We will introduce some works from the collection of works in past Oyako Day Essay contest.
IT’S JUST ABOUT BEING TOGETHER
“Your stomach aches again? You know, if you say that every morning, people will stop believing it’s true. Then when it really hurts, no one will help you. Now get up and get ready to go.”
From kindergarten through first grade, for 4 years, it was the same every day. My daughter would complain of stomachaches and refuse to get dressed. Even if I drove her to the kindergarten, she wouldn’t get out of the car. When it came time for us to separate, she’d burst into tears, and I’d be stuck with her at the doorway for twenty or thirty minutes. Back in the car, I’d bemoan my own fate, try not to see my daughter following me and coldly leave her in her tracks. I’d be filled with guilt. “All those happy students; why was it only my daughter…” I’d think over and over again. In elementary school it was the same thing. Every day I’d take her to school, to the doorway or all the way to her classroom, and every day she would make a scene when I left.
When I asked her why she hated school so much, she said, “I don’t hate school. I just don’t want you to leave. I always want to be with you.” When I heard my daughter say this, I was suddenly filled with regret. Until now, she hadn’t said anything like that, just complained of stomach pains. I really felt that I’d failed her, that I should have understood all this much sooner.
Around about that time, my daughter was reading picture book called “Genki-san kara no tegami”. It’s the story of a mother who while in the hospital wrote letters to her daughter in the name of “Genki-san” to keep her spirits bright. I decided to do the same kind of thing. Because she’d liked the book, I thought she’d quickly get in the habit of checking the mailbox each day when she came home from school.
I wrote a short letter to my daughter and put it in the mailbox.
“Dear Yuna, thank you for checking the mailbox everyday. You’re going to school everyday now. And you’ve been helping out a lot around the house. Your mother’s been so happy. From Genki-san”
When my daughter came home, she found the letter and seemed to be crying while she read it. Though it may seem strange, she said she herself didn’t understand why she was crying. I believe it’s because I had finally accepted my daughter’s distress, and it made up a little for all my blindness. After that my daughter gradually adjusted to school and was able to go there by herself. Now she’s a sixth grader, and until this day checking the mailbox is part of her daily routine.
age:39 yr | Female | Chiba Prefecture