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For Sosuke 奏佑へのメッセージ

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Sosuke, Luke, and Renada

I remember the first day of school when Sosuke arrived from Japan to take Grade 2 in Canada.

He was so nervous. He barely endured the few hours of school. And he refused to go to school the next day. I generally don’t believe in “not going”, but Tomoka, his mom, let him stay home. He sat around doing nothing the whole morning. Tomoka phoned the school and talked to the teacher. The teachers and the class pupils discussed together what they could do to cheer up Sosuke and make him feel happier.

“Sosuke has just arrived from Japan. He can’t speak English. Just imagine, if you had to go to school in Japan and you don’t understand a word of Japanese, how would you feel?”

“What can each one of you do to make Sosuke feel happy and comfortable and included as one of your friends?”

That same afternoon, some children in the neighborhood came to the house. “Sosuke, let’s play!”

Sosuke’s face lightened up. He went over to the neighbor’s house and had a great time.

Apparently, it worked! It was just what he needed!

After that day, he never said he didn’t want to go to school. He played with neighbor kids after school. Sosuke was glowing.

His age, 7 years old, and his personality, gentle and authentic, contributed to making friends easily and fast. He learned to communicate without much language and still had fun.

He’s got countless stimulations from them. Scootering, bicycling, creating a basecamp, tree climbing, camping, swimming, releasing salmon babies in a creek, basketball…..I was so happy watching him challenging new things, growing more confident, and enjoying being a child.

He learned English so naturally, having fun with friends and his little cousin, Raiden. I have immense gratitude for everybody around him, including his friends, their parents, neighbours, and the wonderful teachers at the Lions Bay Elementary School. What a wonderful community.

So, what’s going to happen now? What would this one year mean to him in his life? Would he remember all these people who loved him? Would he remember English? Would he come back to Canada? I don’t know….but I know that, life is a series of meetings and farewells.

I think of Michael and Luke, his closest friends, who were crying, “why is Sosuke going back to Japan?”

Thank you for being such good friends.

Rutsu, Dustin, and Raiden, thank you for being so nice and supportive of Sosuke.

奏佑、ライオンズベイ小学校初めての日を思い出すよ。

1日目は緊張のひとこと。2日目は、学校に行きたくないと言って休む。休むのは私は反対だったんだけど、ママの知香がOKして、1日家でグダグダしてた。ママが学校に電話して奏佑のリアクションを話して、先生方が子供達と話し合いの時を持ってくれたらしい。

「奏佑は日本からきたばかりで英語ができないんだよ。みんなも日本語ができないのに日本の学校に入ったらどうする?困っちゃうよね。みんな何をしてあげれば奏佑が楽しく学校に来られるかひとりひとりが考えてみよう。みんな奏佑に優しくして仲間に入れてあげよう。」

早速その日の夕方、近所の子供達が「奏佑、遊ぼう!」と誘いに来た。奏佑、嬉しそうに近所の家に遊びに行ったよ。それからは学校もアフタースクールも楽しくて楽しくて、奏佑、輝いていた。

7歳という年齢、穏やかで素直で愛される性格もよかったのか、奏佑はあっという間に人気者になった。近所のお友達から受ける刺激が半端ない。スクーターや自転車はもちろんのこと、基地づくり、キャンプ、お誕生会、水泳、サーモンの稚魚の放流、バスケットボール、楽しそうで、伸び伸びして、子供らしくて、新しいことにどんどん挑戦して、みるみる逞しく成長して、私も嬉しかった。英語が遊びながら自然に身についたって感じ。近所のお友達や親御さんたち、ライオンズベイの学校、先生やコミュニティーに心から感謝。

さあさあこれから奏佑はどう変わるだろう。小さな3歳のライデンとよく一緒に遊んであげてた心優しい奏佑。これからもみんなに愛されて優しい人間に育っていくかな。カナダで出会った人達を覚えててくれるかな。英語を忘れてしまうかな。カナダに帰ってきたいって思うかな。思えば人生って人との出会いと別れの連続、これからも良い出会いがたくさんありますように。

「どうして奏佑は帰っちゃうの?」って泣いていた仲良しのマイケルやルーク、それにライデンのことを忘れないで優しいのびやかな思いやりのある人間に育っていってほしい。

Author: Haruyo Abramson

I'm a musician, mom, and grandma, living in BC, Canada with my husband and three dogs.

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