Teachers' blog


【Turning One】   *要点説明あり

(Contributed by Gary)
August last year introduced a new addition to my family, namely my son. Overnight life changed completely, I thought I was busy before, but I realised that my life had been a breeze. Whilst it was tough; watching him grow, develop learn to crawl, roll, babble and even walk a little has been a treasure that cannot be bought.
His birthday came, and it dawned on me how fast one year had been. In Japan, first birthdays are a big event and many customs and rituals are observed, compared to the UK where first birthdays tend to be very sedate and pass quite quietly. We were at my in-laws house for the Obon period and decided, since the birthday was not long after that, to hold it there so his grandparents could celebrate with him.
We arranged for a cake, with his face on it, a banquet of excellent food (which he mostly couldn’t eat) and the most important thing, two very heavy cakes made of Mochi pounded rice, weighing as much as large bottle of sake. With Japanese word-play the idea was that my son would never go hungry, isshou means all life 一生, and also the weight of a bottle of sake 一升 and mochi means to have.
They were placed in a backpack, which my son unfortunately couldn’t carry, and tearfully wanted to be separated from as quickly as possible. This was his first step on the road to adulthood. Although he is too young to know it, he has learned about that we cannot always do what we want, that life will give him many challenges and often he won’t understand until later why they were given to him. As a parent I realised that sometimes I cannot always help him, but I can be there for him.

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