Parents I know from mommy and me class at Pump Station Santa Monica invited us for May and June Baby Birthday party at Douglas Park on Memorial Day. I was looking forward to seeing every moms and their babies how they are now. I expected to see those babies are already walking but they were still at crawling stage although every babies are different. I still thought if Luca meets other babies, he would get excited and play with them.
When I put Luca in the babies’ circle, it was completely different from my expectations. Luca took a glance at babies and just walked away. 1 year old babies don’t really play each other? Or it’s just Luca that he thought it wasn’t his crowd? I am not sure but he didn’t seem to be interested. As you can see at the 1st pic, he didn’t want to be in a circle. Lol Oh well, he got some free spirits, I guess. That’s ok too.
I was just happy that I got to see other moms and catch up a little. Some of the moms who has a boy goes through same thing as I do: boy throwing a tantrum, being aggressive when he is upset… When I see his anger, I tend to think, is it my fault? Did I or Papa show our anger at some point and he learned from us? The moms think same way as I do and I was glad to share that thought. I wasn’t alone I thought.
I thought it was a long journey to reach this point for both of us, Mama and Papa. However, time goes really fast and the “tough” time that we didn’t know what we were doing at the beginning and thought it was tough seems to be such a long time ago and I almost forgot how tough it was. It was just a few seconds that it lasted. That’s how I feel like now. Because your smile, your hug, everything that you do with me or us is so rewarding and I love what I do for you so it doesn’t matter what it used to be now.
I am so happy and so lucky to have you as our child. I am thanking God that he sent you to us and you are a gift and “miracle” for us.
We stayed at my best friend from high school’s house until the end of our trip: 2 nights and 3 days. She has two sons: 13 and 7 years old. They both were such nice boys and enjoyed Luca’s company.
While I stayed there, I learned a lot how to build a good parent-child relationship through my friend. She is a Montessori based pre-school/kindergarten teacher as well as a mother. I know her since our high school and she has never changed how she is: kind, warm hearted, thoughtful, soft spoken person AND she is funny. I always enjoy her company and she is my must person to hang out when I go back to Japan. So this is a great learning opportunity for me to absorb how she deals with her sons especially when the children are cranky, or being forgetful about their homework and working on it a night before the due date when they had 2 weeks to work on. She always tries to understand their mind what they go through in their head even though she has her side to get mad or frustrated. I think it is tough to be like that when the things don’t go the way you were expecting to with your child. But I would like to keep reminding myself to listen my child what he has to say and I want him to know that I am always on his side.
Anyway, this 10 days trip was really really good trip for me and Luca. All of my family and friends were so happy to meet Luca and he gave a lot of happiness with his smile.
It didn’t hit me when we left Japan but it hit me hard when I was about to reach to the exit at LAX after the passport control and was about to see Luca’s papa. This great trip with Luca is about to be over! Actually it IS over! 😢😭😢
Well, we always have the next time. Hopefully next year? Hopefully with his Papa?
I will be always hopeful for Luca. 😄
Great trip, Luca. I don’t expect you to remember all of this trip. This blog has the purpose! You did fantastic and you were a great partner and you always will be! Till next time!!
Love you very much,
Addition: some people in Japan are so thoughtful to a mother and her child. Most of the times, I carried Luca in my carrier in trains or buses. They always offered me a seat. Even though I was tired and really wanted to take the opportunity and sit down, I got so much stuffs with me that I had to reject the offer. I wouldn’t know where to put those stuffs if I sit down! I felt bad to reject it though. Because I’m pretty sure they needed some guts to ask me.
Also, I read this somewhere that Japanese culture over all isn’t so friendly to mother and her child. There is no elevator to go upstairs or there is no lamp when you have a stroller. But actually that wasn’t true. The elevator was everywhere, nursing room and diaper change table were everywhere. I even saw the milk bottle warmer machines when they have a nursing room. I was impressed.
Japan generally concerns environment and they put extra effort to protect the nature what we have left. Individually, they bring their own handkerchief when they go to public bathroom, and they bring their own chopsticks. As a country, they invented a hybrid car to reduce exhaust emission.
As for trash, generally they started to divided recycled items from burnable trash from years ago and it used to be very simple. Like it was required to separate from glasses, and plastics.
The city I am from, Kamakura is one of the strict cities when you separate trash. And expensive.
The photo I added above is the schedule when you can throw what items. The schedule is very detail and confusing. For example, Monday and Thursday: burnable trash such as raw trash like veggie skin, fruits, fish, meat, leather, shoes, stationaries, CD etc. Tuesday: something you can not burn such as can, glass, metal, umbrella, dishes, cups. Once a month And burnable trash separately such as paper, newspapers, books, magazines, fabrics. Once a week. Wednesday: plastic bottles, plants. Once a week. And it goes on and on.
The rule: There is a booklet to guide you how to separate trash correctly. You have to buy specific bag to throw the trash and it costs 80 yen (75 cents) on each bag. You have to put your name on the bag so then the patrol can check and return your trash to you if you put something wrong item in it. If the weight of trash bag excesses the limit, you have to wait till the following week. 45 litter per bag.
The goal: I just made a quick research about the reason behind it. Every year, citizens of Kamakura produces 4 tons of trash every year. Their ultimate goal is “zero waste”. To get to close to the goal, they want to reduce it 1 ton less each year. The city wants every single citizen to be smart about waste and save resources if it’s possible. That’s why they are super strict about it.
I think the government needs to be THIS serious about wastes nowadays considering global warming. At the individual level, you need “motivation” to separate the trash in this much details. If we have this rule in United States or even starting it small, in Los Angeles, can we do this? There are a lot of people concern the environment so it is possible. However, we do need some “education” to follow this rule and it is a big commitment.
This is the breakfast I love! Fish, eggs, rice, miso soup… Perfect combo!
Today was the last day at Atami. After we checked out from the ryokan inn, as we started to drive, Luca fell in sleep right away. I know he is so tired from all the activities from a day before. I hope he is enjoying it. I am not expecting to remember this trip with your memory since you are too young to remember but I hope this journal brings you back to little piece of memories. He slept about 1.5 hours while driving. So much green in this area. Looks old town. After we drove about 2 hours, finally we see Tokyo.
Time is really moving forward fast! My family road trip is over. Now my family dropped me and Luca off at my best friend’s house. I am friend with her since high school. She has two kids, 13 and 10 years old boys. Luca can have two big brothers for 3 days. Yay!
This will be last segment of Japan trip. In two days, we are going back home to Los Angeles. How sad is this! However, Luca seems to be sad when I mentioned his papa. We do FaceTime everyday to talk to his papa but in this couple days, he isn’t interested to talk to him. His papa was sad too and I feel really bad about it. I’m pretty sure everything will be all right and I guess it is a good thing time flies and this trip will be over soon. I don’t want you to forget about your papa, Luca! You love him so much!