MEET THE BORGET FAMILY
Jennifer Borget, age 30
Hubby, age 33
Big T, almost 3
Half of each :)
Lil’ J, age 5
Half of each :)
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
HOW DID THE TWO OF YOU MEET?
We met on a blind date in college at BYU. Yes, they do work!
WERE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP CORRELATED TO YOUR BACKGROUNDS?
Not really, only pertaining to our age maybe. We met when I was 18 and he was 22. We knew pretty quick that we wanted to get married (within 2 weeks). We got engaged officially after 4 months and married 2 months later. My parents were worried we were rushing into things, but 11 years later we’re as happy as ever!
WHAT TRADITIONS DO YOU CELEBRATE IN YOUR HOME? ARE THEY CONNECTED TO YOUR INDIVIDUAL CULTURES?
We celebrate a mix of traditions, some religious, some just fun family traditions. When we visit Utah in July we celebrate Pioneer Day which is a Mormon celebration. We like it because a lot of my husband’s family is in Utah and we get to see them all then and fun parades and events. Though we stand out there, it’s always a fun place to visit. We celebrate Loving Day every year as well, and talk about the importance of the day, and how it’s especially significant for our family.
IS THE COMMUNITY YOU LIVE IN DIVERSE?
It’s pretty diverse. There aren’t a ton of black families in the suburb we live in, but there are a few on our street, and several other nationalities: Asian, Hispanic, and white. It’s a lot more diverse than anyplace else we’ve lived, I love it!
DO YOU OR YOUR PARTNER SPEAK IN MORE THAN ONE LANGUAGE IN YOUR HOME?
No! But I’m working on Spanish because of where we live. My daughter wants to learn too.
ARE YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY SUPPORTIVE OF YOUR MULTIETHNIC RELATIONSHIP?
Definitely. We haven’t experienced any issues from either side of our family.
DID YOU FIND BIG DIFFERENCES IN THE WAY YOU GREW UP VS. YOUR SPOUSE DUE TO DIFFERENCES IN RACE?
So though my husband was born in Utah and lived there most of his life, his family moved to North Carolina for a decent chunk of his childhood. There, from my understanding, he was one of the only white kids. I’m not sure if that’s where he fell in love with black culture, but he definitely got some cred *wink*. Meanwhile I grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta where things we split pretty 50/50 black/white. You could feel the racial tension. Both of us grew up LDS (Mormon) though, so I think a lot of our similarities meet there.
ARE THERE ANY COMMENTS YOU ARE REALLY TIRED OF HEARING FROM PEOPLE IN REGARDS TO RACE/CULTURE?
One that we get a bit at church because he went on a mission to the Caribbean is “Did he meet you on his mission?” NO!
WHAT ACTIONS HAVE YOU TAKEN TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT EACH OF YOUR BACKGROUNDS?
We are starting to dive into family history. Beginning with people still alive, like my great-grandpa. We talk about the things he’s seen--Inventions he’s watch develop. We talk about where mommy grew up and where daddy grew up, things we did when we were kids. As they get older we’ll dive more into history, where some of our family came from. I hope to take my kids to France in a few years and we’ll definitely all be studying about France and their family history there before then!
HAVE YOUR CHILDREN ASKED ABOUT RACE?
Not exactly. My daughter has asked about literal skin color a few times. But we don’t shy away from it either. When we read books about MLK and Rosa Parks, she classifies herself as brown and says daddy looks like the white people in the books. We talk about how things are different now compared to then, and how we should treat everyone with love. We also read books showing how there are SO many different shades of brown. That got her really excited. Just yesterday she also just realized that Princess Tiana is brown like her mommy.
DO YOUR CHILDREN IDENTIFY AS MIXED OR SOMETHING ELSE?
My daughter seems to identify as “in the middle, a little bit like everyone.” I love it!
HOW DO YOU RAISE YOUR CHILDREN TO HONOR DIVERSITY IN OTHERS?
I don’t shy away from her questions when she notices differences. I praise her for asking a good question and do my best to explain how God made us all as we are, everyone is beautiful and made especially that way. We do practice runs of how to treat people who are different than us, or have families that look different from ours, and she always passes with flying colors. *smile*
WHAT UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS DO YOUR CHILDREN HAVE FROM YOU AND YOUR PARTNER?
They both have our curly hair. I feel like their complexion is right smack dab in the middle. When they’re next to me they look closer to my shade, and when they’re next to my husband they look closer to his. They both have my husband’s big round eyes, but when they smile they look like mini me’s.
HOW DO YOU PLAN ON TEACHING THEM TO BE PROUD OF BEING MIXED?
I plan to teach them that they can embrace all sides of them. Growing up I sometimes felt insecure about the way I spoke or acted because of the way my mom (raised in Chicago) raised me. I never want my kids to feel out of place or uncomfortable in their own skin. I ALWAYS want them to know to be proud of who they are on the inside first, then also embrace and be proud of their heritage, and never place themselves above or below others because of it.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM FOR YOUR CHILD'S FUTURE AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA IN REGARDS TO RACE?
Oh man that’s a tough question but a good one. Part of me feels like I wish we could move past the differences so that we could stop bickering. But I LOVE our differences, and want the world to love and embrace all of them. In just four generations my line could look and be completely different. My great-great grandchildren could be 75% Chinese but have a full-black great-great grandma. That is so fascinating to me, and really goes to show that we’re all connected, or all will be some day in future generations. When we realize that and embrace and love each other for, and not in spite of our differences the world will be such a better place. At least, that’s my hope!