June 12, 2016

Born on Third Base

Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple.
- Barry Switzer

Whether that quote evokes thoughts of privileged heirs claiming they worked for every penny they've earned, or if it calls to mind superior attitudes of a people or nation that have forgotten rough-edged forebears who laid their foundation, it smacks of an embarrassing truth.

No one is immune to adopting this selective remembrance or air of superiority.

Including me.

Fifteen years ago, God saw I needed a life partner and in His time, He gave me one -- a guy who happens to be white. Together we made the most beautiful, talented, kind-hearted baby who is now a teen. While color wasn't an issue between us, or in my or my husband's family, the world outside our familial bubble did have issues here and there, but we handled it.

We'd talk about our collective history and reconcile the past against the present. We'd talk about how even though our daughter's African side of the family was riddled with slavery, rape, lynching and discrimination of the day, that these facts could co-exist alongside with her European side of the family.

As a family, we understood history was history in all its glory and crappiness; and we overcame it. Our open communication and our beautiful, talented, kind-hearted teenager was proof of said overcoming. We were evolved. We were the model interracial family.

Weren't we fancy.

Then, sometime -- today, maybe it was yesterday - whenever it was, I heard myself bellow for my husband. He responded Whaaaat! It was the kind of Whaaaat that people scream through their nasal passages with a throaty grind to let you know you're getting on their last good nerve.

For a minute, my bellow, his Whaaaat cracked me up: I mean, look at us with our open communication with our beautiful offspring, and we were still being all normal and married and secure while getting on each other's nerves and stuff.

But someplace in the back of my mind, I knew June 12 was coming up. That date meant something; but I couldn't remember exactly what. Was our daughter supposed to be somewhere? Was my husband working late and I was supposed to be home early from work? Was there a submission deadline? WAS IT FATHER'S DAY?

In a bona fide panic, I desperately Googled June 12.

June 12, 2016: National Loving Day. The day to commemorate the 1967 ruling of Loving v The State of Virginia that said mixed marriages - like ours - were no longer illegal because Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple who had to leave their state or FACE JAIL TIME BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO BE MARRIED TO EACH OTHER, said enough is enough and took their case to the Supreme Court.

Mildred and Richard Loving

It was the day that put our present day lives into motion -- from my bellowing, to my husband's irritated nasal response, to the person my husband and I created, to our fancy intellectual, open-communication, model interracial family -- and secured it not only for us, but for our descendants too.

Us, being all fancy.
I don't know how the date slipped my mind.

But I do know that we were born on Third Base. We didn't hit a triple. Richard and Mildred  Loving did.

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