Olivia knows she was born in China and mommy and daddy flew on an airplane and she came home to North Carolina, but she’s never really been interested in the details.

The class she is in at school now is geared for four-year-olds.  One day I’ll explain more in detail why she’s there (technically she’s not supposed to be because her birthday is in January).  Several months back, before she moved up to the great class, she came home and told me they drew faces in school that day.  She told me she has brown hair and it’s not long and it’s not short.  Then it came to eyes.  She told me she has Chinese eyes.  Not brown eyes.  Not almond-shaped eyes, but Chinese eyes.  I questioned her to find out who told her she had “Chinese” eyes.  Miss A, her teacher.   After questioning some of the staff, I find out, the black children were not told they had African American eyes, but brown eyes.  (BTW, this is part of the reason she’s not in that class anymore) 

Since she’s becoming more and more aware of things, I thought today we’d talk about things that make us different.  I asked her to tell me something about me that was different than her.  (hoping this time she didn’t tell me I had a big tummy)

Her reply:

You vanilla* and I love vanilla.

End of lesson one.

*She has this thing about things that are white being “vanilla” – salt, parmesan cheese, cupcakes, vanilla icing.  Vanilla vs. Whitey.  I took Vanilla and decided to leave well enough alone.