<   2009年 02月 ( 4 )   > この月の画像一覧

自立への一歩? One Step toward Independence?

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ドラ息子、10歳になりました。今年も家族にお祝いしてもらい、たくさんプレゼントをもらってハッピーな誕生日を過ごしました。グランマからは、ずっと欲しかったスイス・アーミー・ナイフ、ばびぃからは、ミニミニスケボーが遊べるスケボー・ランプ、伯父さん伯母さんからは、龍のキルト(伯母さんの手作り)、舞姫からはバットにグローブ、そしてパパとママからはなんとロフト・ベッドです。

実は私たち、今まで寝室にベッドを置いていませんでした。布団を並べて親子4人並んで寝ていたのです。右からケーシー、ドラ息子、私、舞姫の順で。二人の子供に挟まれて眠る、なんて幸せそうな光景と思いきや、これがまさに格闘技の世界。

まずドラ息子。カンフーをやっているせいか寝返りも俊速です。何度顔やお腹を殴られたり蹴られたりしたことか。そして舞姫。睡眠時だけに起こる発作に起こされることしばしば。加えて夜中のオムツ替えはまさしくレスリング。私にはもう快眠の贅沢は望めないのだろうか。ドラだけでも別のところで一人で寝てくれれば少しは楽になるのになぁ、、、と思っていた矢先、事態が思いがけない方向へ。

何気なく立ち寄った家具屋さんでロフト・ベッドを見てからです。あれで寝たいと言い出し、毎日「あれが欲しい。」「いつ買うの?」といつものおねだり攻勢が始まりました。あまり大きな家具を置くのは好まないのですが、よく考えてみると、これでいつ痛い目に遭うかとびくびくせずに眠れるし、ドラの自立も助けるかと思えば一石二鳥かも。普通のベッドを置くスペースは我が家にはないし、ロフト・ベッドだと下のスペースが有効に使える、ということで思い切って買うことにしました。

こうして図らずも、初めて自分のベッドで寝た日が誕生日と重なり、10歳のスタートを切ったドラ息子です。ただいま1週間が経過したところ。私の方も睡眠不足が半分解決したはず、、まだ実感はわかないんだけど(^_^;)。

My dragon boy turned 10 years old. As always he had a great birthday with his family and lots of presents. From Grandma, he got a Swiss Army Knife that he had long wanted. From Babi, hre received toy skateboard ramps to play with miniature skateboards. His aunt and uncle gave him a dragon quilting handmade by his aunt. My dancing princess gave him a baseball bat and glove, and from his daddy and mommy, he got a loft bed!

Actually we never had a bed in our bedroom. All four of us slept in futons on the floor side by side. Casey on the right, dragon, me and princess. How sweet and happy a moment it may look to sleep with my own kids on either side! Well, in reality it was a world of martial arts.

Dragon, my kung fu boy, moves so swiftly even in sleep. I don’t know how many times I got punched or kicked on the face and belly. Then, princess. Very often I was awakened by her seizures which only occur while she is asleep. In addition, changing diapers in the middle of the night is nothing but a wrestling match. “Is the word ‘good sleep’ something too luxurious for me to wish for?” “I only wish that dragon would sleep by himself so that things would be a little easier.” Then somehow things started to turn in an unexpected way.

When we saw a loft bed in a furniture store we casually stopped by, dragon’s scrounging routine began. “I want that bed.” “When are we going to buy one?” He was fascinated with the idea of sleeping in it. Although I’m not very fond of having a big piece of furniture, I thought this might serve a dual purpose; helping me getting a better sleep without a fear of getting hurt, and helping dragon becoming more independent. There was no space in our house for another regualr bed, while a loft bed would make the space underneath useful for other purposes. We decided to go forward.

Thus, dragon started his 10 year-old life, sleeping in his own bed for the very first time although this had not been planned at all. A week has passed now. Half of my sleep issue is also supposed to be solved by now....I’m not sure if it really is, though (^_^;).
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[PR]

by danceofdragon | 2009-02-23 09:26

新聞に載ってる! I’m in Newspaper!

