Today something surprising happened, and I would be interested to know what your thoughts are.
The situation: Middle child was restless and guests were due to arrive. So husband took son for a brisk walk of about 2 miles near the cottage where we are staying. About 20 minutes after getting home, the police turned up on the doorstep because of a couple of calls about a 'suspicious' man with a young boy seen walking in this direction.
What was suspicious? The police tried to tell us it was because they had been walking on the verge of an A road (a main road) which was unusual. My husband thinks it might be because of the speed they were moving at - our son was running most of the way to keep up, but this was intentional and enjoyed! What nobody wanted to mention was that my son is black African and my husband is white, so they do not 'obviously' belong together.
In four and a half years back in the UK, nothing like that has ever happened! I used to get the occasional sideways glance whilst breastfeeding, and we are often recognised out and about because our children are distinct, but no police visits!
My thoughts are jumbled:
1) On the one hand, I am relieved that people would report suspicious behaviour and that the police response was rapid
2) At the time, it was highly amusing (our friends who were visiting are white Africans)
3) It is sad that there would be a need for a concern to be raised (but I am aware this world is not a pleasant place a lot of the time)
4) I am glad that my sons are not old enough to really understand what it was all about
5) I can't understand why nobody was willing to admit that colour played a part in this - I was happy to say to the policeman that I could understand why a query was raised because of the differences in appearance
6) I am sad that race does still play a part. My sons are 'colour blind' in that respect, and we have friends of many colours, mixed race marriages, adopted children - for us it is totally normal for children and parents to look different, or for siblings to look different to one another. Clearly this is not the case in different parts of the country
What do you think?
- I am a Christian mother of five, and our highest goal as a family is to serve God in every aspect of our lives. Jesus promised His disciples 'life in all its abundance' (John 10:10) - that has been our story, a rich life, not devoid of challenges, but certainly abundant. Previously writing at www.homeeducationnovice.blogspot.com, we have come to realise that education is just one area where our faith shapes our choices and direction in life. This blog seeks to share our adventure.