Today I’m a little sore from helping to clean the pool at my son’s school yesterday. I thought the other mothers and I would be putting in a token effort, but it was seriously hard work – three hours of scrubbing. I have blisters from wielding a broom. I was already a little bit sore from participating in tug-of-war during my daughter’s sports festival the day before, and from helping to put up tents for the festival the day before that. I had no idea that being a parent of an elementary school student in Japan involved so much manual labor.