Shop the fall collection ➔

He Was Brown www.herviewfromhome.comHe was brown. Brown with blonde hair and dark eyes and a red yarn smile that was frayed from being picked at. I looked at the face for a time that wasn’t nearly as long as it felt like and asked, “Who is this, baby?” Of course he answered assuredly, “It’s me!” Every blonde hair waving; each blue eye dancing; and his full red lips parting into a large, proud smile. Not a hint of brown lingers on my three-year-old artist, but it covers my entire body. But, with his judgement free eyes, he sees us as one and the same. My brown is his as it is his brothers and sister.

My children come in varying hues: one is soft cocoa-brown like me; another is toffee with his warm undertones highlighting a smooth golden caramel; still another is a mop of sandy-brown curls and peek-a-boo tan skin (pink in the winter; brown in the summer). As a multiracial woman who conceived multiracial children, my children’s complexions amaze and confuse many. What I hear now in regards to them are the same questions my single, white mother fielded with me many years ago. Just as she brushed off invasive question after inappropriate question, I find myself in the inverse, especially when it comes to my blonde baby.

“Are you the sitter?”

“How fun to bring your children’s friend with you to the park!”

“He’s yours? How?!?!”

Questions, comments, excitement and antagonism are all par for the course for us. And I, for one, am glad my children will experience all of it. I’m glad they will have to see the multiple layers of race and what it means in America and abroad.

I’m excited to know that there may be a time when they will be accepted seamlessly into a group and get the rare opportunity to see through the eyes of others as few can. Their ambiguous features are the same as mine and lends credence to the possibility that they are “insert here” race. I’ve been granted unspoken access to many groups.

My standing favorite is when I was assumed to be (and argued with when I informed her I was not) a native of India. My Indian manicurist not only shared her deeply felt thoughts and feelings about politics and race with me while robotically doing my nails; she showed me that what I had always sought was a universal feeling. The need for connection in another face is strong and does not change with time. I want my kids to feel that connection to the world and take pride in being able to see people’s truths from it.

There are explanations they will be asked to give about themselves that will require them to delve into who they are at a much earlier age than most of their peers. They will also have to explain me and their father (two wholly different people in much more than looks) and how we represent them in body and mind. I could be upset that that part of them will grow up so fast, but I’m not. Introspection will sit at their doorstep and they will have to answer the call. And when you think about the need so many of us have to truly find ourselves as we age, is there anything negative to be said about starting early?

That being said, I know they will face challenges. People will push back and show hate where there needn’t be any. And it will break my heart. I’ll want to run and fix it, but to an extent, I will need to stand back. I will always offer them a sense of pride in themselves and a place of safety, but some battles must be fought to secure peace, if only for yourself. I will let them fight these battles with the assurance that when it is said and done, I will be here and that the hate in this world won’t match the warmth of our hearts.

As I think about that statement and my “Baby Blue Eyes,” knowing that so many won’t see his “brown,” I hope for the best in my ability to teach. I pray that I can teach him to see himself as one beautiful, whole human being who can celebrate each part that makes him who he is. But that is work for another day. Right now, I am going to celebrate his innocence and his perfect picture of himself, piece by piece.

He Was Brown www.herviewfromhome.com

Pamela Homolka

Hi! My name is Pamela Homolka. I am a mom to six beautiful souls on Earth (Anastasia, Devin, John, Chance, Sean, and Alice), and three in Heaven (Nathaniel, Mia, and Lucas). I am also a wife to a wonderful husband of almost nine years and a substitute teacher at Grand Island Public Schools. I haven’t quite decided if I’m a teacher with a writing hobby or vice versa, but I thoroughly enjoy both at any rate. My heart is in Texas, but I dearly love my family and friends in Nebraska and currently reside in Henderson.

It’s Okay to Say No to the Promposal

In: Kids, Teen
Boy holding pink sign saying "Prom with me?"

Promposals are cute.  But, even for the sweetest questions, it’s okay if the answer is not yes. I have more boys than girls at my house so the whole meet the boy asking your girl out with a gun posts don’t sit well with me. Boys and girls have an equally hard time negotiating friendships and relationships in high school, and I care equally for both. A young man spent some time, told his friends, made a cute sign, and planned to ask my daughter to a dance. A friend of my daughters mentioned he might ask (and even made...

Keep Reading

I Wipe the Slides

In: Kids, Motherhood
boy on slide

I want you to have the most fun possible at your tiny playground stars program, so I wipe the slides. I don’t want you to have a meltdown if your clothes get wet while I’m gone, so I wipe the slides. I want to have three precious hours of only managing your little sister, so I wipe the slides. RELATED: I’d Rather Serve My Kids Than Have Them be “Self-Sufficient” I don’t want you to feel embarrassed by a big reaction to wet clothes when I’m not there to help you, so I wipe the slides. I want you to...

