Leafing through a parenting magazine at the doctor’s office the word, “jaundice” jumped at me from the print. Why was this word tickling my memory? Oh ya! Because people would stop and ask me if my daughter had jaundice.
I would say “no,” brows rose over curious eyes.
They, the many strangers who we would pass while walking and enjoying the days of the summer of 2008, would press on, why was her skin yellow-like?
I’d explain that we were part Italian and though my daughter and I practice safe sun (hats, sunglasses, sunscreen) we tan as soon as we come across a sunbeam. I thought us to be more olive than yellow. It was melanin that brought colour to our skin, not bilirubin.
Yet this explanation was not enough for many. They insisted I must take her tanning to get to be that colour. I was often at a loss, I figured they’d notice I too was an olive colour, that they’d surely realize that Patience and I shared genetics.
Was I really a bad mother for taking my daughter outside on beautiful sunny days? Some thought so, though I was not the one stopping to ask, they felt compelled to come to me, to scold me from not efficiently protecting my baby from her DNA.
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