband is a pretty dark skinned black man. If ever I’m with our little girl by ourselves I get curious looks and the “is she yours?” Questions. We’re about to have another little girl so I know I’m going to get it even more. People are so silly. But our little girl is so beautiful and people tell me all the time she needs to be a model, lol!

  8. Ive known quite a few people who have told me bi-racial children are the most beautiful. I tend to feel that way myself. Im always drawn to them, and amazed by their beauty. But ive never had it in me to ask- that just seems inappropriate.

  9. That was an…interesting question! I rarely get asked when out with Avery by myself. But then again I’m always kissing his cheeks…licking my finger to wipe his face or chasing him saying, “mommy wants kisses!!!” Matt on the other hand gets asked constantly if he’s his kid. It really hurts his feelings… as in who else’s kid would he be out shopping with?!
    But we live in a curious society and majority of the time we have to remember the inquiries are harmless.

  10. Folks can be so rude! Especially when it comes to bi-racial kids. A co-worker once said I married my husband so I can have light skinned babies. Another one said I wanted my kids to have “good hair”. Whatever THAT means.
    I guess I had had enough though cause when a lady at Burger King asked me if my daughter was mine, I nicely said “I think so. You know…finders keepers!” I really enjoyed the look on her face :-).

  11. Wow, I can’t believe the things people say! Beautiful mystery, love it! And they are beautiful. My husband and I are both white, so no questions like that, but I sometimes get asked whether my son’s mine, too. I have brown straightened hair and brown eyes, my son has blonde curly hair and blue eyes. Though more commonly people will say “he MUST look like his dad;” I get that every couple of weeks or so. Even though he does look like his dad, and I love that he looks like his dad, the comments are still annoying–if that makes any sense. And I always get asked where he gets his curls from (me!).

  12. Craziest thing I’ve ever been asked: “Oh my goodness she is so cute; where did you get her?”
    Excuse me??? Where did I get her??? Like I went to a store and bought her. Some people lol!

  13. I chalk it up to curiosity. I probably sound rude when I ask things too (for a while my obsession was hair products) People think my husband is from a country in Latin / South America. Get that more than black. Love the beautiful mystery. BTW – maybe she wanted to hear: Sugar and spice and everything nice? Or Frogs and snails and puppy dog tails … ha ha.

  14. What are they mixed with? Sugar and spice and everything nice! Those are all the ingredients any stranger needs to know!

  15. I am white and my son is adopted and biracial. We are not actually sure what his ethnic makeup is. I get ” what is he?” I usually want to answer, “ummm….a little boy?” But when I answer with “I don’t know” they usually give me a pretty strange look πŸ™‚

  16. Really? I thought they was something else. Lol. My husband hates been asked if my son is his. Never been asked if he is mine though..thank goodness. I have been asked once if a white kid with blonde hair although super curly and blue eyes was mine at Walmart once, and I thought to myself really? Just coz this kid who is obviously white has curly hair she just has to be mixed? lol

  17. My (adopted) son is half-AA and half-Native American and people are always trying to guess what he is. Usually I get, ‘Oh, I thought it was South American!’ and I just laugh because, really, what does THAT mean? They ask where he is from and are shocked when I say, “Valdosta” (a town in south GA) because they expect it to be some exotic place or something, haha.

  18. That is so ridiculous! People just have this need to classify/categorize others, I guess. Here in Utah I just get assumptions that Kal was adopted when I’m out with him by myself. (Which he was. But that’s beside the point!!)… And when I answer, they go off with a tirade of questions. Or they stumble all over their words and ask “what is he?” and “where did you get him from?” and “how much did he cost?” LOL. Ummmm… he’s black & white, yall. *eye roll* And I didn’t buy him!

  19. Growing up I was raised by my mom who was my mom by relationship, not blood. I would be thrilled when people who were unaware of the true nature of our relationship would comment that I looked more and more like her every day! Even though she had curl hair to my straight hair, brown eyes to my blue and my light skin only matched her darker skin in late summer when I was very tan!
    It boggles me that people feel it is okay to ask the questions they do about our children. Thankfully, my husband trusts me enough to know he is indeed my forever love and our dark headed son did not belong to the mailman- my snarky answer! πŸ™‚
    As for your two, they are both undeniably beautiful!

