Today is one of those days where I wonder why I thought I would be able to handle raising our kids in Japan. This has happened a few times and, like before, I'm sure I'll get over it soon but it's frustrating all the same. It feels like it's a test that I'm failing (which I hate).
I realized on Thursday or Friday, when Emi asked me, that I only have one week until Emi starts school. Somehow I thought there were two more weeks (sigh). Although I had thought out where and when we were going to get school supplies for Emi, I hadn't actually started (oops!) and now the pressure's on. Honestly, I work better under pressure but not every member of my family does. I had already made plans to go to a friend's house on Friday and after that we met Chikara at MyCal to get Emi's hair cut (I'll post a picture soon - she's still pretending she doesn't want her picture taken) and buy school supplies. Unfortunately Emi started complaining of an earache so we went to the hospital instead of buying supplies. OK, no problem, we'll go another day. I've got plenty of time. Right?!
Saturday was a weird day because I got sick! I actually had a fever which is weird because I can't remember the last time I had a fever that was not pregnancy related (No, I'm not pregnant!). Basically Saturday ended up being a total waste of time. So now we're onto Sunday. We went to church in the morning, ate lunch, practiced for an Easter special and ended up staying until 5pm fellowshipping with friends. From there we went back to the mall to shop for school supplies. Yeah! Everyone is healthy and we've got time so I was thinking that we'd be in and out. Boy, was I wrong.
As we pull into the parking garage, Sakura starts crying and I have no idea why but we push on. We get to the school supply section with our fancy list from the school and...
THIS IS MY WARNING TO THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE YET TO SEND YOUR KIDS TO A JAPANESE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!
...there are no school supplies left. I'm exaggerating a little bit but I'll explain. When you send your kids to school with their precious school supplies, their supplies have to be the same as everyone else's or your child will get picked on and this will lead to bad nicknames and being left out and you can NEVER fix this. It's like a "You only get one chance to make a first impression" type of thing. I've heard this from many different sources. My problem is how am I supposed to know what *everyone* has. I've known this moment was coming for awhile which is probably why I didn't start shopping for school supplies earlier. But heed my warning, you must shop early, like February-early, if you want to get good school supplies or at least have a choice.
I don't remember this being a problem when I went to school. Crayons were Crayola. Pencils were yellow #2. Rulers were wood, 12 inches. You could buy them anywhere, anytime. Easy.
Also, I don't know if I buy into all this "be the same as everyone else" thing. My kids are going to be different than everyone else no matter what I do. I've been hoping that they will have some pride in who they are and appreciate the options that being multi-cultural brings them but just because I hope doesn't mean it will make them feel better if they are teased.
I think probably I'm overthinking this, or at the least over-worrying, and Emi's tough and very self-possessed and isn't into being the same as everyone as far as I can tell. Also I really believe that God has his hand in all the things that come our way so I try not to mess it up (as much as I can!).
So tonight we searched the Internet with not too much luck so I went to a different mall and found Disney's Marie school supplies so I bought the last one (Phew!). I really hope these supplies help Emi pass whatever social test is waiting for her.
One thing for sure, Misaki is sure going to benefit from this experience!!