Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Diversity on the Field and in the Stands

One of the things I love about football, and kids sports in general, in my town, is the parents. We all want our kids to learn, play fair, in general have a good experience. I have met some really great people through sports over the course of my life and the trend is continuing.

Tonight I was talking with a few other moms during practice when we started talking about where we grew up. One of the women grew up in a neighborhood near downtown LA, the other two grew up in East LA.

I was SO the odd (wo)man out.

I was somewhat shocked at some of the stories that they were telling. Not because I don't think that those things happen, (I watch the news too,) but maybe startled at the differences in our upbringing and how we all ended up at the same place.... a football field, in a decidedly 'middle American suburb', with kids on the same team, with the same goals and hopes and dreams for our families. It was pretty cool.

Here's the contrast: One mom talked about how she and her (now) husband would go to gang parties when they were in high school, and it was not out of the ordinary for someone to pull out a gun and point it at someone. Versus: My high school had so few students of color that I can, literally, count them on my hands. And they weren't even in my graduating class.

I think that they were equally as shocked at the non-diversity in my background as I was at the stories that they were telling. 

My experience was not because our community was racist or anything like that. We lived in the mountains, in a state that, at the time, was not very diverse. My parents didn't purpose to 'keep us away' from anyone, they just found a place that they wanted to live. Remember, 30 years ago the word 'diversity' was not in our vocabulary like it is now.

I would consider all three of these women good acquaintances, if not friends, and I love that we come from different backgrounds. I love that our kids just know the language of football.

Headless Mom


Debby@Just Breathe said...

Excellent post! I was actually happy when we came to California and our children went to school with a wonderful mixture of cultures. I had none either back in the town I grew up in.

Kathleen said...

When we were in HS I never thought of the few people of color we knew as being of color or not, but looking back I sometimes wonder how they felt. Probably because now I wonder all the time how Eli feels being here. Although Denver itself is very diverse, our neighborhood and his school are not.

Heather said...

Colorado is still not very diverse, LOL. We call FoCo vanilla valley. That said, it is for the most part, like you said, not about racism, just the lay of the land. Hurrah for diversity and bonding over different experiences!

kyooty said...

I think too that we are more of a global world now. It's a great time to be a kid!