Three weeks ago, our youngest daughter went to nursery school for the last time.
The following Monday, she started gakudo (学童, short for 学童教育 gakudokyouiku, which is usually translated as “after school program”). Since both my wife and I work full time, we were anxious about finding a safe place for our daughters after the elementary school day ends. This is part of the “first year wall” (小１の壁, shouichi no kabe) that is a huge obstacle for working parents to overcome. Continue reading
Posted in child safety, coming of age, education, Japan, Japanese, Japanese society, parenting, school
Tagged children, education, family, handmade, Japan, Japanese customs, life, parents, schooling
And so it begins. The end of the start of the rest of my children’s childhood.
By which I mean our youngest daughter graduated from nursery school / kindergarten.
Thinking back, we’ve been coming to our local nursery school every weekday (and many weekends) since April 2011. I still remember how thrilled and relieved we were to get the acceptance notice in the mail for our oldest, having been rejected the previous year. Continue reading
Posted in coming of age, day care, education, festivals, Japan, Japanese, Japanese society, nursery school, parenting, school, separation anxiety
Tagged child care, child education, child-raising, children, customs, Japan, Japanese, Japanese kids, kindergarten, nursery school, parenting, reflections
This past Monday, city workers came to cut down a cherry tree near our house. It had been there for years.
We found out later that a neighbor had complained that leaves falling in her backyard were a nuisance to clean. The fact that local children (and adults alike) treasured the cherry blossoms each spring seemed to escape her.
And cherry blossom viewing season is just around the corner. What a shame. A waste.
More’s the shame, I only have two pictures of the tree in full bloom.
Fleeting moments, lost in time and memory.
My children wrote a heartfelt letter to the tree, and I taped it as best I could to the stump:
“To the Cherry Tree,
For always showing your cherry blossoms to us until now, thank you.
We miss you, but we’ll never forget that this stump is the stump of a cherry tree.
If this stump ever grows, we want to see cherry blossoms again.”
Stories are made by fools like me…