Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.
Beginning from the childhood days, my initials cricket lessons were taken by my dad. We had a barren land in front of our housing colony. This was unofficially used by children to hang out in the evening time and play all sorts of outdoor games. Daily, I couldn’t wait for the pendulum analog clock to set to 5 pm, when I hit the ground with a bat and ball with my dad.
Occasionally, my paternal uncles would gather at home and discuss about the hard days when they barely had enough roof over their head to live. I grew up in one bedroom apartment leaving me little for my imagination to realize the hardship of living under no roof. Today, after going through Professor’s blog on his dad, in retrospect, even I can’t stop admiring my father for everything that I am today.
My dad barely finished high school before starting to earn and support his family of grandmother and uncles. But with me, he always took out sufficient time to help me with studies. He would read out and spoon-feed the chapters in science, mathematics and also social studies. Even in drawing, he did not stop to amaze me with his artistic skill set.
Once a year he would take all of us in family, on vacation. By the time I finished my secondary schooling, I had already visited all the places in India. Later only to realize how fortunate I was, when I understood that other school friends barely traveled outside the boundaries of my state. Right from enrolling me for the swimming lessons, karate classes, athletics, cricket coaching, gymnasium to the camping treks, the list would never end. It was pretty evident that he had a sharp knowledge of banking and personal finances among the colony, when neighbors would come to our house to take his advice on how to invest.
At times, when local ethnic groups still boast about their undue pride for the mother tongue and mother land, my father has always shown respect to everyone. His loyalty to the people of his own land and affection towards the people of other religion and immigrants is implicit in his nature. Probably that is the reason why I am comfortable in getting along with everyone here in USA.
Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.