Pat Harewood: Parenting ABC’s: Episode 1 – The Beautiful Human Family

Patricia Harewood with twins Zayde and Zindsiwa

Patricia Harewood with twins Zayde and Zindsiwa

Planet Zees: Parenting ABC’s: Episode 1 – The Beautiful Human Family

By Pat Harewood


A six-year old stopped me in the park this summer. I was helping my son, Zayde, up the steps on the play structure to get to the slide.

“Do all the people where you live have dark skin?”, she asked with genuine curiosity.

“We are actually all born here”, I said. “We’re from Ottawa”. She stared again..with her blue eyes and her blond hair.

I continued…”People of all colours are from Ottawa.., I said” She stared again but seemed to feel more satisfied.

“Oh”…she responded….”Do they have a Dad or two moms, she asked (as if those were the only options”. I responded that they had a Dad…..because they do have a bio-Dad. I just don’t know him.

I didn’t bother explaining how they were conceived. I figured that, at six, she might have a hard time with the concept of invitro and anonymous donor. Besides, I thought the lesson here…for her and for me…was that the human family is complicated and beautifully diverse.

A couple of weeks later, I saw her in the park again. I was with my kids again. This time, she was with what appeared to be her parents – a blond white blue-eyed mother, thirtyish and a black brown-eyed father – fortyish..and her brother – a four or five-year old with brown eyes. She was playing.

She came up to me again and said hi. She looked at my kids and smiled.

She didn’t ask the same question again.


Planet Zees is a snapcast (super short podcast) by Pat Harewood which airs on CHUO 89.1FM. You can also listen to episodes online at

About writer

 Patricia Harewood is a labour lawyer and a mother of two toddlers. She works in Ottawa and is a volunteer co-host on “Black on Black” on CHUO 89.1FM. Recently, she launched her snapcast -Planet Zees: Parenting ABC’s – a podcast about her adventures in parenting with a social justice twist!


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