I am proud to be a native of our great state, and so is my husband. I spent my childhood in the very Northwest corner of Oregon in the small town of Clatskanie, where my mother’s family has been for five generations. That meant mostly rainy Fourth of Julys, windy walks along the Columbia, and trips to Astoria to buy fresh seafood. I am proud to be raising a little Oregon boy who is showing signs of being a true Oregonian. What does that mean?
• He knows the joy of puddle stomping. Of course, Oregon kids go outside to play even in the rain. Since the time he started walking, Owen seems to instinctually know that puddles are meant to be stomped in. He’s resourceful and knows how to make his own fun.
• He loves an Oregon road trip. At just three years old, Owen has traveled all over Oregon, up and down the coast and to Central and Southern Oregon. He’s been to the Tillamook Cheese Factory, to the Oregon Zoo and OMSI, and to Wildlife Safari.
• He’s a Beaver (not to offend all of you Ducks). Just like his dad, Owen wears a lot of orange and black.
• His wardrobe includes polar fleece. It may be the quintessential Oregon attire and thank goodness it comes in little sizes. Columbia Sportswear and REI help me dress my little Oregon boy for whatever the weather sends our way.
• He eats berries right off the bush. My summer childhood memories include picking and eating plenty of blueberries and raspberries. My son loves eating blueberries straight off the bushes in our backyard. I’m just glad he’s not eating the green ones anymore.
### Erika Weisensee, a writer and native Oregonian, lives in Milwaukie and teaches journalism and communication courses at the University of Portland.