Tag Archives: Ethnicity

What’s my body?


While getting ready for school my son asked “What’s my body?”  I didn’t quite understand so I asked him to explain and he says “What’s my body?  Everyone in class knows what their body is and I didn’t.  Am I Jewish?  What am I?”  I replied, “No, you are not Jewish” and he said “Oh Good, because I don’t like Nazi’s”  I then explain the Nazis were German and the Nazis were mean to the Jewish. Now he is sad that he is not Jewish.  I continue and proceed to break his heart a bit more and tell him that he actually has German in him. Now he is even more sad.  He  claims he doesn’t like Germans, and he no longer likes himself if he is German.

This is something I have tried to avoid as I hate labels, I hate that ‘this person is this” or “that person is that” and I have tried to keep my kids from making assumptions or judgments based on ethnic, religious, or even sexual preference.  But Charlie wants to know and he wants a list so he can show his class what is his body.  So I write out his list of what’s in his “body”, which is English, Irish, Austrian, German, French, Italian, Swedish, and Polish.  Upon reading the list, Charlie’s face lights up with joy when he reads that he is Polish.  His school celebrates a different heritage each month and last month was Polish.  He is ecstatic to learn that he has already learned about his body and proceeds to tell me all about Polish heritage.

Perhaps I need to re-think my thoughts on labels…