Let’s Pretend

Let’s pretend for awhile.  Let’s pretend that France decides it doesn’t like how the US is run.  And so, meaning well, it decides that we should have an election.  Another one.  So we hold the elections under the watchful eye of France.  Then we elect Obama, fair and square.  But this France doesn’t like Obama.  So France doesn’t allow Obama to be the president, and decides that even though we elected him, they are going to choose, because we don’t actually know what we want.  They may even imply that we are too stupid to know what is best for us, even though what we have been doing was working OK for us.  They then send in their military to enforce the person that we didn’t elect.

Years go by, the US gets increasingly difficult to live in.  The government gets increasingly corrupt and France is pulling all the strings.  As civilians it is increasingly difficult to ensure safety for your family.  Civilians don’t like this corruption and are trying to get the US back to normal as best they can, but the only option they have left is to strike out against the corruption.  And those strikes are quelled quickly. Meanwhile homes are being lost, lives are being lost, and everyone is affected by this.

So what is left to do?  Maybe you decide to move.  You and your family, or maybe just you while leaving your family behind for a time, move.  You don’t just move to Canada as many USians love to claim they will do, because Canada has been dealt the same hand.  So you have to move somewhere completely different.  Somewhere where everything is different from what you are familiar with.  Say….Japan.  The culture is different.  The language is different.  The characters used in writing are different.  The foods are different (you love sushi, but it only goes so far).  The major religion is different.  You are so out of your element it hurts.  And you have to live there for years.  You can’t get the foods that are familiar to you.  You can’t speak the language that is familiar to you.  There is nothing that is within your comfort zone, you can’t even express yourself properly because there are pieces of the language that will always be foreign to you no matter how hard you try to learn them.  You try to integrate as best as possible but as much of a home as you have made it, it is not home.  It is not the home of your youth and familiarity.

But the alternative is no good either.  Going home doesn’t work, because even the US is not home.  Home is not what you are familiar with either.  It has been bombed, and your home may not be there, you’ve lost people who are dear to you, your livelihood is not even an option anymore.  France has militarized it and corrupted it and made it unsafe.  People all around your home are also trying to leave.  There are some who stay, deciding to become accustomed to this new reality rather than flee it.

What do you think your greatest desire would be?  Would it not be to have the US revert back to the way it was before all the insanity began?  The way you remember it to be?  A way that was safe and not just “safe?”  After all, you have not really chosen to leave, you were forced to do so.

And then someone from France comes along and says “Most American Japanese think anyone who willingly  stays in the US is an idiot!”  Would this not be the HEIGHT of hubris?  Would this not be the most bold and uneducated statement you have ever heard?  Wouldn’t it make you want to cry?

Happy New Year everyone, please give some thought and prayers to all the displaced people in the world.

Bug and Her Bike

She did get that coveted bike for Christmas, and despite my hurt that I wasn’t the one to get it for her, I was grateful to her grandparents for doing it. She got a bike with training wheels, and it lacked the “princess” theme that I can’t tolerate a whole lot of. She also got a helmet and elbow and knee pads.

The few days she was at her dads were spent riding the bike around the house. She apparently was on it all the time. He deemed it too cold to be outside riding in, but by the time I got home it was in the 40’s so I thought we could be outside. Plus, my old small house is not conducive to bike riding.

We took the bike out and she rode it around our driveway for a bit. But of course this isn’t really enough! So I promised to walk behind her while she rode. That kid rode all over our neighborhood with the happiest look on her face! She rode until we were both tired, she rode until our hands were too numb to feel, she rode until she shivered. And then we went in. The next day, directly after school, we had to repeat the process.

I started out immediately teaching her the things she needs to know while riding around the neighborhood. First I taught her how to use her brakes, because no one had done so yet. Then I taught her how to break at the streets, get off the bike, look both ways, and push the bike across. Now she does it on her own with my supervision only. Teach her the correct way FIRST and then I don’t have to fix bad habits. It is the rule of motorcycle riding and I figure it applies to bike riding and kids too.

I suspect that her bike riding will be good for my health. I don’t seem to have much choice but to take a walk in the evenings now. I DO hope that she will be willing to ride to school sometimes with me walking, in the spring. That would be good for both of us!