A LONG Small Donation

2年間、お尻まで伸ばした髪を切る日がついにやってきました!

The day to cut my 2-year-long hair has finally come! My locks (hair) had grown to my “BEHIND” (another way to say buttocks, butt, okolele). I could have passed for quite the hula dancer! 

ハワイのフラダンサーのように長くなった髪型でした。いろいろな方に褒められ、(ケアが大変になってきてたが)結構気に入ってました。切る瞬間になって、一瞬で”チョキチョキ”と大変身!

It had been a long 2 years since deciding to donate my hair to a wig-making charity. I was getting many compliments and was actually growing quite fond of having long hair, even though it was getting harder and harder to keep clean! When the moment came to snip, snip (!) however … the transformation was instant!

 

#hairdonation

 

 

 

2年間くらい個人レッスンでフランス語を学んでます。1時間の会話はたどたどしい言葉でかなり苦労しているから上達を感じません。継続していたことだけに満足を感じることにしいました。

 I have been learning French with a private teacher now, for about the same amount of time, 2 years. I still struggle to make conversation with my teacher and often feel that I have not improved at all. I had been telling myself that simply continuing was better than quitting!

でも聞いてください!
ちょうど昨日、遊びでフランス語のクイズを受けました。
びっくり!思ったよりかなりいいレベルまで上がってました。感じてなかったが、ちゃんと成長していました。上手くなってました。”変身”していました!徐々に進む我々の人生も一緒ですね。

But, YESTERDAY!  I took a little FRENCH quiz for fun and was SHOCKED and DELIGHTED that I knew MUCH more that I thought! I had been IMPROVING and getting BETTER without feeling the GROWTH. Isn’t this how life often works?

ちゃんと成長している。毎日感じなくても、これは事実。納得します。

We ARE growing… we just don’t feel it everyday. That makes sense! C’est vrai!

フランス語が上手くなってきている事に乾杯!いいドネーションができるまでしっかりと待った事に乾杯!

Yay for having gotten better at French! Yay for waiting long enough to make a decent hair donation!

素敵な職人さんの手にかかりますように。I hope a great wig craftsperson can create a beautiful wig for someone! 

LivingEigo Announcements!

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My Story & Teaching Eigo

A LONG Small Donation

2年間、お尻まで伸ばした髪を切る日がついにやってきました! The day to cut my 2-year-long hair has finally come! My locks (hair) had grown to my "BEHIND" (another way to say buttocks, butt, okolele). I could have passed for quite the hula dancer! ...

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Back to the Past (タイムスリップ)

My husband came back from his business trip to the States, and brought this tiny box of raisins! …… Whoa! (I hadn’t seen this little snackage in over 30 years maybe! It whooshed me right back to …. elementary school in Hawaii!  

Time travel?!

Okay, maybe not really, but it was amazing how I was immediately “transported” to the past in Honolulu with our very American lunchboxes.

ん?タイムスリップ?!
、、、とは言いませんが、1つのアイテムでハワイでの小学校ライフに記憶がよみがえるなんて、ちょっと考えさせられた。

I remember how my mother used to pop in little boxes of raisins (like the other kids’s lunches) along with our lightly salted, soy sauce coated rice balls (which was very unlike the other kids.) While everyone had sandwiches and apples, we had our little taste of Japan, via our mom who was born and raised there.

 母は干しぶどうのスナックサイズを(当時はよくあるパターンで)ホームランチの箱にポーンといれてくれたことをよく覚えてる。当時は外国生まれの子供達はまだ少なく、みんなと違って、うちの弁当箱の中身は塩・醤油おにぎりで、箱を開ける瞬間、日本のにおいで懐かしい印象が強かったことを覚えてる。サンドイッチやりんごが入っている隣の友達と弁当の中身がいつも違って、ちょっと恥ずかしくて、ちょっと嬉しくて、複雑な気持ちであった記憶がある。

It is quite different from the the “obento” that we see here in Japan, and (I suspect) how bento used to be way back when as well!

