The First Step

Second grade summer break, my parents sent me on a homestay in the United States.

They had promised me that I could go in my sixth grade summer break, but I couldn’t wait, according to my parents.  Although I have no recollection of saying so…

I stayed with my parents’ friends in Evanston, a town in Illinois in the Central part of U.S.  The father was a Japanese American, the mother was Japanese, and they had 1 boy and 1 girl, a family of four.

All that I remember about that summer was that I enjoyed singing songs and doing activities at the summer camp every day, lunch at the camp seemed like snacks to me and I looked quite forward to the lunch time, there was a lady at the camp whose legs were shaved and it hurt when my skin brushed upward against her leg, American Barbie doll and Ken doll looked very mature and sexy, I read and became very absorbed into the story ofthe Japanese comic book “Garasu no Kamen (Glass Mask),”  the Tenri sect (of Shintoh) practices daily otsutome (service) in the morning and evening.

Looking back now, I think it was because of this experience that I had no concerns, and even was excited, when a few years later we were moving to the U.S. with my father’s work.

I do wonder why 8-year old myself felt that I could not wait until the sixth grade.