Change is A-Comin’

My mother-in-law moved out a week ago.  I felt a mixture of relief and sadness when she left, but now mostly I feel calm.  She stopped by yesterday to pick up some stuff she’d left behind and to water her many, many potted plants.  The children were very happy to see her.  She seemed to be in a good mood, and she was kind. 

In other news, my husband requested a transfer and got it.  In Japan, teachers are moved around every seven or eight years to avoid stagnation and to make job placements more fair, I guess.  My husband has been at the same school for the past twelve years and he was due for a change.  He has also been a baseball coach for the past twelve years, one of the most – if not the most – demanding jobs a teacher can have.  I remember when he first started I felt sorry for him because he had to give up golf, friends, vacations, and just about everything else.  He has been a coach for our children’s entire lives, thus he has never been to my daughter’s many culture festivals, and only attended our kids’ sports festivals once.  I’ve been calling him “the imaginary husband” for several years.

Well, all that is about to change.  From April, my husband will be teaching at a school for the disabled near our house.  Since there are no teams or clubs, and the student population is quite small, his work-load will be much lighter than before.  He will have to make a huge adjustment.  He is used to teaching/coaching robust teen-agers.  He is accustomed to talent and finesse.  He will have to develop patience for kids who struggle to control their bodies.  I think that it’ll be a fantastic experience for him (and for Lilia).

My son has been a bit teary-eyed about the change.   After hearing of the transfer, he said, “Daddy was my hero.”   (Baseball coaches are rather glamorous here in Japan.)

“He can still be your hero,” I told him.  “You don’t have to watch him on TV, though.  He’ll be right here with you.”

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One thought on “Change is A-Comin’

  1. I am emceeing a discussion this Friday on Japan vs US education systems. Besides the more obvious differences, can you suggest any interesting questions I can ask our bi-cultural panelists? We will be mentioning differences in how disabled and slower learners are handled.

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