If I May …


… for a moment be a tad less cynical:

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from Reisuke, Kazuyuki and Ren.

Adorable Reisuke was my most zealous 4-year old depantser, the one who so uncannily reminded me of my brother at that age that I often had to keep myself from patting his bowl-cut. As the year has gone on he has grown out of the depantsing and has moved on to trying to eat the pictures of fruits and vegetables that line the classroom walls. The delicious, buttery cookies are from him. Thank you, Reisuke.

Ren is the spunky little sprite with the anime mullet haircut who gave me the beautiful Christmas card and the various tasty treats over the year. I have struck up a pleasant chatting relationship with his lovely, cheerful mother – the two of us, giggling half in her pidgin English and my pidgin Japanese – and I am always thrilled to see his teeny, tiny sister waddle into school behind them. The three of them came to school, after classes had been out for a week, especially to bring me their gifts – the beautiful sakura chopsticks and the silver hair clip.

“Show me how to use the chopsticks,” I gently asked Ren, who, for once, was shy and quiet. He somberly held the chopsticks between his thumb and forefinger, clacking them up and down as his sister bawled in a corner because he had drunk all of her orange Fanta.

The card is from Kazuyuki, the sweetest and un-dorkiest of my dorky 10 year-olds. Every once in a while, there are children who so impress you that you really wouldn’t mind coming back in 10 or 20 years – just to see how it all turned out. Kazuyuki is one of those young men. Quiet, friendly, and helpful, he was cool with the rowdy, silly boys and the shy, stricken students alike – without being saintlike or obnoxious about it. Though the class material was new to him it was still too simple – by the end, I switched subjects, objects and noun categories on him just to see if he’d catch on. He always did. Earlier this year, he broke his arm so badly that it has healed crooked, yet he always stopped to casually – yet carefully – monitor Keisuke, the fellow student with cerebral palsy, to see how he was faring with the crafts projects.

Inside:

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E,

It’s been fun up until now

Thank you for the lessons

Don’t forget me

Done.

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