We were on our sailing trip in Central America in 2012, and out of the blue Soleil said to me, "Mama, I wish I was beautiful like you." "What?! Honey, you are gorgeous. What do you mean?" "I wish I had pink skin like you guys." Uhhhh. My worst nightmare. My absolute worst nightmare. There's no dancing around this topic with a child in a mixed race family. ESPECIALLY, when she is the ONLY one! I tried to convince her that it's not the color of your skin that matters but who you are on the inside that counts. She didn't buy that for a second. With the look on her face she said to me, Mom, seriously. That is SO cliche. Next I tried to convince her that we all have different color skin. We lined up our arms. See? Mine is quite pasty, Daddy's is more tan, Cole's is quite pink, Evie and Emerson are a little yellowish, and yours is a beautiful shade of chocolate-mocha-latte-brown. But she and I both knew that was a bunch of crap, too. You are all pink and I am brown, she said. I decided to change tacks. Cole had been given the equivalent of a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition from Latin America. The women were stunning. And they all had varying shades of chocolate brown skin. The pictures were very tasteful and exquisite. I showed it to her and asked her about the women, "Do you think she's beautiful?" "Yes." "What color is her skin?" "Brown." "What about her? Do you think she is beautiful?" "Yes." "What color is her skin?" "Brown." "What color is your skin?" "Brown." "Brown skin is beautiful. YOU are beautiful. Brown is beautiful." Cole gave her that magazine and for the next few months she would thumb through the pages and admire the beautiful brown women. "Brown is Beautiful" became our favorite family saying as we traveled through Central America. Everywhere we went we made a point to notice beautiful brown people and whisper to each other, "Brown is beautiful". A turning point came one day on the boat when I was downloading pictures to my computer. I came across one that I had taken of Soleil on the beach. The setting sun on her face was stunning. I called her to me and said, "Look at this girl." She stared at herself for a long moment and said, "Brown is beautiful, Mama." It sure is, my sweet girl.