  20. I get this all the time too. My daughter looks more like my husband who is white so everyone is always staring at her and they will ask me if she is mine.

  21. First, you have gorgeous children. I just wanted to share some of my experiences with you…i am mixed (Asian and black) my husband is mixed (samoan and white) so then my children are mixed with…everything…lol…and ppl are always asking me if they are mine, if I am their nanny, if they are siblings…hence since my spouse and I are mixed with different things none of our kids look alike….after I had my first child a lady even approached me and said something insulting about my child out of just not being aware of the “times”…. Modern days……so basically mixed kids are a beautiful mystery that ppl are trying to figure out.

  22. I’ve never got the question if my daughter is mine because she is definitely the spitting image of me. But I am often asked, “what are we?”. I’ve gotten a little more sarcastic with my responses. Most of the time, I just say, “awesome humans.” I don’t think people realize how rude that is on so many levels.

  23. I get curious about the ethnic makeup of biracial kids too, but I don’t think I’d ever have the audacity to ask “What are those kids mixed with?” That seems rude to me. I COULD see myself asking that if I had a child though because (to me) it doesn’t seem as tasteless of a question if I have a biracial kid of my own with me.

    The curiosity for me is just seeing what races came together to make such an adorable baby/child!

  24. I guess people are curious about what they don’t understand, but don’t quite know how to phrase it properly. Living in NYC I’ve asked people quite a bit what ethnicity they are just because I’m curious and once I moved from the Midwest to the Northeast I got the question, “What are you?” a lot more along the lines of the African diaspora (when I was in Boston folks thought I was Cape Verdean and in NYC people often think I’m Dominican). Now with my daughter and I sharing my husband’s Nigerian last name we get asked a lot what we are and where we’re from. What I love about the growing diversity in our country is soon being “other” will the normal majority!

  25. People are definitely bold and quite curious lol. Trust me it won’t end anytime soon either. I am 27, biracial (Hispanic and black) and it STILL hasn’t stopped. The main comments/ questions “What are you mixed with?” “You have “good” hair, are you mixed?” and “You’re not all black are you?” I think I’ve gotten so used to it I just answer too. It’s funny because now that I have my daughter and her father is Haitian people ask questions all over again lol. I’m sure most are innocent and just curious. I do like the response “Her father” lol

  26. I totally understand, people are always asking “what I am”. After I resist a smart alec answer I just say black and white and they always say they figured I was Puerto Rican or Indian (middle eastern or sometimes American). So my son is 1/4 black and looks 100% white so I always get the look that people think I’m the babysitter and never ask what he’s mixed with.

    I love some of the responses above!

  27. Really, I don’t think people ask to be rude. It’s just different and people want to know… we are in the age of information and race is still an issue that’s not totally embraced comfortably. When we see these children/people that look unusually beautiful with a parent of one race it’s a natural curiosity. You should check out the latest issue of National Geographic with the many faces of mixed raced people. Interesting article… beautiful faces. I get the being asked a hundred times a day, but it’s not a normal thing to most… yet. BTW… I am the auntie of a beautiful bi racial niece who looks completely white. (father’s AA, my brother and mother is German). My brother said that his genes must have been very watered down ’cause she’s lily white… lol You never know what look you’ll get with bi racial children and that’s what I believe causes the curiosity. Genes are a funny thing.

  28. Thank you for sharing your experience and story. My husband and I don’t have kids yet, but when we do, they will be mixed. I’ve already had a handful of people ask me if it “upsets me that my children won’t have a chance of looking like me.” Um, NO!! But clearly, it upsets them on some level.

  29. Thanks for the epiphany! I have had quite a few looks I guess, and I have not thought about it until now. Perhaps it’s the NYC in me, but I tend not to pay attention to other people unless I feel threatened hehe. The few times people have asked me about my daughter’s race we were alone. 2-3 times it was a fellow chocolatatey person asking, but most often it is non-black women with biracial (half black)kids. I guess for black women it’s obvious so we don’t ask, IDK?
    People are vocal when my sister is around because she’s light skinned (I am very brown) and a decade older then me. We hear …”Whose the Mom?, Your daughter is soooo cute (to my sister), She looks just like you WOW (to my sis), OMG TWINS (to my sis)”…etc. They look alike so I get the confusion, but REALLY?

