Japanese homes have doors. Yes, all houses have doors, but Japanese homes have more doors than we are used to. There are two doors into our bedroom and a door inside the bedroom, between two parts. Sometimes there are doors to the kitchen and between rooms that you would think should just be connected with space. And most unusually, there is always a door between the common living room and the hall. It makes entering the hallway a bit like entering the arctic circle at this time of year, but it comes in quite handy for keeping the heat in the common area in the winter and out in the summer. It also provides a great barrier to little hands and knees that would rather explore down the hall than stay and play in the area where mama is working. In our living room door there is a long, narrow, vertical window that stretches from floor to ceiling. Recently, little T has taken to smashing her face up on the glass as she strains to see who is on the other side.
Hilarious. Ridiculous. Totally adorable.
This Monday morning, as she strained to see who she hoped was in the hall, it just about broke my mama heart. For the past three weeks, our house was filled with a little extra laughter and playing and conversation and just plain togetherness. My parents, or I should say, Papa and Gigi, arrived just after the first of the year, and my mom left on Sunday. On Monday morning, when I could not pick T up the moment she wanted me, she crawled to the living room door that leads out to the hall toward Gigi’s room and looked for her. As if to say, “Where’s that Gigi who will always play with me no matter what?” Such sweetness and some sadness too.
We had a wonderful time with my parents in town. My dad stayed for a week, so instead of the inside-the-apartment treatment that he received the last time he was here when little T was only a couple weeks old, we finally took him out to see a few (very few) sights nearby in Japan. The first week of the year is one of the busiest in Japan. Everyone is off work and enjoying time with their family. So, we joined the crowds in Yokohama and Tokyo, enjoying the traditional and slightly less traditional.
After sending my dad off toward home and D off toward work, we settled back into the normal at home. Except normal is not really normal when Gigi is around. There is always someone to play with and to talk to. And, when little T got very sick, there were extra arms to hold her, in only the way a Gigi can.
Sunday, we said good-bye and see you again soon. What special moments we shared here, this beginning of the year.
We hope to see her in our hallway again soon.