On the Royal Baby (yeah, that one...and yeah, I didn't think I'd do this either...)
The last few months have been INSANE! I’ve been traveling around for various reasons since the end of March. In the last 7 weeks, I've been around So Cal, Arizona, Charlotte, NC, drove (with my friend Kelly) to Kentucky, went to Utah, went to Utah again, and I am now HOME home (I’m back in my apartment! Yay!) and am refusing to go anywhere for at least a week. All of this travel has made it hard to update my blog. Something caught my eye when I was reading the news the other day that relates to the general purpose of this blog, and that is the arrival of the mixed race royal baby, Archie.
I don’t really care about the British royal family (only to the degree that I can use information to mock my English best buddy, Lawrence), but ever since Harry got engaged to Meghan Markle, I have cared more than I like to admit. As a longtime resident of LA, I really don’t care about Hollywood celebrity (who HASN'T seen one, and also, WHO CARES), but I have been very interested in her as a person. I’ve seen the video of her talking about how, as a young child, she wrote senators about the lack of female leadership. I’ve felt pain hearing her describing how torn she was when she was told to choose ONE ethnicity. She explained she couldn’t pick one parent over the other, which is what that decision felt like. I get it, Meghan. You can’t choose one parent, and you can’t choose one ethnicity. You are both. Even if others can’t understand, I do. And seeing her mom proudly appear at her wedding in those beautiful dreads as she accompanied her accomplished daughter as she became a princess—it moved me more than I like to admit. Because I get her mixedness. She is not black to me; she is biracial. Just like Obama was, to me, the first biracial president, and thus, MY president.
I know there are people who take issue with how BLACK or WHITE or mixed these public mixed figures are. But I want to say that we need to extend to them the same grace we demand, that just as we’ve hated being told we MUST choose one side or the other, one race or the other, one country or the other, we must allow others to BE in the world as they feel is right in the moment.
I LOVE that Meghan stood with her black mom and invited a black preacher to preside over her wedding, even though she is so light-skinned and could, really, pass. I love that she embraces that side of her so fully, even while she is very forward and open about how she is, ultimately, MIXED.
So this brings me to this article, and the photo that leads it (above).
As the grandchild of a woman who fainted at my parents’ wedding (Haruko didn't voice her opposition, she just showed it, very PUBLICLY), to see the QUEEN OF ENGLAND next to Meghan’s African American mom, both so proud of this new life, both so in love with the latest member of their line, gives me joy beyond expression. I don’t care about the English royal family at all. Who cares. But it does matter to me to see this woman, and now her baby, as part of one of the oldest, crustiest, conservative lines in the world. May Archie go forth knowing he is loved by his crusty great grandma, his lovely grandma, his various and diverse relations, and may he change the world in his own way. Seeing this photo makes me sentimental and emotional in ways that are not how I present myself at all. But I don’t care. It makes my heart sing because it gives me a weird sense of hope. If this baby can be part of the British Royal Family, perhaps there is hope for the world.
So why do I care, and why am I sharing my very sappy feelings here? Because my knitting is ultimately a reflection of my mixedness, and this blog is a space for me to think through all of the various and complex things that connect to why I do what I do. I’ve been busy with my paid work, and busy doing other things, and I have not been able to create very much in the last couple of months. I am now back home and my things are (for the most part) back where they belong.
I am determined to carve out the time I need to be truly creative again. But in the meantime, and as the world seems to be going down in a blaze of glory, this little new life caused me to pause for thought. I don’t care that this a very uncritical, sentimental, unreflective post. Sometimes we need to take a step back and just lean into the sentimental and uncritical.
I hope to be back very soon with more cynical and witty thoughts about the world we live in. I’m sure I’ll have lots to say. But for now, I want to celebrate new life and how new life can be a source of pure joy and love, and how new life can give us a sense of hope in a rather bummer of a world. So Archie, may you go out and cause lots of trouble. This fellow mixed race kid fully supports all the ways you’ll disrupt people’s assumptions and beliefs. And may you hold true to who you are, whatever that might be.