Saturday, January 28, 2012

Of Fireworks and Farewells

16th August, 2010 - Our last night in Sapporo for 2010. It's been a wonderful summer, and it's come to an end all too quickly. And perhaps it's somewhat fitting to end our trip to Sapporo with another family fireworks session, this time using up all the ones that we had left over. Fireworks being the quintessential traditional childhood thing in Japan during summer.

Final days are always spent nervously - though still without much fanfare. We all know that our time is coming to an end. After all, we've been packing suitcases for the last couple of days in preparation. Yet each moment with obaachan and ojiichan are precious. And especially for them. This is their last chance for at least another year to spend with their grand-child... and they hold on to each and ever second.

And it's also the time they can be simply grandparents. After all, skype may be wonderful technology - and so much better than phones. But it doesn't replace a warm embrace, or a gentle guiding hand on a shoulder. Nor does it transfer the smell and heat of summer's fireworks. L-kun gains so much from these trips. Not just in terms of his Japanese, and his cultural awareness (also very good for myself)... but for connecting again with his Japanese family. And that's an important part of why we go again and again.

So with the candle slowly burning down for 2010... our story moves location. Sapporo may have come to an end, but Tokyo here we come.

Farewell Sapporo... until next trip!

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