You know how the saying goes: "First God made a man and then He rested. Then, He made a woman and never rested anymore." Well, after Hanah, our firstborn, we never rested anymore. Her arrival shattered our peaceful (until we'd argue!) life forever. She was too small at birth.
My friends came to see us in the hospital and asked me, which one was my baby. I said, of course: "The most beautiful one!" They pointed:
I proudly showed them my daughter. They couldn't hide their disappointment for a moment. She looked like a newborn chick, before the feathers dried up. "Oh.." is all they mastered. To me she was a princess. To my parents, she was a Supreme Being who graced our humble lives with her presence. I'm being arrogant, aren't I?
The relationship with Taka continued to be a problem. I was no present for him either. Before the marriage to him I never had to deal with my own finances. I always lived with parents or in the church, where someone else had to worry about paying bills and providing for the future. I think, I was thirty-something when I wrote my first check. I also didn't drive until I was 36 and the mother of two. For a long, long time, Taka couldn't get through to me to be careful with money . In Japan, as he likes to remind me, it’s a wife who takes care of the family finances.
On the other hand, I am still trying to impress on him the importance of being kindly. I can't be certain, but to me the way he behaves smacks of the lack of affection. Often, I think that a stranger would be nicer to me or our kids in certain circumstances.
SAN LEANDRO, CALIFORNIA
In my story, "LIFE 'ND STUFF", I talked about my parents coming to California to live near us and the grand-kids They became an integral part of our family, and both, Taka and I, believe, without their loving and real in every way support our children would be less stable, and many things in our lives would've disintegrated a long time ago.
My father was particularly proud of his grandson, Sonny. The sad part was, after my mom stopped spending time with the grand-kids and us because of her sickness, Sonny and Hanah didn't hear much of the Russian language anymore. They forgot the Russian that they already learned and couldn't easily communicate with their grandfather. We took care of him and mom, of course, but I can't help but wonder, if I didn't fail my dad in some way; maybe, neglected to provide the emotional togetherness that he needed or help him live a fuller life at the end. You know, sometimes we do everything right for a person, but keep ourselves just a tiny bit out of their reach.