Posted by: skyward | December 9, 2009


Some messages are communicated without words. 

Some mornings and evenings, simply running into another working mother either at my son’s “gakudou club” (Extended Day program) or my daughter’s “hoikuen” (nursery school) gives me a sense of solace as well as a sense of encouragement.

A young mother pushing a stroller.  A sharp-suited professional with her baby strapped on her  chest.  (I feel nostalgic, poignantly reminded of those not-so-distant days when I used my own front pack.)   

Unlike many stay-at-home moms, we lack the luxury of chatting over lunch, or even coffee for that matter.  “Hi, how are you?”  ” “Take care.” After a brief exchange of greetings, we part, too eager to go home and feed a starving child (two in my case). 

But I feel reenergized and refreshed, just knowing that those mothers, too, are grappling, in their own ways, with the juggling act, striving each day to seek a balance between a fulfilling career and a rich family life. 

I think of those mothers  — and cherish their wordless messages —  especially at the end of a daunting day like today, when I had to promise a Meru-chan (doll) as a bribe to my daughter, who had protested yet another day at nursery school, and when my son seemed to be coming down with a cold, but while his mother remained too busy to take his temperature, he quietly donned his yellow school hat and headed out.  (Yes, American readers, Japanese elementary school children, including first graders, go to school on their own, either by foot or by train.)


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