Friday, July 21, 2006
Kodomo Kai Barbecue
I hated the fact that Kanji had to work and couldn't come! I had met the mothers before at the meeting, but I was still walking into a barbecue with a bunch of people I didn't know. It just would have been nice to have Kanji there too, he is so much friendlier than me! I sit there wondering what to say next, but Kanji always knows what to say! And that's not just a language issue either, he's just better at making friends, fullstop.
But I had the kids, and I brought my video camera so I would have something to do. We all stood around awkwardly for the first half hour or so, while four guys fired up their barbies. Lena and Amy found it a bit awkward at first, as there was one stupid girl who gasped and cried out 'Eigo da!' (English!) whenever we said something in English, and if we spoke in Japanese, she laughed and repeated it. It took a while for her to calm down, but once she did, the girls made friends as quickly as kids always do. Soon they were playing hide and seek, which was extra fun, as we were at a temple with gravestones out the back!
Then the barbecue officially started with a mini-speech from the Kodomo-Kai president, and we finally opened a beer and began to relax. We all fed the kids first - it was scary how fast the teenage boys ate! I thought there wouldn't be a scrap left for us! So we mums started digging in too. I hardly saw the kids - one minute they were in the temple's main hall with all the kids playing musical instruments, next they were scaring themselves in the graveyard, then jumping on the sofa. They each got adopted for the night by a kind older girl, Amy had a high school girl called Madoka and Lena had a junior high school girl.
Kanji dropped by at about 8pm, and greeted everyone with mini-speech. He had to leave again soon though. But by then I had relaxed, ate, and started to chat. I met a couple whose son works at Kanji's father's gasoline stand. I met my neighbor, a woman from the Phillipines, whose son Amy walks to school with. I ended up having fun. At the end of the night, all the children together, then all the adults together, played rock, paper, scissors for the leftovers. Amy got a packet of snacks, and I got a can of beer, which made a nice nightcap.