Saturday, October 20, 2007


I was filming Enzo at the park and had another one of those conversations with yet another stranger


stranger: "Woah you are really a dedicated nanny, filming him and all"

Me: "Oh, I'm not his nanny. I'm his mom"

stranger: "Oh." Pause and then tries to explain herself "well yeah, it's just that your hair is so dark and he's so light and...." (at this point I was tuning her out and luckily Enzo ran to another slide and I was following him)


without fail whenever I got to a park alone with Enzo people always assume I'm the nanny. The worse was when I took him to the play group in the park and I was speaking Portuguese with him and another mom was right there with her kid playing at the craft table. When she herd me speaking Portuguese to Enzo she asked in a VERY loud and slow voice "WHAT'S YOUR NAME?" she then went on to do this yelling thing with him. An overwhelming sense of guilt came over me. I hated when I moved to Chicago and people yelled at me assuming that if you yell people will understand English. What a bizarre phenomena. I felt so bad that Enzo being just 1 and 1/2 was dealing with this. He looked at her startled but of course didn't know what was going on. I can't wait till he's totally bilingual and if that happens again he can reply "please don't yell at me, yelling doesn't make me understand English any better."


I've been super sensitive this week after reading hours and hours of interviews of people who lived through the Jim Crow era. I'm not trying to compare my experience of being mistaken for a nanny to those who suffered extreme racism in the south, it's just that I've been very sensitive.


Maybe this whole thing can be to my benefit. Next time Enzo is being naughty at the park or tries to steal yet another sting cheese I can look totally innocent and say "His parents should really teach him some manners" and walk out of the situation looking like a darn good nanny.
my friend send me this video from you tube
it's about the immigration debate.

9 comments:

Pamela Palmer said...

Maybe it's that you look too young to be a mom, did you ever think of that? I think i do need to come at christmas time. i'll have my travel agent check ticket prices. my main drawback is not wanting to abandon adam, but maybe i could talk him into coming. maybe.

Pamela Palmer said...

Maybe it's that you look too young to be a mom, did you ever think of that? I think i do need to come at christmas time. i'll have my travel agent check ticket prices. my main drawback is not wanting to abandon adam, but maybe i could talk him into coming. maybe.

Damaris said...

Totally thought about that, until people started saying things like what I posted.I've also herd people say "oh but he looks nothig like you, I mean he's so white" I don't really think it's the age thing.

Please come for Christmas and please bring Adam along

fumika said...

Childen don't get "colors" until they get a bit older, I think. Even my daughter is 100% Japanese, I've been asked if she was half caucasian. Damaris, don't let them bother your happy time with Enzo. You don't have to have yourself dragged down to their level; just stay where and who you are. You know you are Enzo's mom, he knows you are his mom, everybody in the family (including all the good understanding friends you have) knows you are the mom. Isn't that more than enough? (However, I exactly know how you feel.)

By the way, how about having Adam coming over to Japan while Pam is on the trip there?

Karen said...

My heart goes out to you. You are a beautiful mom. I am so happy you came to visit. I have a fresh picture when I read the stories. Shelley, Steve and Suzelle are all here at Mimi's and tonight is the BIG family party for Tricia's 40th.

Damaris said...

By the way I wrote this not because I want you guys to feel sorry for me. I just wanted to put it out there because I was so annoyed. Also because I miss laie, where no one has nannies and having a multiracial family is the norm

fumika said...

In case I brought you any misunderstanding, I wanted to delete the former comment I posted...I forgot how.

Now I feel bad not because of what you just wrote, but because of my stupidity that I made any comments about your blog. Damaris, I'm sorry.

Damaris said...

Fumika,
I appreciated your comment and was not offended at all!!! i'm so glad you comment on our blog. Everyone says how cool you are. i feel left out that I haven't met you. Continue to comment and check out our blog. Oh...and encourage Adam to post, maybe he'll take your request into consideration

Pamela Palmer said...

Doubt it. The more people try to talk him into something the less likely he'd be to want to do it. Love you Adam--more than the last mango.