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.
My daddy and I take a play every morning during the week. He used to take a walk but I convinced him to take a play instead.
We go to the park and swing and pretend and slide and pretend and across the bridge and pretend and …
We like pretending.
And we get to talk. And I get to ask questions. Simple questions. Hard questions. Tricky questions.
“You can ask me anything in the world, sweetheart.”
And I am pretty sure my daddy means it. So I ask him things. And he gives me his best answers.
The other day I asked him,”Why do people smoke?” He doesn’t smoke, but I still wanted to know. I don’t know why I wanted to know. Sometimes I want to know things in case I want to know them. I don’t know.
In fact you can read when my daddy taught me to smoke a long time ago, when I was four years old.
“People like the feeling even it’s bad for them.”
“Why do people do things they know are bad for them.”
“That’s the tricky part. Sometimes people will do things now even they know it will hurt them later because it doesn’t hurt them right away. Or they can’t feel it hurts them right away.”
“It’s kind of like eating too much. People do that, too even they know it will make them fat and that’s a problem later.”
Then daddy looked down at his waist line and seemed to be thinking too hard.
“Maybe I eat too much, too. I might not be too different from people who smoke. I’d better be smarter.”
“Don’t worry, Daddy. I love you.”
And then we went off to pretend.
Please read – My Daddy Taught me to Smoke When I Was 4-Years Old.
Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.