Nows

The typhoon somehow missed us, although it left damage in its wake north and south of us. The earthquakes were also quite a bit north of here, as is the nuclear reactor that has been closed down.

Olivia got her first official haircut today.

Owen went first. We give Nana-chan, our hair stylist a lot of business – last week was our friend Yasko, Claire, me and Annie. This week, Owen and Olivia.
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Then it was Olivia’s turn. They have a special mommy and child cape with 2 head holes! (Owen is taking all of these pictures):
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She doesn’t have a lot of hair to cut, but it needed to be just generally evened out…
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An important milestone in the life of our youngest…

Then, after naptime, Olivia found Owen’s yochien (kindergarten) hat, and decided to wear it into the living room. Owen got a kick out of it, and decided to dress Olivia up with his backpack and water bottle, as well. She looks ready for school!

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She wasn’t sure that she liked all that baggage…

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But enjoyed going into the front hallway to show her Daddy who was coming home.

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These are fun memories of family time. But in between was a 40-minute stretch that I wish I could go back and do over again. I had to call Microsoft Office support about a computer problem. They had no English-speaking staff, so I was doing the whole call, and receiving all of the computer instructions, in Japanese. During this time it seems that all three kids started to go wacko. Eric was out teaching a class, and somehow I thought I could get this call taken care of – and still take care of all three kids. WRONG. I did get the call taken care of and our email problem fixxed, but I wasn’t a pleasant mom to my kids during that time. I should have called back during naptime or when Eric was around…. They needed my attention, and when they didn’t get it decided to fight, and just do whatever they could to try and get my attention!

I am right now reading a parenting book that my friend MaryJo says is the best book on parenting out there: “How to Really Love Your Child” by Ross Campbell. His premise is that most parents really do love their children, but often do a poor job of showing it, leaving their children unconvinced that their parents love them.

One of the important ways for parents to demonstrate their love is thorugh focused attention. He writes this:
“Focused attention is giving a child full, undivided attention in such a way that he feels without doubt that he is completely loved. That he is valuable enough in his own right to warrant parents’ undistracted watchfulness, appreciation, and uncompromising regard. In short, focused attention makes a child feel he is the most important person in the world in his parents’ eyes.”

This book has been a good reminder of what is important. These days with little ones are fleeting (everyone with older children tells us so!) –even baby Olivia is getting her haircut and will start school before we know it! Amost every day I ask where our baby has gone… I pray God continues to convict me when I get caught up in the many million little things that can pull me away from what I need to be doing on THIS DAY. Or when I forget to enjoy the haircuts and the dressups, even in the midst of craziness. Emily Dickinson said, “Forever is composed of nows.” We all have the many million little things–they won’t go away. But today will. What are the NOWS that those many little things are pulling you away from?

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3 thoughts on “Nows

  1. Hey Sue, Owen’s got some major skill there! The pics look great! It’s amazing to see how big the kids are a couple of years later. Thanks for sharing! I look forward to it every morning!

  2. Sue,
    Remember me? We met in Sendai! I just rediscovered your blog after a LONG time. How beautiful your children are! I am planning to go to Nagoya in 2008 with Mission to the World, possibly long-term, but for two years to start. It was wonderful to read of your work in Sanda. God bless you!
    -danielle guevara

  3. Sue, that IS a great book!!! I remember reading it when the girls were younger. There is even one for teenagers. 🙂
    Thanks for the wonderful pictures and the blog. Reading it is a blessing. I love catching up with you this way!
    Praying for sunshine and mildew free days! Love, Diane

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