My parents recently did something very nice for us. I wouldn’t go into details here but I’m very grateful about it. I’ve been wondering what I can do for them, besides sending a thank you card, to express my appreciation. Generally speaking, my parents and I have a really good relationship and even though we go through the usual ebbs and flows like many parent and child do, we still communicate regularly, we love each other, and also as important, we like each other – a lot.
Of course, they are my parents. They raised me to the person that I am today, and while some of the growing was almost entirely up to me after I left home, the values that they taught me helped to establish a solid foundation from which I took off to explore the world. Yesterday I was talking to someone I just met, she’s from Iran who grew up in London, and she now lives in the United States. Even though we just met, we quickly connected and discovered our life experiences were somewhat similar. At some point I shared with her my religious/spiritual view of the world. She then told me that I am very fortunate that I have been all over the world – I grew up in Japan for the most part until I was 23, but I’ve then lived in Europe and in the United States and have been to many other places. I agreed with her, I am truly blessed to have the life that I do, and for that I am forever grateful to my parents. Even though we Japanese are known to show deep respect to our parents, I am sure that this sense of gratitude for those who raised us is universal.
After pondering the original question (“What can I do to show my appreciation?”) for a while, I tried to put myself in their shoes. After all, I now have my own kids. I will do everything I can to raise them so they can be self-reliant, confident and happy adults and find what they love to do in life. When they grow up and had a similar idea of thanking us and asked us how they could express their appreciation towards us, what would I say?
I’d probably tell them, “It was my pleasure”. Would I want them to do anything for us? Probably not, except that they keep us in their lives and spend time together, call us when they need help and let us know when they are happy. If they are blessed with their own kids, pass on whatever life lessons they learned. I think that’s probably what all parents need and want. Anything beyond that is icing on the cake – right? Would you share what you’d do or have done to show them that you are grateful for all that they have done for you, especially that “icing” part? I need some ideas!
A few weeks ago we went to a military movie theater with our kids to watch a Disney movie “Princess and Frog”. I was curious if our older son could sit through a 90 minutes animation film, and it turned out he did fine for the most part, though there were some parts where a voodoo doctor appeared which was scary for him. It was an entertaining story with so much color and music, with an unique storyline; The main character Tiana turned into a frog when she kissed a voodoo cursed frog, thinking it’ll turn him back to a prince. Together they visit Mama Odie, hoping that she’d undo the curse, but she told Tiana that she needs to understand the difference between what she wants and what she needs. Continue reading
We’re on vacation! By the time this post is up, I’ll be in Washington D.C. with my husband, my kids and my parents who’ll fly in from Japan and meet us there. We also have close friends who have two kids that live in D.C., and we will be up and about, exploring the city and swimming in a pool. On this occasion, I wanted to write about a trip I took with my parents and brother – it was our first family vacation abroad. We flew into Vancouver, and then visited Canadian Rockies, specifically Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper.
My husband and I just came back from a special full-screening of the movie “Ponyo”, which is the latest animated film created by Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki made an appearance and talked about the film prior to the movie. In order to get in the theater in downtown San Diego, my husband went there to get in line and waited for a few hours. After I got off work, I joined him and waited some more, during which I wrote most of this post.
I recently re-watched the movie, “Spirited Away”, a Japanese animation film created by Hayao Miyazaki. The main character is a sullen ten-year-old girl named Chihiro. In the middle of her family’s move to the suburbs, they wind up in a mystical town where gods, spirits, and monsters get together for a retreat at a bathhouse. At some point, Chihiro got separated from her parents and had to rely on her inner strength to survive there and to find her way home. In the DVD, there was a bonus feature which explained how Miyazaki came up with this basic plot. He revealed that Chihiro had a model – a daughter of a friend of Miyazaki’s. Chihiro was described “typical, apathetic and lazy” 10-year-old before winding up in this mystical town. After going through a phase of denial, Chihiro accepted her fate and started tapping into her inner strength. Continue reading