日本での弁当箱とは結構違いるので、面白い豆知識かもしれません。

Typical kids’ “bento bako” lunch box for kids in the 70’s and 80’s, and sometimes still used (with the exception of renewed characters) today in 2019. This simple metal box was packed with rice and some side dishes like egg rolls or sausages, and wrapped simply with a large handkerchif-like cloth called furoshiki.
1970年代、1980年代の一般の弁当箱でした。今でもこの形が残って使われていますが、プラステック素材が多くなりました。

My lunch box was “Strawberry Shortcake” which was in full trend at the time. I loved the fact that we were on trend, but still able to have culturally familiar foods to give us subtle, comforting hints of “home.” It wasn’t such a big deal on the surface, but the “mom’s” touch always reminded me that I had a home to come home to, no matter how different it may be from other kids around me. 

当時流行りの「ストローベリーショートケーキ」というキャラクターの弁当箱でした。流行に乗っていることに嬉て、しかも自分の日本とのルーツはしっかり、食べ物などで根付いてて、家の暖かさを感じた。見た目では大したことなかったのだろうが、うちは他の家庭とおおきく違っても、母親の小さな気遣いは「帰る家がある」とのちょっとしたメッセージが伝わってた気がする。

How interesting how one item can open a well of memories that one never knew loomed in the tiny brain of ours.

ちょっとしたアイテムで今まで考えもしなかった記憶が我々の小さい脳みそでよみがえられるなんて、とても面白いと思った。

One small step!!

The First Step!! 第一歩 !!

I cannot believe that after 2 years, the “book” is finally out! In 2019, I met an illustrator who (after hearing my idea on creating songs for young parents) told me that she would LOVE to help me make picture books for my songs!

2年で「本」がやっと出ました。2019年にイラストレーターの Junkoに出会い、ミッツの歌のアイディアの話を聞いて、是非絵本を描いてみたいと言ってくれました。

It was a new idea for me, and after seeing a sample of her illustrations, I JUMPED at the chance! I loved the way she captured the nuance of my song so poignantly and we were both so excited to start working together!

私の歌を絵本にするなんて、考えもしなかったが、Junkoさんがサンプルとして描いてくれた絵を見て、すぐに取り組んでみたいと思った。

We made a sample book and started “testing out” the idea with mini workshops in the neighborhood. The parents LOVED it! We were ready to go into production… then COVID hit, and I had to shift gears!

サンプルの本が出来上がり、現役の保護者の前でワークショップで絵本のコンセプトを「テスト」して、、、大成功でした!が、、、プローダクションを開始しようと思ってたら、新コロナのパンデミックでつまづいちゃった。

After a year of adjusting, we are back on track and have started our adventures starting with a small booklet to sell in book stores and future workshops!

調整時間の一年後、小さな本からでも良いと思って、もう一度チャレンジしてみました。

 

パンパカパーン!!

 

Ta-DAAA!

It went on the shelf yesterday! I’m very excited. Of course it rained, and of course the book store is not ready to open until the 10th of this month! (7 more days!) But here they are ready for a random customer wandering into the back gallery area.

昨日でお店の棚に並びました。とてもワクワクです。もちろん、雨で、、、もちろん、改造の開店が遅れ気味、、、なので、大勢のお客さんにはまだ見せることができていませんが、「第一歩」っということで、とても嬉しい。

Delightful Resource! Online Stories Series

I found such a delightful YouTube site!
The storytellers are brilliant, talented and colorful! It will help you on your journey of feeling the language known as English! Enjoy!

The Road to Independence

This has nothing to do with English learning…

Today, I went to Kamakura for an appointment. The station was really crowded.
At peak tourist season (with a festival taking place on the Kamakura shores,) crowds of people were walking steadily towards a narrow stairwell, BUT  at a snail’s pace!
There were all walks of people around me. Foreign tourists, local (Japanese) tourists, locals (like me, going to a lesson), children, families… everyone was very respectful of one another to make sure that there was no dangerous pushing going down the stairs. It was a bit frustrating, as I was already late for my appointment, but I kept calm and did not try to push ahead. 

