My husband is a mutt, in the best American sense--a mixed race guy with the blood of a dozen nations and cultures running in his veins. He could embrace one of them as his identity, as so many Americans do, or he could reject them all, as he has. He is Jewish, but he runs from the Jews. He is Latino, but he shuns the Latino identity--or at least refused to name our children any cool latino name (Hilary, I am NOT naming our child Diego or Pablo or Francesco. They are white children. That would be a curse. It is so confusing. They will constantly have to defend themselves! To explain why their parents did this to them!)
He is just himself, and he walks through the world that way.
But every once in awhile he shocks me. And, I think, himself. Yesterday he came home overjoyed that Obama had nominated Sotomayor as the next Supreme Court Justice. He toasted her at dinner, and he told the boys why it mattered. He was giddy.
"I don't know why it matters to me so much," he said. "I am surprised. But it makes me really really happy. This is great for our boys!"
There is a Latino deep inside there. It may come out only when he is watching me dance salsa on the dance floor, or when a Supreme Court Justice with a Hispanic last name emerges from the Bronx to serve on the highest court in the land. But it is there.
I felt great tenderness.
2 years ago