Blue Eyes

Once on a the train, a stranger looked at my half Asian baby and sang out. “Oh, He’s got those blue eyes. That’s the ticket. He’ll have an easy life. That’s all you need. Just the pretty blue eyes. He’s got it there! Yes, little man!” He even clapped his hands-- this stranger. What had my son actually accomplished? Around us, everyone was uncomfortable but smiling and smiling. I felt a mess of shame, of indignation, of bewildered hope. Could he have an easier life than I had? It was the first time I felt a body-knowledge that my son might inhabit a world that I could only guess at. What would it mean about what I could teach him? How useful would my experience be to him— mediated as it always is as a woman of color? How much would he want to align himself with me? How much of him is lost to me by virtue of the fact that we do not look alike?