The most important now 今一番大切なこと。

On the ferry, 3, 7, 12 year old
Inquisitive 9 month old

My two daughters and four grandchildren (ages 12, 7, 3, and 9 months) were here visiting us in Powell River for the spring break. They went back home a few days ago.

All day long, our house was filled with voices of children playing, fighting, crying, shouting, and sounds of toys running, wooden blocks falling, piano pounding….and more and more. The noise was incredible.

After the bye bye chorus, our house suddenly sunk into silence. It felt a bit odd, a bit lonely, a bit sad, a bit happy, a lot relieved…kind of mixed feeling. “Oi vay…” might be the most honest expression.

I, myself, visited my parents with my three young children for a minimum of a few days to a maximum of several weeks. My parents at the time were about my current age. I wonder ..….did my mother feel like how I am feeling now? They used to take us out often to this and that restaurants for dinner. When I think of it, was it an attempt to give my mother some break from caring for such a big family? It must have been really hard for her. She must have had, just like I’m having now, back pains, and dimming eye sights…there are certainly a lot of physical imperfections manifesting at this age.

I had not seen my daughters for six months. When they arrived at the door, I noticed right away that their energy levels were low. Big letters “S T R E S S were written on their faces. They must be standing at the edge, carrying heavy burdens, I thought.

My older daughter has turned 40. It’s the age one’s body starts to go downhill. She is based in Japan, but is living in Canada for one year in order to let her children of 12 and 7 years old experience lives in Canada. All kinds of worries related to schools and language, having to live in inconvenient Lions Bay without being able to drive, having to keep peace with her little sister and the family….must be giving her so much stress.

My younger daughter is 35 and she also has a hard life. She is responsible for a big mortgage, raising two little children, and she has just returned to her work from maternity leave. Her three year old boy is very cute but a big handful. He is at a stage of loud “no!” for everything. Her nine month old girl is like an angel, but her curiosity has no end. She crawls everywhere, puts everything in her mouth. She is almost walking, too. I was amazed to hear that a full time daycare costs $1,900 per child per month!! That explains why I see many grandparents at parks taking care of little ones. If daycare costs that much, what can you do when young parents have/want to work? Something is terribly wrong. You cannot afford anything if you don’t work….don’t daycares exist in order to provide decent care to children so that parents can work? …children are the future of our society, aren’t they? People work, pay taxes, and that becomes the basis of governments and societies managing to function….right? Something is terribly wrong.

I am seriously worried about my daughters’ well being. They have big responsibilities for the wellness and happiness of their children. They have long years to go. I pray that they can stay healthy.

Please, my sons-in-law, take good care of your families. Think, what is the most important, most precious, in your life now, and make that your priority. Together with your wife, create a happy family. Rather than living for your own accomplishments, please take care of each other, and live for today❣️