OK

You have a beautiful baby.  Truly. I hope he grows up to be strong and handsome and smart and thinks Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is really cool. Because he IS really cool. Despite the Pluto thing.

But really, I wrote to say I'm sorry about my Mum believing she can put her hands all over your son because she's white.

More below the dooblydoo.

I just can't get her to understand that she can't go around touching children of colour.  She would have thrown an absolute fit if a person of colour had EVER touched me or my brother as an infant, but thinks nothing of doing it to yours. It's all about privilege, too, and you and I both know it.  

It never occurs to her that she doesn't have the right to just touch your kid because she feels like it.  Part of it may be my fault for not having produced grandchildren, but I think there is more going on than that - because she doesn't react the same way to white kids.  

Sure, she makes goo goo faces and comments about how adorable they are - but she's not putting her hands all over the white children because she knows their Mums will flip out on her. Just like she did when she was a new Mum herself.

But your kids - it's open season.  She grabs their feet, plays with their hair and strokes their faces.  She fusses with their clothes and their hands.  She just can't NOT do it, no matter what I say, or how I explain, or even remind her she would never tolerate that done to her kids. Which she readily admits.

I don't know what's going on in her head.  Maybe she thinks you need the Random White Lady Seal of Approval. She really means every compliment, she really does feel your child is beautiful.  That much I am certain of - she often will continue to talk fondly about the child she just mauled for several aisles.  But sometimes, I really wish you could just go off on her for grabbing your baby.

I understand why you don't.  I see the way things are here, and I know how much of a problem it would create if you did.  I would totally back you up, even though you don't know that when it happens.  And when you finally have enough and you do - I'm on your side.

Sincerely,

The Embarrassed White Guy with Mrs. Grabby Hands

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