|Got my name on it - must be mine!|
We did Okaasan Duty yesterday: the family shopping trip and lunch.
This used to give me so much stress, I hated drifting round a shop and then sitting in a restaurant with mindless conversation.
I guess because it was my new, awful reality out in public.
Happy-go-lucky ski bum/teacher couple changed into Not-at-ease family group.
Now? I just go with the flow....
Weather here of melting and then refreezing, so the roads are icerinks. Okaasan hasn't been out for 3 days.
So after I'd been to the gym yesterday, we all piled in the car and went out for a few hours of Family Time.
All the little things we do to make it go smoothly are becoming second nature:
Making sure Okaasan has the right combination of clothes for the outing: "Yes" to a coat, "no" to a muffler".
Giving her the shopping trolley and letting her follow us aimlessly around the store. We did bits of shopping and she pushed the trolley like a child, as we located all the spots around the store with free food samples.
She homed in on the fish counter for a while.
She homed in on the gloves counter: has lost another pair of gloves...luckily last time I bought two pairs and the gloves-in-waiting are safely back home.
Enjoyed all the flurry of shopping activity round the Doll's Festival food items.
Bought pink rice cakes wrapped in leaves.
Forgot that and then bought another girly-style cake too.
Bought the little citrus fruits she really loves.
ALMOST headed into the donuts shop and was 2 cm away from picking up a donut - before Yujiro headed her off and we went on to the ramen restaurant.
Ate ramen - ideal for Family Trips because it comes soon after ordering and you can eat without talking.
100 meters from the ramen shop was another a ramen shop: "Is that the ramen shop we went to?"......"Err, no....that ramen shop is in FRONT of the car now, so how is that possible?"
Take the cakes out of the bags so she will see them and eat them.
Spend the rest of the day sprawled in front of movies on TV.
Okaasan didn't need dinner cos she said she'd "had a big lunch, what was it?".
Nice ordinary day. She really doesn't need a bi complicated outing (and neither do our stress levels), just an hour or two in a local shopping mall and lunch. It's entertaining enough for her. We have learned that now!
Today was Doll's Festival in Japan.
March 3 1992 I came to Japan as a backpacker from Thailand and 10 days later got a job teaching kids in the Tokyo suburbs. Only planned to stay a year - really to earn enough money to go back and travel more in Indonesia.
But somehow...Japan got me.
Here we are...a young, sweet, slim Oyomesan....Loooooong before Oyomesan duties.....