A first-time mother asked me to comment on the risks associated with raising an interracially mixed child. Fortunately for you, this is something I have personal experience with. Emi is the byproduct of an interracial union that wasn’t even legal in California during the fifties. Sometimes we still wonder how confused Emi will be in trying to adapt the ideologies of two very distinct cultures. Kacey is a 4th generation Japanese American, so you know that she will instill esoteric values and uncompromising Japanese traditions that will contradict my stanch 6th generation British American heritage. This cultural mêlée has not created a benevolent melting pot, but rather a smoldering pot of immiscible ideologies.
For New Years, it is customary for the Japanese to eat a tasty lucky bean referred to as, “lucky bean”. That’s not what my forefathers did. They watched Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve and then went to bed at or around 11:15PM. For Christmas, Japanese people will send thank you cards to everyone for gifts received. My British American culture tells me this is only necessary for wedding presents.
Kacey has about a 45 word Japanese vocabulary that she uses on a semi-frequent basis. For instance, when we’re about to give Emi a bath, Kacey will say, “time for your bocha”. Is this going to confuse Emi down the road as an adult? You tell me.
Relating to Friends
Unfortunately, in San Francisco, only one out of four children are a Caucasian/Asian mix. This means only one in four friends of Emi will look exactly like her.
Emi’s aunt (Kacey’s sister) eats the most disgusting Japanese food called Natto, which is fermented soy beans. It looks and tastes like snot. We eat Japanese food about every other day and everything else is delicious. But what’s up with Natto? What if Emi makes the mistake of serving it at a party? She will offend the pallets of many of her British American friends, as well as her Japanese American friends and pretty much anyone else.
My advice to you, interracially married reader, is to make it easy on yourselves. Compromise by selecting a culture outside the innate heritage of both you and your spouse. That will give both of you equal footing for cultural influence. Kacey and I are looking to immerse Emi in the traditions of Peru.
Tyler H is a guest blogger and father to Emi. The Three Bay B Chicks have asked him to shed light on a Dad’s point of view under the stern supervision of his loving wife. If you have a question for Ask A Dad, feel free to submit it in the comments section. The Three Bay B Chicks are not responsible for Tyler's "advice."