Don’t box her in!


This last week has had my heart feel a little heavier. I know living in a mixed race family (dual heritage when we are feeling posh) race is not an invisible issue, but this last week was the first time we have ever been asked to tick a box for our kids. Jenny’s school enrollment forms asked was she:

‘Black/ Africa’       ‘White’    ‘Coloured’             ‘Indian/ Asian’     or ‘Not Applicable’

It makes me sad that in this day and age the question is still asked. I understand that with a horrid history of racism/ apartheid it is good to monitor to ensure that all people are being treated fairly, but it still stuck in my throat a little. The options were so few. Many will consider our kids ‘coloured’ because of their skin colour – but coloured in South Africa is a whole heritage and culture that we are not part of. If they were in America they would be considered black, in Malawi called white as they are paler than most people! To sum up the richness of their heritage with so limited options makes my heart sore. If you want to know about my daughter here are some boxes I will gladly tick:

  • Is she kind – most of the time
  • Is she naughty – quite a lot
  • Is she hilariously funny – always
  • Is she loving – definitely
  • Is she quirky – of course
  • Does she love unicorns, princess stuff and everything sparkly (& her little brother) – with a fierce passion
  • Is she fearfully and wonderfully made – absolutely

One of my favourite Psalm tells me that she is fearfully and wonderfully made – God did a really great job creating her!

Psalm 139: 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

We live in a society that is so focused on looks and as well as monitoring fairness and rights – but it is limiting, even if well intended (In Ireland we monitor religion so each country has its own tick the box system). But I don’t want that for my kids and I don’t want that for the way they treat and judge others.

I think next time I have to play tick the box I will choose….

option 5- fearfully and wonderfully made!


2 Replies to “Don’t box her in!”

  1. So beautifully written, Tracey. I cannot understand the relevance of knowing race on a school form. It is so silly. I love your descriptions! She’s such a special girl. 🙂

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