Over Thanksgiving weekend, my family traveled to a small town on the east side of Washington State to visit friends. While there, we attended the town’s day-after-Thanksgiving pre-Christmas community chili gathering. Many of the town’s residents were in attendance at this festive annual event. It was the first gathering of this size that I’ve attended in awhile at which no other people of color were present. It was the first time my children had been at such a gathering.
The family-style tables were crowded by the time we were looking for seats, so we set the kids up at one table and we adults found space at another. Later I learned that my twelve-year old chatted with a friendly man next to him. He reported that, “Mom, he asked, ‘Where are you from?’ and when I told him Seattle, he said, ‘No, where are you originally from?'” and it was the first time it occurred to my son that based on his appearance someone assumed he couldn’t be from Seattle. It’s amazing to me that it’s taken twelve years for this to happen. I think the world must be changing – or at least some of it!