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私がボランティアとしてお手伝いしているPHP日本人サポートグループでは、ここのところ大きなイベント続き、それで大忙しでした。PHPは「ペアレンツ・ヘルピング・ペアレンツ」の略、障害をもつ子供・大人が教育その他のサービスをきちんと受けられるよう支援する組織で、その中に日本人向けグループがあります。まず去年11月は再び勉強会の講師となり、自分も猛勉強、資料の準備に追われました。(@o@)

12月には、日本人の専門職を招いての懇親会がありました。北はサンフランシスコから南はサンノゼまで、ベイエリアと呼ばれる地域で活躍している方々で、大学の教授、学校の先生、お医者さん、セラピストなどの医療関係者が50人以上参加しました。そこでは司会としてお手伝い。その時の記事が地元の日本語新聞、日米タイムズに載りました。写真は一緒に活動しているメンバーと撮ったものです。

そして年が明けてからは恒例の新年会。子供たちとその家族が勢揃い、ボランティアも入れると総勢100人は超えてました。ここでもまた司会役、ハッピを着て奮闘です。新年会の目玉は手作りの日本料理の数々、普段食べないご馳走を年に一度たらふく食べられる絶好の機会、、、なのですが、今年は忙しくてゆっくり食べる暇もなく、写真を撮る暇もなく、バタバタと終わってしまいました。

ふう、これでしばらくは普段の活動だけで静かな日々が送れそうです。でも、PHPも昨今の経済の荒波を受けていないわけではありません。連邦予算や、慈善団体、企業、個人の寄付でまかなわれていますが、財政の逼迫からいくつかの事業がカットされようとしています。30年以上も社会に貢献してきたPHPの現状を目の当たりにし、今回の不況がただならぬものであることを痛烈に感じる今日この頃です。

PHP Japanese Support Group, where I work as a volunteer, has been very busy with a series of major events recently. PHP (Parents Helping Parents) is an organization that supports children and adults with disabilities so that they can receive quality education or other services. Among its activities is our group that supports Japanese families. Last November, I gave a presentation again at a workshop, which I had frantically worked to get myself and documents ready for. (@o@)

In December, there was a social gathering for Japanese-speaking professionals, such as professors, teachers, doctors, therapists and other medical workers, mostly contributing in the Bay Area community. I helped as emcee at the gathering that more than 50 people came to. The article about the party was carried in the local Japanese newspaper, called Nichi Bei Times. In the picture, there I was with other volunteers that I usually work with.

Next, with the arrival of 2009, came our annual new year party. There were more than 100 people; kids, their families and volunteers. I was again emcee, hustling in a happi coat. One of the main features of the event was homemade Japanese cuisine; once a year chance to fill up my stomach with the feast we usually don’t eat. This year, however, I had little time to sit and enjoy the meal. While running around to get the party going, it was over before I knew it. I didn’t even take pictures this time.

Anyway, things will be quite for a while, only with regualr activities of the group. However, PHP, run with the federal funding and donations from charitable organizations, companies and individuals, is no exception. It has been badly affected by the recent economic downturn, being forced to cut some of its activities. It is hard to watch PHP facing such economic challenges, considering how much contribution it has made to the society for over 30 years. I painfully realize that we are in an unusually serious recession this time.

*PHPに関する過去の投稿
*Past postings about PHP
http://dradance.exblog.jp/7287844/
http://dradance.exblog.jp/7804927/
[PR]

by danceofdragon | 2009-02-18 15:32

車椅子でアイス・スケート Ice Skating in Wheelchair

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楽しそうなところがあれば、どこへでも出かけていく我が家。お出かけ情報をキャッチしてはすぐに行って、車椅子の舞姫を連れてできる限り一緒に楽しみます。でもこんなところがあるとは知りませんでした。

最近日本からやってきてお友達になったU家には、舞姫のようにバギーに乗っているMちゃんがいます。そのママEさんが、車椅子でも滑れるアイス・スケート場があると教えてくれ、早速、2家族×4人というメンバーで行ってきました。パロアルトという街にある野外のスケート場です。

