Scott, my oldest son, was three years old when we came to America. Once we settled down, I sent him to a pre-school. He did not like it at all. He did not understand English. I bet he was scared and lonely. He cried and pleaded to his grandfather, who ultimately told me not to send him to the pre-school. In the fall, I enrolled in Valley College and took him to the school child care. He met a kind and gentle boy who was in 4-5th grade. He was living with a single mom. He put Scott under his wings like a chicken took care of the chicks. After I got my driver license, I took the car to a shop to install hand control and wheelchair carrier box. The boy’s mom was working there as a receptionist. World is small and it’s funny how the destiny works.
I wanted to prepare Scott for the school and spoke to him in English. He watched cartoons on TV and picked up English quickly. He had no problem with English when he started kindergarten. I emphasized English and ignored his Korean language education. He never got the proper training. I was short-sighted and deeply regret it now.
I wanted him to do well in sports. I taught him baseball with ping pong and tennis balls when he was three. In America, kids play T-ball before little league baseball. In T-ball, there is no pitching. They put the ball on tee and hit it. In next level, parents or coach under-hand the ball to the kids, and finally they face the pitchers. I thought he would learn quickly and be ahead of his peers if I let him play with the kids 1-2 years than him. In his age, 1-2 years was a difficult gap to overcome mentally and physically.
Little league was run by volunteers. Each team had volunteer coach and team mom. Team mom communicated practice and game schedules to the other parents. Parents took turns and brought snacks to the games.
To prevent one team ended up getting more talents, they had the tryout. Manager and coaches watched the new kids executing certain skills and graded them, and drafted the players. The league did not allow pre-formed team to register. There was one team played better than any other teams. No one could beat them. The players were all whites. They had nice team uniforms, jackets, and bags. No one complained about it. So, I filed a complaint with the park and even wrote to a letter to the city Parks and Recreations Department. Next season, they did not show up.
Scott understood the baseball and he was quick. He was really good at defense. He played first base, second base, out field, pitcher, short-stop, and catcher. It was unusual for left-hander to play short-stop and catcher. But he was small and did not have the power to hit long balls.
Once we moved to Lancaster, he played soccer. He was fast and scored tons of goals. There was an English coach who started private soccer school. He approached me. I told him I did not have money to pay for his tuition. He offered Scott scholarship and I enrolled him there. The school did not last long and closed after a semester. And we moved back to the Valley.
Scott continued to play soccer at AYSO, club, high school, and even college. He went to Occidental College to play soccer. After the college, he went to Washington state and worked as a coach at the soccer school.
When Scott ran across the field and scored a goal, I roared and rejoiced as I scored it. I fulfilled my dream thru him. I took him to every practice and game. On week-end, I had to drive long distance to the tournament games and I did not mind it at all.
While he played for AYSO, he suffered a hand injury during a game. He held his injured hand with other hand and even scored a goal. After the game, I took him to the hospital. He sustained the hand fracture.
I spent so much time with him and neglected the other kids. If Scott’s practice or game schedule overlapped with Michael or Brian’s, I went to Scott’s. Michael and Brian walked a couple of blocks to go to theirs. I am now deeply sorry that I neglected them. Since I expected so much from Scott, he probably felt pressures.
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