Monday, November 15, 2010

Turning Points

It is a pretty amazing time here.   Things are happening.  Just yesterday Kazi started to really parrot words.  He copied his great uncle by saying "Shochu" the local potato liquor that practically everyone drinks.  He called both his sister and brother by name.  During the day he was looking at his tummy and saying "ka - ii, ka - ii."  It took an explanation from the Mrs. that he was pointing at the picture on his tummy and saying, "kawa ii" or "cute" in Japanese.  So he has the wherewithal to know that something can be cute and that it is positive and he wanted to share with me that his shirt was cute.  Honestly, this change has really taken me by surprise.  With the other two kids it really felt like I would come home one day and they would be walking or talking.  That is what happens when 60-70% of your waking time is spent thinking about work.  Being here with really nothing to think about has given me the chance to watch my son change from a baby to a toddler.  I am so excited to spend the next 5 months watching him learn to speak and to hear the different ideas he has come out.

And speaking of ideas his older brother is having some doozies these days.  Just this morning while we were driving to school we were talking about driving.  He said if he was driving he would crash into all the cars.  (Yesterday he played a version of mariocart at a friends house and I guess there was a lot of crashing)  So I replied that I wouldn't let him learn to drive if he was going to crash.  He parried with once I was dead he would be able to do what he wanted.  I said I would be watching him even when I was dead. To this he responded he was looking forward to being reunited when we were spirits (I don't think he has the word for heaven in his vocabulary currently, I know I don't use it).  I thought this was a pretty big idea.  So I got into the whole thing about lets enjoy living together, we don't know what will happen in the future, basically I was only superficially listening to what he was saying and as usual was driving my own agenda.  And this brought us to the conversation I really wanted to talk about.  Kohei asked me why we don't have little devils and angels (white angels and red angels is what he said)  on our shoulders telling us what to do.  One of the videos the kids watch here has a Donald Duck cartoon where he is lead astray by his shoulder devil.  So then we got into what those shoulder guys really mean.  I tried to explain about having choices and there may be two options and you can't decide which to do.  So in your head you will think about the reasons for doing one thing rather than the other.  I don't know if he was satisfied by this but we had arrived at school by then and he had moved on to the excitement of possibly being the first to arrive at school, which today he was.

It is so cool to see Kohei attaching meaning to life and connecting the various ideas he comes across every day with the rest of the ideas in his life.  As I write this I realise I need to do a better job of listening and asking questions in situations like this.  Hopefully I can be the same kind of teacher to my own children as I challenge myself to be with my students.  So that is what I learned today for the umpteenth time.  More questions, less answers.

All in all life continues to be great everyday, though we miss our Canadian friends and family a lot.  Everyone is well. 

Love out.

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