靴のサイズが合わずに四苦八苦しているケーシーとドラ息子を尻目に、舞姫とリンクに。おそるおそる入っていったら、ありゃりゃ、車椅子を押そうとすると自分が後ろに行ってしまいます(^_^;)。なんとかコツをつかんで滑れるようになるとなかなかいい感じ!といっても下手な私ではスピードも出ませんが。

一方、U家の方々は快調な滑り出し。お姉ちゃんのAちゃんは日本で経験ずみ、優雅な滑りです。Mちゃんは足をバタバタさせて全身で喜びを表現しています。何事もないのような顔の舞姫とは大違い。

スケート・リンクに車椅子がいると危険に思えますが、周りの人は誰も気にすることなく、違和感なくとけ込んでいでいて不思議な感じがしました。いつもなら、ケーシーとドラ息子が滑って、舞姫と私は横で見ているというパターンになるところですが、家族が別れることなく一緒に滑れたというのは感動ものでした。

ところで、車椅子を押していると転ぶ心配もなく快適に滑れるのを発見。いったん自分一人になると不安になって、歩くだけで精一杯になってしまいます。私の方が舞姫を必要としているではないか。冬とは思えない陽気のおかげで絶好のスケート日和り、休憩したり滑ったり、2時間たっぷり楽しみました。

U家の方々は、私たちみたいにお出かけ好き家族、パパDさんは自分で作った椅子にMちゃんを乗せて、背中にしょって山登りをするという強者です。これからも一緒にいろいろなところに行けると思うとワクワク、仲間が増えて嬉しい限りです。

We are a family always on the go. As soon as our antenna catches any interesting outing information, we are off and enjoy as much as possible with my dancing princess in wheelchair. But we didn’t know that there was a place like this.

We have recently made friends with the U-family, who just moved from Japan. They have a girl named M-chan who uses a stroller just like princess. Her mommy, E-san, let me know that there was an ice skating rink where we could go with wheelchairs, and there we were - two families, each having four members. The outdoor rink was located in a town called Palo Alto.

It took Casey and my dragon boy a while to find the right size shoes. Leaving the struggling boys behind, I went out on the ice with princess, very slowly and carefully. “What!?” I found myself going backward instead of pushing the wheelchair forward (^_^:). But once I got the hang of it, it was not bad, although speed could not be expected from me, a lousy skater.

Meanwhile, the U-family was off to a smooth start. The older sisiter A-chan had already some experience in Japan, showing a graceful skating. M-chan was kicking her legs all over with excitement. Her whole body showed that she was having so much fun. It made such a constrast with princess, who showed no reaction like nothing was happening.

It may look dangerous if you see a wheelchair on a rink. However, nobody seemed to care and the wheelchairs just blended in the whole scenery, which was pretty amazing to me. Usually it would be the case while Casey and dragon go out on the rink, princess and I would sit somewhere else and watch. I felt so good that this time we were all able to do the same thing, without having to be separated.

By the way, I found that I felt secured when pushing the wheelchair, without worrying about falling down. Once I’m on my own, I felt so helpless, being just strong enough to move my legs to walk. It was me who needed princess, wasn’t it? It was so warm for the winter, making it a perfect day for ice skating. On and off the ice, we totally enjoyed the two-hour adventure.

The U-family are the people just like us. They are always on the go. I heard that they once went on a mountain hike with M-chan on her daddy’s back. Daddy, D-san carried her in a chair that he had made for her!! I’m very excited to have a new family friend and looking forward to going out to various places with them.
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[PR]

by danceofdragon | 2009-02-10 00:11

やってくれました! He Did It!

