“Mommy I couldn’t hear you because you were talking in Spanish” that’s how my middle child, Kael, is experiencing being part of a biracial family and sometimes answers my questions. He can hear me clearly, but he doesn’t always understand what I say when I speak to him in Spanish. You can read more about my story here.
All of my kids are bilingual but this little guy likes to go with what comes easier to him which is English. I try to talk to my kids in Spanish most of the time, but sometimes what comes out of my mouth sounds more like a mixture of both languages (Spanglish!).
One of the funniest things having to do with using two languages as a family is when my mom visits. She understands more English than she speaks. Kael tries to talk to her in English and my mom speaks to him in Spanish but five minutes into their conversations Kai, my oldest, usually has to intervene to translate for each of them.
Being a biracial family is a huge blessing and even has some really fun things associated with it. One thing that differentiates my family from yours…our MANY passports (11 currently). Each one of us, except for Andrew, owns two passports. All of my kids and I have dual citizenship. Sometimes I feel like we are a family of spies! While there are many benefits, the challenges of perception can be an issue. While most things I associate with being a bicultural family are great, it is not without its difficulties.
The Difficulties of a Biracial Family
One of my hardest moments happened while living in Mexico as a missionary. My kids skin color is lighter then mine and as biracial children, they don’t always look like my kids. This happened while pregnant with Kael, Kai was not yet three and Andrew wasn’t with us. I was going up the stairs of our apartment complex and this little boy and his mom were coming down the stairs. I heard the little boy asked his mom why Kai didn’t look like me, the mom’s answer broke my heart, “she is probably the nanny.” It has been hard to get used to people not thinking that I belong to my family.
In many ways, moving back to the states has made some aspects of this easier. However, staying connected to our other culture has become harder.
Where we live in Cincinnati now, it has been hard to find other Mexican people so our kids mostly see the Mexican side of our family when we are around my family, which they love. I love seeing my kids play with their cousins and hear them use both languages intertwined.
What We Eat
Beyond language, being bicultural also means exposure to different foods at a young age. In our family, that means spicy stuff! My kids have had spicy food from conception. Their Mexican side comes out every time we eat tacos. You will hear them ask for “spicy” as Analise calls it. Even though they didn’t grow up in Mexico they love Mexican candy. On the other hand my husband Andrew thinks it is the grossest thing ever.
This brings me to the way we eat. We eat American food with a Mexican twist and the other way around. Most of what we eat is spicy or we add some spicy sauce to it individually. We are not focused on having a separate course of a meal from various food groups. We usually eat everything mixed in one dish. It has been easier to not have to wash so many serving dishes!
One of our favorite toppings is guacamole and I wanted to share with you my recipe. It is very easy and you only need four ingredients!
1 small tomato
- Cut the tomato into really small cubes
- Mash the avocados
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl
- Serve immediately
It is so easy and fast to make. I love using it as a creamy dressing!
Enjoy! Let me know in the comments one of your favorite recipes.
Let’s talk again soon 🙂