Family time

(Okay, so it isn’t my family, but they are somebody’s family, and we all spent time together tonight.)

We started with kakizome, as is standard winter break homework for students,…

..and ended with whatever this all was.

I dare say, it was one of the most delightful nights I’ve had in quite some time, and we weren’t even doing anything all too special.

I think it was so great, because we were all just being ourselves, and freely so, and also being comfortably the night owls that we all seem to be (this all started after dinner, and didn’t end until after midnight [at which point we merely went upstairs and did other messings around until close to one]).

And it was made even better by the fact that it was a night spent at home, and then even more so better because we didn’t use television in any way – we interacted with one another.

Also, I really do love kids… I just kind of hate annoying kids (which, as I’ve said before, usually means I dislike the parents, too, since there is typically a huge amount of overlap between the parents’ personalities and ways and those of the kids).

There was even a crying fit that happened tonight, and, due to awesome parenting and sisterly love, it wasn’t really any big deal, and was only any deal for a mere few minutes, if even that.

It was great.

And now I have a real version for my kakizome for this year, instead of the calligraphy marker I had to use the other night.

Yeah…, this has been a great night.

Thank you.

P.S. I got to se Fuji-San from rather close today(!!!), so yay!

Post-a-day 2019

Collaboration

My mom and I had our first glimpse today of how our collaboration on my photography could look…

And it looks awesome.

We have similar taste, yet different approaches to it and ideas and perspectives for it, so, working together is easy, yet always unique and filled with wonderful ideas neither of us would have gotten on our own, and that most people never consider.

We have a few foundational bits now, after today’s collaboration, going through clothing and fabrics, and I am confident that we can make this happen… very well, and somewhat soon.

I have a lot of the teaching work I kind of need to do at the moment, but my efficiency there is improving significantly by the day or two, so I’ll be able to put time and mental a leggier and physical effort into the photos my mom and I will be crating together in collaboration.

I’m delighted and looking forward to it.

And, I think she is, too. /)

So, yay!

Post-a-day 20198

Grandparenting

We’re staying at my aunt and uncle’s house tonight (though they are out of town), and I found myself noticing how baby-oriented everything here seems to be now.

No daughters living in their individual rooms, no young nieces and nephews and adult siblings and parents coming to visit all the time anymore… just their daughters visiting occasionally with their babies and tiny children.

And then I realized that a lot of their traveling is either to visit the out-of-town grandchildren or to go on vacation with the daughters and grandchildren.

And so, essentially, their lives focus greatly around their grandchildren (they’re retired, you see…. my aunt and uncle…, so they don’t do other work.)… they do house edits on their various (three) houses, and rotate between them all reasonably regularly, and then they vacation (aka grandchildren).

How interesting that must be.

How wonderful that must be… to be able to focus as much time and effort as you want on the grandchildren, and to help your children with them all you want…

Perhaps that is one of the goals people have in life – live well enough and work well enough to be free and available for your children and their children, once the grandchildren come around.

And they do it while living quite well, too… not bad at all…

Yes… perhaps this can be a sort of goal for me, too… work hard, so the kids can have everything beneficial and lovely in their lives, and so they end up pursuing the same for their children, and then be super active and available in the lives of their children while they do the hard work like you did…

It somehow seems unbalanced or unfair or, at least, like it could be done way better… but I haven’t a better solution at the moment, so I’ll keep it in mind and think on it a while in the coming day and weeks and, possibly, years…

Hmm…

Post-a-day 2019

Happy Birthday

“Happy Birthday….

“Happy Birthday, baby, oh… I love you so!

“Siiix-tyyy candles….”

That’s what I sang to my mom as I played the ukulele tonight… it’s her sixtieth birthday today, and, just after I had sung her our usual birthday song (“On this day”), I suddenly had the beginning of “Sixteen Candles” in my head…

And it hit me: sixty sounds a lot like sixteen… I can do this!

So, I did a quick chord check, and then called her back.

As soon as I hit the third line, she was laughing… ‘sixty candles make a lovely light’… they do, indeed. 😛

And then, she apparently had her phone sitting open in front of her, with me on speakerphone, because she had just been sending my brother a message while I figured out one last detail before singing to her, and so, as I sang, the Animoji I had sent via her phone to my brother this morning was playing (silently) on repeat… as my mom said afterward, it was like one of those translated Kung-fu films, where the lips are nowhere near lining up with the dubbed speech, but, in our case, it was a tiny digital monkey serenading my mom with my voice. 😛

When she told me that, we both cracked up at the stupidity of it (including the fact that she kept watching the monkey babbling the whole time in the first place!). 😀

I love my mom… thank you for my mom, God… really great work there. 🙂

Post-a-day 2019

Swimstress

(Pronounced much like seamstress, but just a different first set of letters.)

