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.
Dad is my role model. I always wanted to be like him. I have learned many great lessons from my dad throughout my life. I would say that I’m still in the process of learning. I love my mom and dad; they are like my two eyes. I’m in this position today, just because of my mom’s support and my dad’s guidance. We are 4 children and I’m the second one. I’m an Indian. In our country, there was a lot of sexism when I was born. People used to think that, they are cursed if they had a female child. Some people even get an abortion! Female is not sent to school mostly and even if she did, will get married to some unknown guy after completing bachelor’s degree. Most of my female friends got married and are housewives even after having a bachelor’s degree certificate. But, my dad never treated me like most of other parents treated their daughters. If my mom had an abortion, when they came to know that their second child is a female, then I wouldn’t exist in this world and I wouldn’t be writing this post either. I was always treated equally and given equal amount of work at home. I never got a feeling that a girl is weaker in strength. But, when I go to school and the girls in my class would not lift something which is heavy, and class guys used to help them. 😀 When it comes to me, I would never ask for help unless and until I tried it and damn sure that I can’t do it. I alone came to USA and living here without any support. My dad taught me to be strong and independent woman.
I learnt riding bicycle and motorbike from my dad. He is a great teacher. I used to make many mistakes because I wouldn’t pay attention to him and never took his words very seriously. I fell down from my bicycle for not following dad’s directions and I did hurt myself badly. My dad was very patient and never said any harsh words. He told the same directions again and again until I’m perfect in driving a bicycle. I behaved similarly at the age of 16 when my dad was trying to teach me to ride a motorbike. He told me not to go after some point because it will be hard for me to drive in a bumpy road and I would fall down. As usual, I never listen to my dad. But, this time I didn’t hurt myself and returned the motorbike to my dad. He patiently smiled at me and said in loving voice that I might hurt myself told me not to repeat. I ignored his advice again, took the motorbike for a ride in my dad’s absence. Old lady came across the road, I forgot to hit the break and my motorbike skidded. I fell down and the motorbike was lying on me. My knee was bleeding very badly and my dress was torn. I have hidden my torn and blood stained clothes in one corner of my home and didn’t tell anybody about the accident. My hurt started paining even more after two days and I was afraid to tell my dad about this accident. By the way my dad is a Doctor. Finally, I told my dad because the pain was unbearable. I cried a lot said sorry and did lot of drama thinking that my dad would shout at me. But, he did not say at least one word. First, he did dressing around my wound and then he explained me the reason why he warned me for not going to that place without his permission. Later, obviously I had a punishment of not touching my bike until my wound got cured. I learned my lesson i.e., to be patient like my dad and just listen to what he say. He used to return home in late nights and sometimes, he never returns. But, he always gave importance to us and took us on tours very often to make us happy.
Most importantly, I learned to respect my parents and elders. I always wanted to establish a foundation for some orphans like my dad did in his own village. There are many more lessons that I learned from my dad. I can write even more about my dad but, I want to stop here because, it is already a big article. I’m always a little princess for my dad. 🙂 Last but not least, loving our parents is the only greatest gift we can give them.
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Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.