  30. When I first had my daughter someone asked me if i was the nanny!! (My husband is biracial and my daughter is very light). People just don’t have a filter anymore! I dont care anymore when they ask. Mysterious is beautiful to me!!

  31. My stepmom is black and my dad is black so my little sister is half of each. When my dad and Brianna (my little sister) are out alone, he gets looks and sometimes questions. I mean, she is cute! So hopefully, the looks are people thinking she is just a cute kid! But, I am sure that at least some of the looks are of wonder. I always wonder what people think when they see our other sister (who is white like myself) or I out and about with Brianna. Do they think we are her baby sitter? Did we steal her….she is totally worth it by the way! Lol just kidding! It doesn’t really matter. I have never been questioned. I don’t know about my other sister though. I wouldn’t mind if it was general curiosity. But if people are being rude…that is were I draw the line.

  32. I’m in my thirties and still get asked this question, although not as often. I too think it is beyond rude to question strangers about a child race, curious or not. There are many bi-racial people who don’t look bi-racial that escape this nonsense altogether. People are beautiful period, it should not matter their race. I hate, hate, hate when strangers dare ask if the children your with are yours, they may or may not but how nosy and rude of you to ask. I kidnap cute kids on a daily basis to learn parenting skills, grrrr, off my soap box now. Your children are beautiful and their is no mystery to that.

  33. My brother and sister are biracial and people can never really tell what ethnicity they are. My sister often looks like some sort of hispanic mix and my brother changes based on how he is wearing his hair and facial hair. They are a beautiful, exotic mix – two of the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen in my life – and people are always curious.

  34. My kids are Arab/Black and yes I get asked the “what are they mixed with” question. I figure people are just curious. When we lived in a very multicultural city people asked…now we live in a majority White area in a new city and it’s still the same. The only difference is how they approach me.
    I think the best answer is a smile…unless they are being ignorant.

  35. While reading this, I just KNEW it was someone from Atlanta who said that! That was pretty rude. Can’t they just comment on how cute they are? You definitely DO have that mom look down and your kids look like you for sure. No doubting they are yours.

  36. I am almost 30 and i get asked what i am at least 3 times a week, or spoken spanish to without hesitation, mostly based on how my hair is done that day. i have 4 brothers and 1 sister of the same multi-racial family, and everyone of us is a different color, with different hair. and my child, whose father is also black and white, will get asked the same million questions. but now when they ask what am I, I ask what i look like! Usually get the word Exotic, so I dont mind

  37. When I grew up “ethnic”meant italian or greek. Now all euorpeans are lumped into white. Even Though 100 years ago the “white” people inpower didn’t consider either white. Now ethnic means literally your skin color or the other boxes you check. For example hispanics can be white, black, or asian and still be hispanic. But people now view hispanic as its own race. Arabs and SouthAsian Indians are another example. While anthropologically caucasian, noone actually considers them white or caucasian because the majority are darker complected. In the case of arabs there is no ethic group box like there is for hispanics. South asians check the asain box althouh certainly not mongoloid in race. And noone would conside someone from the middle east Asian because they are not mongoloid either even though it is technically west Asia! So you can see how complex this subject is. My daughter is half arab and dark and to someone unfamiliar may look biracial. She’s not. Her cousin is 3/4 arab and lily white with bright red hair. Yes they do have blondes and redheads in the middle east. You never know what genetics will do. I ‘ve had people say to me none of my kids look like me and one has blondish hair! I don’t like it but these are the people that only look at the surface -skin tone or hair color. I am thrilled when someone tells me my oldest daughter looks like me (she looks just like her dad). These are the people that are looking deeper- bone structure, or even mannerisms. ( by the way our backgrounds are mine- polish, italian, hungarian and husband – lebanese/ palestinian)

    The point is I and plenty of other people find people’s backgrounds ancestry fascinating. Is it any wonder the public’s fascination with dna testing? Don’t take offense at people asking about your background. Take pride.

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