Real Life, Real Moms: 'What are They?'
Is this a question I am obligated to answer about my kids?
While grocery shopping with my three kids, we were stopped by a lady. She began to gush over my children, and how she thought my kids were, “Some of those kids, you know? The ones where they have eight, the twins and and then six more?”
(For the record, I look nothing like Kate.)
I was taken aback as I quietly considered my children’s resemblance to the Gosselin kids. As it turns out, I didn’t need to respond because the lady continued chattering on how my daughter Cupcake especially looked liked one of the Gosselins.
The lady paused, and I knew it was coming. I waited, and she did not disappoint. She abruptly blurted out, “What are they, exactly? Your kids, I mean?”
At this point, I murmured that my children are half-Korean and half-Caucasian. Then the kids and I moved on to continue our shopping.
“What are they?”
This is a question I get asked often, more so when my kids were small babies. I have always answered honestly, as I did that day. However, I also always wonder: why do you want to know? I do not go around asking others, “What are you?” Most of the time, I remain unaware of a person’s heritage. As a matter of fact, I have to ask The Husband what he is since I generally refer to him as Midwestern white-bread American!
I understand there might be some fascination because my kids look exotic, but really? Is it acceptable to just ask people what they are? I prefer not to be cagey and give flip responses such as, “They are American,” or “They are people,” although I would like to sometimes!
I wish I could find an answer to that question which politely lets the questioner know that I am uncomfortable with being asked.