I found out the other day while watching a competitive cooking show that my daughter is color blind. At first I was taken back, but I made sure not to make a big deal out of it. I wanted her to know that what she was seeing was the correct way to see things. Let me explain. Nicki and I were watching Chopped. It’s a cooking show where 4 chefs are given mystery ingredients and asked to prepare a meal. At the end of the time limit someone is eliminated and by the end, there is one winner. It is a great show…we love it! Anyway, while watching it, we like to guess who will be sent home at the end of each round. As the show went to commercial break I asked Nicki “who do you think will be sent home?” She thought for a minute, “the lady with the curly hair.” It is hard to remember names and I understood who she meant. On the show there were 2 men and 2 women competing. The woman with the curly hair that Nicki was talking about was African American and the other woman was Caucasian and had blonde straight hair. At first, I didn’t really pay attention to the fact that Nicki had chosen to not mention her skin color and focus on her hair. She could have very easily said “the brown lady” but she didn’t. It wasn’t until the next round that I realized that she really is color blind. The first round, she was right the lady with the curly hair went home. Now we were faced with the next round. “Okay Nicki, who do you think will go home this time?” Again, she paused and then said “the guy with the messy hair”. One of the men was Asian and the other was Caucasian with dark hair. This time she had to describe them in another way and couldn’t rely on the hair color. But, I knew exactly who she was talking about and I was proud.
I don’t know if Nicki has picked up her color blindness from us or if she is just a child that sees people the way they should be seen, as people. We live in a very diverse area and the school I work in is a rainbow of skin tones. I don’t rely on people’s skin colors or assumed race as a way to identify them. I refer to their clothes or better yet, take the time to learn their name. At the end of the day, we are all people. I know that sounds corny, but we are. I am proud of my color blind child and I plan on keeping her this way, always!