Keep Reading

One Day You’ll Outgrow Being My Little Boy—But Not Today

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Mother and two sons back-to-school picture, color photo

One day you will come home after your first day of a new school year and not wish to share a single thing. Not today. Today, you got into the car and talked non-stop about every second of your day. I was delighted!  One day you will not have countless first-day forms for me to sign and return the next day. Not today. I signed my name at least four times. I was happy to grant permission for you to play sports, learn algebra, and do whatever else I gave my permission for.  One day you will not allow me...

Keep Reading

The Sports Mom Shows Up For Her Kids, No Matter What

In: Kids, Motherhood
Youth baseball game

We’re nearing the end of club baseball/softball season, and the burnout is real. The time away from home, burning through gas to get somewhere for two hours with half your house packed only to pack back up and turn around and drive to the next two-hour destination is insane. I don’t even like the sport right now. There . . . I said it. I’m so sick of softball fields and wind-blown dirt in my face. I’ve seen so many balls thrown in the last two months that my eyes hurt. But I still show up. I love to see...

Keep Reading

Having Babies and Toddlers Is Exhausting—but So, So Sweet

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Family of four with baby and toddler on bed

I took the girls to one of our favorite coffee shops last week and all around me were parents of babies and toddlers. Their little ones ran about in the grassy area out back, toddling up and down the lawn, when it suddenly hit me with perfect clarity—the sun has nearly set on this season for me. It was a realization marked by internal tension, a mourning of the loss of one season contrasted by the joyful anticipation at the arrival of the next. It came out of nowhere and hit me like a tidal wave. Having five kids in...

Keep Reading

3 Common Phrases to Avoid Saying to Your Kids (and What To Say Instead)

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother sitting with young boy on couch

Learning to love yourself is hard work. I did not grow up loving myself. Instead, I always felt inadequate, and I felt the need to change myself to prove my worth.  I want more for my kids. I want my kids to know their inherent value and worth. I want to empower my kids to love and accept themselves.  My self-love journey, aided by the expertise of a counselor, has helped me realize there are some narratives from my childhood I needed to unlearn. I had to accept my emotions as helpful and not something to be pushed down. I...

Keep Reading

They Love Each Other (and Sometimes They Don’t)

In: Kids, Motherhood
Toddler girl lying with big brother, color photo

When I was pregnant with his baby sister, Forest kissed my belly and talked about all the wonderful things he would do with this little girl he already loved so much. His plans changed, however, after she was born, and the thing he wanted to do the most with her was place her gently in the trash can. Some mornings he would kiss her softly, other mornings he would walk into the room where I’d be nursing her and say, “Her doesn’t look precious to ME.” Two and a half years later, Forest’s feelings toward Grace remain about the same....

Keep Reading

As a Mother, I Matter Too

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter in living room

“What’s more important than me, Mammy?” my daughter asked. I looked at her, and she was looking at me. Her question wasn’t harsh or accusatory, it was curious. She was curious. We were in the kitchen, I was at the table working, and she asked me to help her find something. I told her I was finishing up some important work and then I would play with her. This is when she asked me what was more important than her. I bit my tongue to stop the words that wanted to rush out of my mouth. I wanted to proclaim...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, Follow Your Beautiful Heart

In: Faith, Kids
Mother and daughter smiling

When I held you in my arms for the first time, it was like time stopped. As you looked up at me with innocence and new life, I was struck by the reality that my main role in your life would be to guide and direct you on the right path. I hoped I would do the best job possible. As I watched you grow, I basked in your joy of putting on your pretty dresses, adorned with layers of costume jewelry, parading around the house for your father and me to see. I dreamed often of what path you...

Keep Reading

My Daughter is “Extra” and the World Needs More People Like Her

In: Kids, Motherhood
girl jumping

She is . . . extra. She just is. All the time she is extra sad, and then extra “OMG, Mom-that-was-so-epic-let-me-tell-you-everything.” Extra energetic, then extra I’m too tired to help with any family chores. Extra hungry, then extra refuses to eat the food she just asked for because she’s full. RELATED: In Defense of the Wild Child Extra loves to show how much knowledge she has, then extra doesn’t want to do her homework because she’s too busy “being.” Extra defiant, then extra brings home adorable “I love you, Mom” art from school. There is no middle ground with this...

Keep Reading