I don't like to stereotype, and I don't want anything in the following post to sound racist toward any group including the group I would easily be lumped into…
For Memorial Day, we traveled to Port Huron. We found a city park with a large playground for the kids, picnic areas, plenty of shade, and a large beach. I enjoy our Great Lakes. Lake Huron is only an hour’s drive away. Something about the water, the sand, and the soft grass feeds my soul.
The park showcased the melting pot that our country embodies. It was fun to family watch. This is the soil where my form of patriotism grows, in our open arms, in our diversity, and in our families.
A large latino family claimed a large, sunny chunk of the park to play soccer. They were having so much fun. They kept shouting, "Goal!"
I worried a bit about my kids wanting to join in. Then I realized that I might want to join in.
A large arabic family played very interesting music. The young women all joined hands and danced for a short time. My son, Gage thought that was cool. I couldn't help but think about how that embodied freedom and comfort - to dance in public like that in a setting that isn't known for dancing.
As a large Indian family walked in, I noticed that the men were pushing the baby strollers. At first I thought there were no women in the group. They trailed behind a few minutes later. As the day went on, it was obvious that the men were the main caretakers for the kids.
There were other large family groups around us that weren't just speaking English. I couldn't identify them all, but they had one thing in common, they were large families. There were many interracial families too.
In contrast, most of the caucasian-only families were small (4 to 5), a mother, a father, and 2.5 kids. Most of the non-caucasian families numbered 10 to 15+ with people from multiple generations. I'm guessing that they contained great grandchildren all the way through great grandparents.
It had me wondering… and maybe it’s just my family, but why don’t we get together in such large, extended family groups anymore? We did when we were kids.
Maybe I’m generalizing too much. It was only one day at one park, and it was a holiday. But I still wonder, why don’t we value the same things? I mean, here were multiple cultures all with obvious, strong family ties, except for one.
And where is our joy? We don’t dance in the park. We don’t stake out large sections of a park to play games together. We rarely see one another anymore. If it happens once a year, we’re satisfied. Or are we?