After my Seattle birth, I spent my early childhood in Shanghai, Honolulu, and Manila. I grew up in New York City during World War II. When my expat businessman stepdad retired, we moved to Maine. I went away to a girl’s boarding school, and then a women’s college. How grateful I am for my outstanding education.
After my marriage, we settled in a New Jersey suburb to raise our five children. Good schools, along with baseball soccer, and basketball teams. Since many believed that competitive sports damaged children’s self esteem, we didn’t enroll our kids.
Foreigners lived across the street. I might as well have been a foreigner too. Coddled by private schools dedicated to my progress, I didn’t understand that sports also taught teamwork and competition in America. Through sports my children would have learned to compete, cooperate, and belong through teamwork.
They know that. Today their children play baseball, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, and golf. Most days are practice or game days. On game days, the kids dress up proudly with their teammates. Their friends are their teammates. Their parents make friends at the games. With all the time they spend with their teams, I don’t know how the children get their school work done. But they are on the honor roll.
My parents were pioneer immigrants. Hans Pederson from Denmark to Seattle. Doris Huchulak, born to a family Western Canadian immigrants from Ukraine. It takes a while for American values to percolate through a family.