Tuesday, November 19, 2013

An inspiring message

A few nights ago, Momo, my teenage daughter sat on a couch in the living room next to me and took a deep sigh as she mumbled, "I wish I had a teacher like him."

Then she showed me the message of a school teacher who gave the last homework to his student before he passed away. The message said:

The last homework
 No specific deadline.
"Become happy."
Perhaps I would be in heaven when you turn in this homework. Do not rush to hand it in.
Take your time. But please tell me face to face, "I have become happy." I will be waiting to hear from you.

What messages would you like to leave to your children or family? Ultimately, the message I would like to leave my children is the same. "Please find your happiness within your heart."

Friday, November 8, 2013

Christmas Story for The Magical Story Tribe

After reading the inspiring book, The Element in the bath on the Saturday morning, this story popped up out of my heart. I would love to make some collage based on this story later.

Sakura’s Christmas

Sakura lost her dad when she was only 3 years old. She was born in Seattle in the United States of America. But her mom decided to come back to Japan when Sakura’s dad passed away. Her mom said,
“Sakura, we will go back to my home country and be with our family.” Sakura was not happy about saying good-bye to all of her friends and wonderful neighbors. But she liked the idea of being with her family.

Sakura lived with her funny grandpa, loving grandma, two playful uncles and mom. Sakura was a happy girl loved by everyone of her family.

As soon as she got into a nursery school nearby her grandparents’ house, she made some good friends. The neighbors welcomed her and her mom and everything was just fine. Sakura stopped crying missing her dad little by little.

One cold winter morning, Sakura’s grandma asked her,
Sakura hesitated to tell grandma her wish.
She looked at her grandma in the eyes and asked,
Sakura smiled and nodded excitedly.
She wrote a letter to Santa and put it in a envelope. She handed it to her mom and said,

At that time, Sakura has already forgotten her mother tongue, English. Her mom was sad and wanted her to speak it again. Her mom tried to talk with her in English but Sakura stopped speaking in English back. So, her mom got an idea.
“Did you write in English, Saku?”
“Hah? 何で?
“well, Santa can’t read Japanese, can’t he? He is from North Pole.”
“ I can help you out.”
So, Sakura started practicing alphabet and got much better.
She asked her mum how to say some of phrases in English such as I wish to see. But she did not tell her mom who she wants to see for Christmas.
Her mom thought it would be Stitch from Disney channel. Sakura loved Stitch at that time.
After a few days of practice, Sakura managed to write a letter to Santa.
She handed it to her mom and said,

On the night, her mom opened the letter and it said,

Dear Santa,
Merry Christmas. Last year. Present. Thank you.
I wish to see dad for Christmas.
I am good.
Thank you.

“Oh, my, my.”
Her mom sighed. She had no idea what to do with Sakura’s wish.
She did not make Sakura sad on Christmas day.
She walked around her bedroom and thought about it. But she did not get any good ideas. So, she asked her family what to do.
Grandpa shrugged his shoulders. Grandma shed in tears. It was one of Sakura’s uncles, Hiro gave her mom a good idea,
So, her mom came up what to write. The other uncle, Yoshi volunteered to write it down on a Christmas card.

On the night before Christmas, Sakura’s mom sneaked into her bedroom and put the card under her pillow. She also put a little bracelet in a little box next to the pillow.

Next morning, Sakura’s family was got up by a big cheerful shout.
Sakura showed the card and the present from her dad. She wore the bracelet around her wrist.
“Thank you.” She mumbled. The card says:

Dear my girl, Sakura

Thank you for your request for Santa to see me again on the special day.
He promised me to deliver this letter to you on the Christmas Day.
I was so happy to hear that you still remember me and think of me.
I am so sorry not to tell you this before. I am always with you, Sakura.
When you need me, I am there next to you. You may not see me but I am there. You may be able to feel me if you try. I am so glad and proud that you have made some friends and helped your mom to go back to Japan. You have learned Japanese so quickly. I wish I could understand what you say. But for me, just watching you grow is a gift. I am sorry that I can’t hug you like other dads. But please remember I am always with you.


It was all written in English. But Sakura could read “dad”. She did not ask her mom what it was written. It was a message from her dad to her. She wanted to read it on her own. She used her mom’s old dictionary to understand the message. It took her very long time to get the message. She asked her mom what “always” and “be with you” mean. When her mom told her it means, 「いつも一緒だよ。」, she was so happy and felt as if her dad was there.

From the Christmas, Sakura always gets a card from her dad with a little present. Sakura became a big girl but she never questioned if Santa is real. For her, the Christmas card and a present from dad is Santa, the love. Once a year, on a Christmas day, a special gift will be delivered to you. That is if you believe in love.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Element

Flow or zone or the new term, the element is a place your skill meets your potential. That is a place where you can be the best of your ability. That is a place where you feel right and find content daily. I think I have found a place like that. It is in the story circle with children. That is a place where I can feel their heartbeat and breath. That is a place where my beat and their beat make a unique harmony that nobody ever heard of before. The beat of our hearts and souls weave a story together. That is where I would find the joy and the meaning of my presence in this planet. It is not in the dark meeting room where everyone feel suffocated. It is not a classroom where a kid gets bullied by everyone that includes other student's parents and even some of teachers. It is not a school where children are judged by very restricted measures like mid-term tests, last-term test, proficiency tests, and other mini quizzes that kids get almost daily. It is not a place where kids would be controlled to be a heartless robot to serve our society. It is not a park where kids are proctored by mums and caregivers who love them only if they are obedient. It is not a grey street where children's laughters are prohibited. I don't belong those places. I belong to a place where kids can laugh their head off if that is what they feel like. I belong to a place where I can be accepted as who I am as I accept kids who they are. We can fight badly from time to time yet next minute we can hug each other. I belong to a place where I am allowed to speak genuinely. I belong to a place where nobody has to put a fake and cynical smile on her face. That is a place in the story circle with children. The story circle where we share all forms of stories of our own as well as others. That is my element and I would do anything to keep my seat there. Yes, I would.