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去年の10月のことです。ドラ息子がカンフーで、ブラウン・ベルトへの昇格試験に合格しました。これには母と息子の涙なしでは語れない秘話が、、、、と、そこまで感動的ではありませんが、息子が生まれて約10年、必死に育ててきた、いや育てさせられてきた母親としてこれほど報われた時はありませんでした。

とにかく息子は手のかかる子供でした。極端な人見知りでママべったりの甘えん坊。6歳の時の幼稚園の卒業式では、本人が入場して来ないというハプニングがありました。感動の涙どころか、冷や汗でびっしょりになった私です。モデルにさせようとオーディションに連れて行けば、死んだふり(- -;)。これを赤っ恥と呼ばずしてなんと呼ぼう。息子の幼少時代を知る人には頷いてもらえると思いますが、一事が万事こんな調子でした。

このカンフースクールも、もちろん本人が好きで行き始めたわけではありません。見学した時に「ここだ!」と直感で感じた私が、無理矢理入れたようなものです。途中で「うわぁ〜ん」と泣き出したこともあるし、カンフーのある日は必ず「行きたくない。」それでも「ここでひるんではいかん。」と自分に言い聞かせ、休ませることなくひたすら連れて行きました。先生方も辛抱強く指導してくださいました。

それが10ヶ月くらい経った頃、「もうマミィは来なくていい。僕を車から降ろすだけでいい。」と一人でクラスに入っていくではありませんか。あっけにとられたけど、「もう張りついて見ている必要もないんだ。あとは自分の力で伸びていってくれるかな。」と自分の役割が一つ終わったような気がしました。

それからは嘘のように楽でした。去年の9月、街のお祭りで技を披露することになりヤキモキしましたが、なんと人前でやったではありませんか。ビデオカメラを覗きながら、自分の目を疑いました。

いわゆる白帯に始まり、黄、青、緑とテストを受けながら昇格していったのですが、その次のブラウン・ベルトが射程圏に入ってきたのに本人が気がついた時、さらなる変化がありました。みるみるとやる気が出てきたのです。そして合格、このカンフースクールに行きだして2年が経とうという頃、キッズ・クラスで初めてという快挙でした。

いやいや長い道のりでしたが、自分の直感を信じ、そして息子の隠れた力を信じ、続けてきたことがこのような形で実を結んだことが、素直に嬉しかったです。

ところで、武器の数も気がついたらこんなにたくさんに。武器のかっこよさがやる気につながったのも事実、しかしこれだけの投資、回収できるのはいつのことやら(^_^;)。

It was October last year when my dragon boy passed the test for a brown belt at his Kung Fu school. Behind this is a secret story of a mother and son that cannot be told without tears... Well, it’s not that dramatic but it is true that nothing had been more rewarding to me than this achievement of his. Most rewarding in neary ten years that I raised him, no, ten years that he made me raise him.

Dragon was such a handful when he was younger. Extreme shyness and attachment to me were so obvious. When he was six years old, at a graduation ceremony of the kindergarten, he didn’t come into the venue, which made cold sweat break out all over my body, instead of emotional tears. One day we took him to an audition with the expectation of turning him into a model. Well, all he did was pretend dead. What can I call it other than total embarrassment? If you knew him in his early childhood, you are probably nodding right now. He was in this vein in every aspect of his life.

Of course, it was not his decision to go to the Kung Fu school. I gave him no choice when I instinctively felt at the first visit that it was the right place for him. There were times that he burst into sobs during class. Every class day, he said, “I don’t want to go.” I told myself, “I cannot be daunted here.” and took him there without missing a class. Fortunately, teachers were very patient with him.

I was dumbfounded when one day he walked into the school by himself, saying, “You don’t have to come anymore. Just drop me off here.” It was about ten months after the first day. “I don’t have to keep an eye on him anymore. Now he will move on all by himself.” I felt like part of my role was finished.

Since then everything went smoothly like a charm. Last September he was supposed to perform at a local festival. Despite my worries, he did it in public!! I could not believe my eyes, looking through the video camera.

Starting from, so-called, white belt, he had promoted to yellow, blue and green, each time passing the test. When he realized he was within range of brown, the next level, there was another change in him. He started to focus much more and then became the first brown among the kids. It was when two years were about to pass since he started going there.

Although it had never been an easy path, I was simply glad that I didn’t give up, with a belief in my instinct and in his hidden strength, which had resulted in such an accomplishment.

Anyway, when did we get all these weapons?? There is no doubt that these cool weapons contributed to raise dragon’s enthusiasm. But I wonder when we can collect all the investment in them (^_^;).
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[PR]

by danceofdragon | 2009-02-03 15:36