First of all, I want to thank the wonderful readers who have left comments. I wanted to thank you, but I cannot leave a comment on my own blog. I am trying to figure that out.
I am from Maine and it was kind of a culture shock to live in San Diego. When my husband was getting ready to return home from his first deployment, I left Maine and drove to Norfolk, Virginia, where we lived for the next seven years. I found an apartment without much trouble, unpacked, and was ready for Buzz to return home. He took some leave time so we spent it exploring the area. I noticed that some people did not just stare - they glared at us openly. I suddenly became aware of how many Confederate flags were around. Perhaps people who like the Confederate flag like black people too, but it has been my experience that most do not.
I got pregnant right away and things went smoothly. Before Buzz came home, his sailor friends on the ship liked me because I made baked goods and sent them in care packages to Buzz, which he shared. No one on the ship acted like they disapproved of our marriage. I suffered through the hot Virginia summer in a car without air conditioning, and being quite pregnant, I was sweating a lot.
I met a wonderful woman named Shirley, and I started attending her church. She was very supportive when Buzz had to leave on another deployment at the end of July. I had some complications and my daughter, Callista was born a month early, when Buzz was on his way home.
I had no idea what color Callista would be. She was only a shade or two lighter than me, though after she was born, the doctor asked me what race my husband was, so he must have seen brown babies before born to white moms. My roommate at the hospital was black and her baby was almost twice Callista's size and a lot darker. When I walked down the hall to the nursery, Callista was the only brown baby there. All the rest were white and black.
When Callista was two weeks old, I took her to church, and the members met her and Buzz at the same time. I think that many people were curious to see what color she would end up, because Buzz is rather dark brown. She got darker until she was six months old, and has stayed her lovely caramel color ever since.
I thought that she was beautiful. However, some people did not agree with me. More than once, white people saw us and said "Nigger baby" to my face. When she was about six months old, I was looking for a daycare person so that I could drop her off a couple of times a week, and a black woman told me, "I don't take mulatto children, only black kids." Strangers would ask me, "What is she?" wondering about her race. My reply quickly became, "She is a human being. What are you?"
I said something at church because the person hired to take care of the infants ignored Callista while doting on a white baby about the same age. She propped up Callista's bottle in the crib and my daughter spit up a huge amount, which could have suffocated her.