Meltingpot mamas are always on the lookout for everyday diversity. When we see another multi-culti family out in public, we notice. When a television show comes on with colorful cast members we notice. Even when we go to a restaurant, if the menu items reflect certain ethnic influences, we notice. And we notice because we're kind of always looking for validation of our own beliefs, cultures and lifestyle choices. Of course this is all pretty much on a subconscious level. In real life, we just walk around with a smile on our faces when we see others that look like us.
That happened to me this weekend. This weekend in the Kinky Gazpacho household, it was all about baseball. Both of my sons have joined our neighborhood little league and Saturday was the parents' orientation. Now I know I live in one of the most integrated neighborhoods in America, but I'm still always a little shocked (in a good way) when I see that diversity in action. I think because I grew up in one of the most segregated cities in America, it still strikes me as unique when I see lots of Black people sitting side by side with White people and nobody seems the slightest bit uncomfortable. Little league was all about the kids, about baseball and about signing up to sell frozen pizzas for the annual fundraiser.
Now I will be honest. I was impressed with the diversity in the audience, a full spectrum of Black and White families, but I was even more impressed to see that the diversity extended to the leadership of the league as well. The coaches were a nice mix of Black and White, the gentlemen in charge of the whole league, both Black and White. What a difference from the way I grew up where my family was usually the only spot of color at my swim meets and gymnastics classes. And of course everyone in charge was always, always, always White. I am so happy that my boys witness this mixing of Black and White as normal. That they see coaches and authority figures who aren't only one color. In fact, they probably take everyday diversity for granted. If so, that means I'm doing my job right.
What about you? Where do you witness everyday diversity? At the grocery store? In school? At the doctor's office? Sometimes I think our efforts at forced integration would do well to study the places --like little league baseball in a neighborhood like mine -- where diversity just comes with the territory. You never know, we might learn something.