Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The other mom from our town.

As you know, when Branden went to this yochien. His best friend happened to be Genki. He lived in the same housing community as us. And he was the ONLY other little kid who lived far away in our tiny town who also went to the same yochien as Branden did. Their friendship was not forced. It happened naturally probably because they were literally the only 2 kids who rode the school bus together.Anyway so yes Branden and Genki would spend a good 25 minutes drive in the van there and 25 minutes back with Genki and the 1 lady sensei who always rode along and read books to Branden and Genki. Or talked with them while they rode. I would push Noah in the stroller with me to pick up B at the pick up point in our housing community. So yes I saw Genki's mom every morning and every afternoon. We became friends naturally because we saw each other every day. Our boys got a long really well. And when they were to start elementary together. We weren't really worried because we figured as long as they have each other they'll be fine.

However when all the "soon to be ichinensei" at the time were to show up in February for an assessment and do a sort of meet and greet. It was held at 2pm. Given the time... B and Genki got out of yochien. They had to go straight to the elementary school in their uniforms. We went to the 2nd floor. Noboru and I and Genki's mom. Shock! Branden and Genki were the only 2 kids wearing that uniform (meaning we knew, that but somehow actually seeing it made it all the more clear). And 2 or 3 wore different uniforms. And 1 lone girl wore another yochien uniform (this would later be Saya-chan) us parents all stood along the walls. We didn't know any of those other parents and they didn't know us. There were only about 8 or 9 kids total from the yochiens. Different uniforms, some plaid uniforms, some green uniforms and Branden and Genki came in with the navy blue one with white dress shirt and bolero navy jacket and navy winter hats...same uniforms that Noah wears today. The teacher said...please wait for the hoikuen kids to get here. About 30 kids all ran in, no uniforms at all. Very happy peppy kids. I saw "boy next door" in that group. And smiled at him, his mom was at work. I would say this was the first time we realized we would be greatly out numbered.

Then ichinensei started. Branden and Genki stuck together like glue. Partly because they were friends anyway and kept things same as usual, but partly because they didn't know any of those other kids at first. Then came the first observation day for us. And....

So us parents walked into the room for that first observation day. Gulp! And all 32 of the mom's were basically BFF's. Only 40 kids total and 2 classes and only about 8 came from yochiens. They all knew each other for eons it seemed. Well of course they've developed those close ties during hoikuen all those years. And then there was us yochien parents. Talk about the cheese stands alone! We knew no one! When they introduced themselves. They all knew each other. They weren't nervous. To be honest, for the first 6 month's of the first grade for our school...the hoikuen kids and mom's ruled. And we were the odd men out! "Boy next doors" mom was happy as a clam with all her buds. Meanwhile I felt like "Sally no friends" and I know for a fact the other yochien mom's felt the same exact way. And I tell, you...it honestly takes a lot of courage to stand there by yourself or with just 1 mother while the rest are like continuing a conversation and all happy and laughing. How would that make you feel honestly.

1 of Branden's classmates. He went to a different yochien. I heard that he was having a very terrible time of adjusting to elementary and that his mom said he had no friends. (of course he now has tons) His mom was so worried...that she contemplated sending her younger son to hoikuen granted she ended up sending her younger son to the yochien her older son went to in the end because she realized he did end up making friends in the end. But yes for her to even contemplate switching schools for her younger child.... even for a month shows you how very tough it was for us at first all those years ago. It was. (the younger brother is the same kid who's going to go to school with Noah next year (Kouiki-kun's little brother)) But yes.... that is exactly how worried she was. And I understand/understood her feelings 100%. Because I felt all the same things myself. It was really hard for us yochien mom's at first. Again...this is my area only. As you know...my town does not have a yochien. Obviously it would be a totally different story for people in bigger more populated areas who actually have a yochien in their city. But for us, our town has/had no yochien. While our town does have a hoikuen.

Of course....I also want to add that as far as Branden was concerned he makes friends super easily. So he ended up making friends pretty much right away. And by the end of the first grade year...all of the kids (not just Branden) had made so many friends and intermingled. It didn't really matter in the end who went to yochien or which yochien or who went to hoikuen. However yes....I'd be lying to say the first six month's wasn't tough on us yochien parents (the kids got over it faster then us parents did). Again...it's different for us here because our town has no yochien. So the playing field wasn't fair to begin with.

Now fast forward. Noah has been going to yochien all these years. And there is also 1 other boy who lives and comes from our town. When Noah was a yellow badge for the 2 months he was a baragumi but that boy did not start as a yellow badge like Noah did. That boy didn't start there until the he was a red badge in April of that year. So, when Noah was a red badge, pink badge he was a yurigumi (in the lily class) however that other boy was always in the baragumi class (the rose class), they have *never* been in the same class together. So it is fair to say they really do not know each other the way Branden and Genki knew each other. Also, every observation day I went to at Noah's school all these years...I stood in the yuri class. While his mom obviously stood in the baragumi class. So we don't really know each other either. Finally this year, all the blue badges joined 1 class. This is the first year ever that they are actually in the same class. Also that boy rides the bus. I meanwhile have a time scheduling conflict since I have an older son... so I give Noah a ride daily. So again, they don't know each other really at all.

