When I was but a toddler my parents would take us to Boston to become more worldly. The first time we saw someone in a fur coat, we petted her cooing, mistaking her for an animal. My mom found it adorable. The first time we saw a family of African descent, we stared, fascinated. This made my mom very uncomfortable. I don't remember either encounter. I have no idea what was going through my head, though as long as I can remember I've always admired dark skin. As a kid if I could change two things about myself, it'd be to have flame red hair and walnut colored skin. Yes, I know that sounds like an unlikely combination, but I have met two children since then on separate occasions who have that gorgeous coloring. Anyway, I'm really glad that times have changed and I'm raising my son in an area that while being primarily Irish, has enough diversity that he will know from the beginning that humans come in colors ranging from peachy-pale to brown so dark it has blue shadows.