約束のため、鎌倉駅を降りましたが、今日は特に混雑していた。観光のピーク時間で、しかも久しぶりの天気だった上、丁度海側でお祭りが行う日だった。観光客や、外国からの観光客、地元の人、カップル、小さい子の家族など、色々なところから集まった人がいましたが、皆さんはゆっくりと、順番にお互いに譲り合って、降りてました。毎回それだけでありがたいと思っていましたが、今回は、私が遅刻気味で特にこのカタツムリのようなスピードに敏感でチョビとイライラしていました。

 

In front of me, near the rail, a small boy of about 3 or 4 was walking slowly down by himself. At first, I was “Hmm. Who is he with…?” Then I immediately saw in front of him, his mother, carrying their second newborn looking ahead, walking step by step with the crowd. The boy was concentrating, being careful of each step. His mother was not looking even glancing behind her to make sure her boy was okay, which surprised me, but there was one tiny gesture that stood out to me.

 

私の左に、レールを小さいでで掴んで慎重に歩いている, 3・4歳くらいの男の子がいました。”一人かな?大丈夫かな?”と母性本能動き出した。よく見ると、彼のすぐ前に赤ん坊を前抱っこして、ぞろぞろ階段を降りている女性がいました。

”ママかな?”と思ったのだが、このお母さんが一度も息子に振り向こうとしていなかったので、”違うかも”と他にママらしい人物を探し始めましたが、下にちらっと見たら、その女性は右手をしかっり後ろに男の子の方にさしのべたまま歩いているのではないか。そうか。

I thought for a second that perhaps she was not his mother and looked around for someone near him who might be lost in the crowd. Then I looked down and saw that the woman in front of him was holding out her hand behind her, right near the boy’s head. The boy wasn’t trying to take her hand. He just seemed to concentrate on his walking, on the stairs, no desperation or hurriedness in his motions to catch up with mom right away. Ahh, I get it.

 男の子は自分の歩いきに夢中でしたし、お母さんの手を繋ごうともしていなかった。急いでも焦ってもいませんでした。なるほど。この人混みの中でも、一人で歩こうとする息子を尊重しつつ、ママが道を作っておいて、「ずっといるよ」って本人がわかるように、本人目線に手をずっと出したまま。

と私は勝手に解釈。

Of course, this was my interpretation, but I felt like this mom was being brilliant in letting him be “independent,” letting him do his thing even in this scary crowd of people. At the same time she was letting him know silently that she was there AT ALL TIMES. He knew she was there. She knew that he knew that she was there. And that was all they needed to get through this simple activity of going down the stairs at a crowded station.

 

もちろん、このお母さんは無意識に息子に自立するため行為かしら?としたら、素晴らしい、と思った。こんなに混んでいる場所で目の前にあえて見張らず、手のジェスチャーで彼女なりのコミュニケーションを取っている。「ちゃんといるよ」と手で伝えている。男の子はママがちゃんといることがわかってる。そして、彼女は彼がわかっていることもわかっている。このシンプルな行為に必要な交流でした。

What a beautiful small (natural) gesture between mom and child going through the process of “growing up” and learning to be on your own. We are alone. And yet there is always something in the wings to help. Heck, ”I” was ready to jump out to help if this boy had a hard time. Moms… I believe most moms want to help guide their kids into independence. At the same time, we are the first to jump out and want to protect them from hurt or danger. It’s not easy to know how to balance the extremes. 

This one mother’s gesture (as interpreted by me) was another sign how parents instinctively know how to let their children “be” while being there on the wings when duty calls. 

とても自然なジェスチャーで、心が動いた。親で一番の思いはちゃんと自立できるようにと願う人が多いと思います。と同時に、守らなきゃ。と言う気持ちがいつも混み上がる。このバランスは本当に微妙です。親の感も働く瞬間なのかな?

P.S. By the way, although I have not raised children in other countries, I can’t imagine this happening in a huge city overseas. Perhaps this is permissible because we are in Japan. Anywhere else, one would be afraid of a child being taken and would be seen as negligence. この行為も日本ならではのことかな、とつくづく思います。残念ながら、他の国ではこのように子供に「任せる」は(いつも見張ってない行動は誘拐の恐れがあり、)無責任と解釈されることもある。