However with this being our final year. And with us knowing what's coming next year...... Anyway at the picnic last week. The mom's were all chatting about.... which school is each kid moving on to yada yada. I know she knows and realizes it'll be just me and her. And I clearly am realizing this now too. : ) A few times during the picnic, I found her smiling at me. From a far like during her lunch and whatnot. I was sitting with my main set of friends and eating too.. but yeah I found myself smiling at her once or twice now too. We know what is coming next year it's just gonna be us, her and I. Her son and Noah.

During the picnic, she went up to Noboru and spoke to him. I was chatting with the Jogo-san at the time....while they chatted. She told Noboru, I saw your wife last week at the plaza" (the plaza is the pickup point for the shogakko kids in our town) "Was she picking up your other son?" Also....what time does elementary start and finish. Because next year her second child a little girl. Will start the yochien. And she is getting worried if she will have a time conflict. Because she feels her son walking to the shogakko from where they live, is too far etc. Anyway....she is starting to look to next year. As am I. She knows I am most definitely in her future.: ) And I know she is most definitely in mine.: ) So now we have 1 year. 1 year to get more comfortable with one another.

Last week we had the shaon kai meeting. This is a thank you party for the teachers for after the kids graduate. Last year during one of the pink badge mother's luncheons.....we decided do you want to join the yearbook staff or join the shaon kai group. My friends and I all whispered...join the shaon kai. Anyway....so this year our work is to begin. Last year at the mother's lunch. I sat on the opposite table as "same town" mom. And I wasn't really aware or looking which group she picked. So I didn't pay attention.

So, the first shaon kai meeting I did not attend because I had that driving class I had to take. The second meeting I went and "same town mom" was not there. Anyway so last week was the 3rd shaon kai meeting. I was upstairs. With a few of the mom's and in walks "same town mom" There was a short but very very long table. She could have sat anywhere. There were spots all around that table but she sat right next to me. And I thought.....aww how nice. ; ) She's really trying here. : )

I think she's really making an effort here. As am I. As luck would have it...we just never had the opportunity to be around each other before now. I think she knows we have to get to know each other a little more, and I know that too. Because next year until our kids get a little more acquainted with the others....we'll be all we have. Yeah, no pressure or anything though right? ; )

And for the record. For Branden's time when he was an ichinensei like I said....6 month's in, all the kids all were friends. They all bonded. One of Branden's closest friend, the "jinbei boy" he went to a totally different school. Hmm come to think of it....he went to hoikuen and B and he are like very very tight and close good friends! Nobody cares in the least now who went to what kindy. And by the 3rd grade...they switched classes and intermingled even more. I greet all the mothers, they all greet me. It's not really a problem now. I think next year we might feel that 6 month awkward bit when Noah first starts. But....at least knowing it won't last forever makes it easier to take.

And hopefully the better acquainted "same town" mom and I get with one another, the better it will be on the both of us. I mean we don't need to be best friends. But we are definitely trying to be friendly. It will make next years first observation day so much easier. : )
Two Sundays ago, while Noboru was taking the boys to get their hair cut. I was meanwhile home waiting for the delivery man. The kuroneko van pulled up. And I peeked out the window. Hey, T's dad is delivering it today! So, I opened the door and thanked him and stuff and smiled and got the 2 packages and closed the door. : )
Branden's shorts were the right fit. Noah's Qoo shirt was the right fit and my comfy roomwear shorts were perfect. Noboru's plaid shorts were a good fit too. One thing I noticed though. The black shorts with white polka dots are *so* cute. They stand out and you can really see the polka dots.They are very girly looking comfy shorts. However I noticed the gray ones with white polka dots are a lot harder to see the polka dots. The polka dots aren't as noticeable on the gray pair. I kept them anyway because they were cheap and I could always use a spare pair of comfy around the house shorts anyway.
My anniversary gift came.
It wasn't a surprise. I knew what it was. I helped pick it out. A useful gift since mine broke and I need one for my treadmill and workouts.
The smallest nano I've seen. I had the nano 2 models before this and Branden has the nano 1 model before this.
Special edition. The red one you can only get from the apple online shop. I liked the red color, so I chose that one.
Noboru had my name put on the back. I have since put all my songs onto this new one and have been using it and getting the hang of the touch screen.

Anyway besides planning 2 vacations (my dad's and ours) I'll post about that later.....I've had the shaon kai on my mind. We have been planning what gifts to give to the kids. What gifts to give to the sensei. We want to go and try the food at 2 different restaurants before we decide where we will have the meal next year. There's so much planning that goes on ahead of time.

We also have the upcoming Summer festival to start planning for also. I am planning to work the games with my friend. Which means we will start having "make the prizes" meetings as well. I imagine this year we will be meeting for many things. Shaon kai meetings....Summer festival meetings. It's going to be down right meeting madness. ;P

I'm trying to make a little effort to get to know "mom from the same town as me" granted I am not going to over do it, or anything either. As long as we are friendly with one another we should be fine. I'm not out to make her my best friend or anything. Just trying to make more of a concsious effort to be friendly towards her is all.

Plus the 2 observation days this week. The 2 back to back ones. One today and one tomorrow. And the uniform switch which was today. For which I had to go and get a few things at the uniform shop for Noah last week. New straw hat, 1 new pair of Summer uniform shorts and 1 short sleeve dress shirt.

No wonder I haven't started on our little veggie garden yet. : ( I'll get to it. : )

Our first Summer festival meeting is this Thursday after the observation day at the yochien.