The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

For my Dad and yours and for Husband too

on June 15, 2014

We missed Father’s Day this year! No long lie in or leisurely breakfast in bed for Husband. No big presentation of cards. No big day out just for Dad. I only really remembered when at the very end of a long day Husband says to me, ‘Do you know what day it is?’.

This seemingly innocuous question is a powerhouse of hidden meaning. It’s a question that tells you you’ve already committed a crime. This is just to prompt you to figure out what it is and then voice your shame out loud.

It’s not that I forgot. I never do. It’s just that we had such a busy day in Tokyo that Father’s Day wasn’t the main focus. Neither was Husband the main man as we celebrated the wedding of two friends in a traditional Japanese wedding ceremony.

Our concerns for the day were to get ourselves and #1, 2 and 3 ready for a wedding and get to the wedding venue, Meiji Shrine, and somehow hope #1, 2 and 3 will sit obediently silent and therefore totally out of character for the whole proceedings. What I always promise myself before events requiring #1, 2 and 3 to be out on public display is to read this book, French Children Don’t Throw Food by Pamela Druckerman.

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But I haven’t yet and it’s joined that pile of unread books now used to measure how tall #1, 2 and 3 are. However, never mind the French, what I want to know is how the Japanese do it? Their children can sit quietly and appropriately and their children don’t feel the need to whoop and yell at the sight of every train, police car, ambulance, motorbike that looks a bigger version of the Tomica models we have at home. They walk in linear lines and not like they’re being chased by invisible wasps. How indeed do Japanese parents do it? Maybe the next week or so will transform #1, 2 and 3 by osmosis.

I think most of the fear comes from ourselves as parents and our expectations of what is appropriate behaviour. #1 and 2 did marvellously well at their first major formal event with #1 taking part in all the respectful bowing and clapping and even having his first taste of sake following what everyone else was doing. #3 is just #3, there’s no telling any 20 month old what to do. It’s far easier to let her go rogue quietly in a corner.

It was hard on #3 though because a couple of hours into our seven hour flight, she started a burning fever of nearly 40 degrees. Good job I packed up that mini medicine cabinet and changes of clothing as she then vomited for the last hour of the flight and after landing. The staff at Tokyo Haneda Airport were excellent in fast tracking us through passport control. She’s still unwell but is doing a great job of trooping on and so I can’t blame her at all for getting annoyed when all she wants is her comfy bed.

So that’s how we missed Father’s Day today. Though he has enjoyed a great day out with us and we’re in Japan where he has always wanted to go.

Although I may have needed some prompting on what day it was. Husband said that he was most impressed with #1 remembering all by himself that it was Father’s Day. He wished him ‘Happy Father’s Day Daddy. I made you something but I left it in Singapore.’

Actually you haven’t #1, because I didn’t forget completely and packed up the gifts for Husband they made at school last week. So both children and Husband were able to celebrate Father’s Day after all.

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As for my Dad, Mr Li, he long ago said he had enough socks to measure himself by but that’s not as many socks as you might think as my Dad, Mr Li is quite wee. But every year he likes his card and a phone call and this year all the more with us being away on holiday and he wasn’t expecting it.

So I hope you all enjoyed remembering the Dad’s in your life this Father’s Day.

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