Honesty is the best policy…. and this week has been rough. Monday felt like a month ago and Friday morning brought tears. This is our life and it is real! While we still regularly have to pinch ourselves and thank God daily for this journey…. it’s also not always full of “rainbows & butterflies”! We are in the full swing of life with a 2 year old, working mom and full time dad trying to make his mark on Japan…. living in a small extended stay hotel with only Netflix that decides when it’s gonna work with most shows in Japanese.
Luke and I were talking on the drive home from the park tonight and just reflecting on the week. Clearly noticing the divide in our family. G is still struggling…. each day is better but often we discover new challenges. She had me home for a little over 2 weeks prior to coming to Japan and going back to work has not been easy. Tears by all and when Saturday came she must have said to me 5 times before 10am, “you don’t go to work, you stay with me!” And I said to her with as much excitement as I could, “yes I get to spend TWO whole days with you!” I needed her to feel how important is was for her and I to have time together. This leads me to Friday tears… I can honestly say I LOVE what I do and I thoroughly enjoy it! But it’s the constant working mom pull that as much as I love to work, I hate that G is struggling to find her place here in Japan. G and I were talking tonight ( Saturday night in Japan) and she told me “I have no friends here, there’s no one my size” and earlier this week she talked about how much she missed her best friend from school. Thankfully she tapped my leg after she paused and said “but mommy’s my friend!” My heart sank!! Yes…. this is an adventure of a lifetime and yes she will be fine in time. But I just had to stop for a moment and let that process. That was a reality check… she was processing a lot through her little 2 year old brain. We’ll get through it, but sometimes you just need to take a step back and reflect. If I was missing my people and things I left behind… I can only imagine the wheels spinning for her. We talked to her about going to a new school soon and making new friends…. she said she “has to get to sleep first but how about in the morning when she wakes up?” Fair enough kiddo.
What I will say is I thank God every day for the man he bought into my life to marry. He encourages me to pursue my dreams and is with me on good days and bad. Just about every day this week he and G went on an adventure. He is patient and kind and continues to perverse through the storms. We are thankful for the team we make together. This journey has shown us that we can exceed our own expectations. Not always clear in the mist of the storm but we eventually get there together.
Back to the adventure! We got up Saturday with purpose to have a great day!! Luke has a cousin stationed in Okinawa so we made plans to meet up and head to the beach! Boy do we have a little fish on our hands! She spent all Friday night swimming at a work event and the ocean was no exception! We enjoyed time visiting with family and swimming!! HOWEVER, two hilarious events occurred!
First, the beach day hit a small snag when we got there an realized it was approaching low tide… first lesson learned check the tides prior to picking a beach! (We never had such low tide when we lived in Hawaii. ) So we were unable to rent kayaks and stand up paddle boards as we had wanted to. They were allowing you to rent boogie boards that had a clear section so you could view the ocean below. I thought this would be perfect and G would enjoy seeing the creatures below the water. Well we were straight out of America’s Funniest Video. She screamed, ” I don’t like this boat” the entire time as she was wrapped around my neck holding so tight I could barely breath. Just as we were out there the tide went back further causing us to bottom out on the sand bar area which was covered in seaweed and creatures… only making the screaming get louder. We were laughing so hard and I can only image what we looked like from the beach. After the initial struggle, we convinced G to get on Luke’s back so I could get my board loose from the seaweed and into more open water. Needless to say we cut our swim adventure short and headed in for some lunch. G continued to let us know her dissatisfaction with her experience. She much prefers swimming and the splash pad.
Following lunch and some more time building sand castles we decided to pack up and give our skin a break from the sun. We have all had an experience with those supposedly “easy” pop up tents/sun shades that you can NEVER get back the way it was. Shame on us for even thinking we could! Luke and his cousin tried for at least 30 minutes to follow the directions by pictures only, everything else was in Japanese…. then 2 employees from the beach came over and they tried to help…. needless to say it’s shoved in the back of my car with beach chairs on it to keep it contained. The picture doesn’t even do the story justice. 4 grown men fighting for almost an hour trying to fold the tent up small enough to fit back in the bag.
Saturday evening took us to the dog park to give Opie some attention. It was HUGE and we all enjoyed the time together. Poor Opie needs to get back into shape, he was exhausted after a hour. I must also add it was so CLEAN! It continues to amaze us how respectful people are at cleaning up after themselves and in this case their pets.
Sunday we went to the 100 Yen store… AKA Dollar store and bought some things we had been needing and also a few things we didn’t need but had to have… like this adorable lunch set for G… and yes those are adorable kiddie chop sticks! Right now she just stabs things, but give her time and she will be a pro. Also got some art supplies for the little one as well as that goop stuff you can blow bubbles that don’t pop so easily. She was thrilled with some new things that were all her own.
We closed out the night with a trip to the park and some unexpected fireworks we could see from our balcony. Poor Opie was in the closet but the rest of us enjoyed the free fireworks. It was a great reminder that you never know what the day will bring you just have to be open to the possibilities. We are choosing to be open to whatever this journey is going to bring us. Some days it is amazing wonders of the earth, others it’s making friends with those we just met (thanks Brandy for helping me pull up my mom boot straps and get back in the trenches with a two year old while starting a new job) and recently it’s teaching us about ourselves. Sometimes it is OK to walk away, cry it out and come back ready to try this parenting thing again. We just have to slow down and regroup every once in a while…. plus there is nothing that a good playground and park can’t cure! We are loving life and enjoying this ride.
This week for work I will be attending a week long class on Japan. I am beyond excited to learn more about our new home. Check out our Instagram for more photos of this week’s adventures to include the daddy/daughter date to the Okinawa Zoo! @pursuitofhappiness613