Naomi Raquel Enright
My father was Jewish-American of Eastern European ancestry and my mother is from Guayaquil, Ecuador of African, Spanish, and Native American ancestry. I am bilingual, born in La Paz, Bolivia, raised in NYC and a citizen of all three countries. I am now married to an American of Irish and German origin and our son, Sebastián, is blond, blue-eyed, and fair-skinned. I speak to him exclusively in Spanish and my husband in English. The world assumes I am his nanny because of our different skin tones. Never mind that he has my lips, the shape of my eyes, and that the color of his eyes were inherited from my father. In this country all that is seen is skin color and we are met with disbelief, doubt, and sometimes, hostility. I am teaching my son Spanish as a way for him not only to be connected to the entirety of his inheritance, but as a way for him to never fall into any stereotype. He will be assumed to be only English-speaking. In teaching him Spanish and (in time) addressing how the world reacts to us, I am giving him security, protection, a strong sense of his identity, and of his individuality. Yes, he is my biological son.