Practicing

As Owen was putting his shoes on this morning to leave for school, Olivia and Annie came on the step next to him. Owen said, “Hey mom! You should take a picture!” So I did. What a beautiful sight for our morning:
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Then, as I was leaving to ride on the bike to school, Annie came to the doorway and said, “itte irrashai!” (please come home). And Owen without even thinking replied “Itte Kimasu!” (I’ll be back). These are the everyday greetings for anyone leaving home. Owen practices these often at kindergarten when he comes and goes; Annie has just picked it up from hearing her older brother. After listening and practicing a lot, she got every syllable right this morning.

When we pick up Owen after school each day, his teacher will often share incidents of the day with various parents individually. We’ve been really pleased with her accounts of Owen’s school days, which we aren’t there to witness. Last week she shared that his Japanese has improved greatly and she feels like they can really communicate – yeah! She also shared a story last week of when he and a friend wanted the same toy that Owen had first, but Owen was willing to let his friend use it.
Yesterday when Eric picked up Owen after school, his teacher shared that he had accidentally spilled his friend’s juice during lunch. His teacher asked Owen to apologize, but he was embarassed at his mistake and couldn’t say anything- he just started crying at the table.
In the car coming home, Eric didn’t reprimand Owen or make him feel worse. But he did a wise thing, I think: he had Owen practice saying “Gomen, ne” (I’m sorry). He told Owen that sometimes when we need to say something we can’t unless we’ve really practiced it a lot. So they said it over and over, ten times each. Owen is hopefully ready for the next time.
Sometimes, we need to practice something a lot to be able to do it.

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