Year 5


This year Kantra got into making things. Now, everything is potentially something else. At dinner when she gets picky about her food I remind her that there are kids who go to bed hungry. Besides, “This is not a restaurant,” I tell her. “I am not your waiter,” I say. “But we can pretend like this is a restaurant,” she says. “Koko (here in Japanese),” she says, pointing her finger at the spot on the table to where she wants me to place her plate. I get irritated to which she says, “But Dad, I’m just trying to teach you Japanese.”

Her persistence could win wars and kneel presidents. I tell her that it’s ok to be hard-headed, just make sure that you use it to be productive. Since the day she could smile and walk, her energy and curiosity intensified. To my aging eyes and our exhaustion, she’s maturing and becoming aware of it. She likes to look after babies. We hope to get her volunteering if not just to help, but to see a reality that may put her life in sharper perspective. We don’t expect her to be anything other than a decent human being.

This year we lost my Mother and I had to explain to my daughter that Grandma passed away. I tried telling her that Grandma has become omnipresent. She’s everywhere and you can talk to her. “Is she in Japan?” Kantra asked. “Well, yeah, she’s here and in America,” I said. “She looks over you and maybe she will visit you in your dreams,” I said. “I miss Grandma,” she said.

Kantra, we are honored to be your parents. You challenge us to be better leaders and you refuse to let us give up on ourselves. Keep loving and believing in yourself. Be strong. Be you and don’t get too clever. You ain’t grown yet. We love you.

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