I attended a swim meet today for little kids.

On the way over, I was discussing on the phone with my aunt my own swim team days, and how stressful they always were for me – a fact which I had rather forgotten entirely until the discussion today.

I wasn’t concerned in any way, of course, but instead excited to be attending the meet and finally not being one swimming in it.

While watching the little kids swim, however, I found myself rubbing genuine tears from the sides of my eyes (at first, I’d thought it was just sweat, or something in my eye, but quickly discovered that they were actual tears), and not from joy or excitement.

I wished my little family members fun and luck – I hoped their swim each time went well and that they enjoyed doing it.

The parents all around me had other thoughts and ideas for their children… speed, winning, beating the other kids, going as hard and fast as they could… this is what they told the kids constantly before each heat began…

‘Go as fast as you can, okay?…, as fast as you can!’

One parent, upon hearing a coach say to a child to make sure she has fun, casually added to her just-completed long declarations of necessary speed, with a pathetic fervor, ‘Disfruta.’ (Spanish for ‘Have fun,’ or ‘Enjoy.’)

She didn’t seem too convinced that having fun was a priority, though. :/

The whole thing ended up carrying a whole sense of stress for me, and had me wondering how many children were going to struggle because of this pressure from these parents…. they aren’t even over six years old yet, and they are crying their eyes out after swimming a fabulous 25 metres, just because they didn’t win…

Now, not all the kids were like this, of course…, but there were enough to make me rather uneasy.

If it had just been the parents cheering on the kids to do their best, that would have been fabulous.

But it wasn’t that, was it?

Very few adults seemed to be cheering that way at all…., and it made me want to ask them to consider what their priorities are regarding their children and the happiness of their children.

Perhaps I’m not doing a very good job at portraying the parental cheering and commentary… it just seemed like no one encouraged the kids to do their best, even – all that mattered was going fast, according to all the parents were saying.

And odd topic for a regular Monday night swim meet, I dare say(!).

Anyway, I was able to see why on Earth I was so stressed out at swim meets as a child – there is an immense amount of rather intense pressure, most of which is literally being screamed at you as a swimmer… no wonder I totally disliked it and always felt like I was letting everyone down and failing.

Plus, compared to my older brothers, who swam first heat in their ages groups, and who often got top places in their heats, I really sucked, being in second or third (or even last heat, sometimes), and not even getting a top placement there… I had a real ball-fest whenever I received that all-too-common purple ribbon after my swim: DQ (disqualification)…

So, yeah… that was an interesting experience this evening…

Surprisingly enough, it caused a resurgence, even stronger this time, of my wanting to be a swim team coach… I don’t know why specifically, but I really want to do that somehow.

Also, if I’m ever looking to hire young people, I am so looking for kids who have been swim team coaches – boy do they handle a lot, and effectively, too… totally reliable as good hires, I say.

Anyway, I’m glad I got into swimming in college… I learned that I really love swimming laps – I can literally do it for hours and still enjoy it… I think it was just all the pressure I felt at swim meets that had me practically hate them and, by association, swimming laps itself… even though I totally admired the people who could swim lots and well.

I want to get back into that, actually… hmm…

Post-a-day 2019

Easter, again

To finish up the Easter, I share what my mom shared with me this morning.
‘Kay, go for your Easter Egg Hunt.  There’s one egg.  It’s hidden already.’
‘…Wha..?’ I frown at her.
She wiggles like a puppy that can’t sit still, and I know for sure that something is up, and that she’s about to break.
She laughs, and I know I’m getting it, whatever it is, now.  ‘That’s what R- said.  Because it’s April Fools, tell the kids, ‘Okay, kids.  Go look for your Easter Eggs now!’ but don’t actually have any hidden.’
‘That’s terrible,’ I say as I join her laughter, shaking my head.

Happy Easter, and Happy April First!
P.S. Did you see John Legend and that gloriously surprising cast tonight?  More importantly, did you HEAR them?!  Check it out. It was fab.  Jesus Christ Superstar Live 🙂

The world turned upside down

The internet went out for a little while tonight…, and I find it somewhat hilarious that it was sort of a huge deal for the others in the house, and I almost couldn’t have cared less.  I did, after all, live several months wihout internet at home, both in the US and in Japan, and I even spent some months without cell service or phone service of any kind either…  I kind if enjoyed the certainty of quiet that it allowed.
  Knowing that no call or text or e-mail would arrive on any device whenever I was at home, was like breathing freely in a whole new way.  And all the important people knew my situation, so they knew to show up at my door if they wanted anything immediate, or to plan enough ahead to tell me to go check something at a certain time, using the WiFi down the road.

I almost miss that.  I certainly miss the reliability of work and income I’d had at the time.  😛  But that’s not really the point here, now, is it?

Post-a-day 2018