Yesterday was Chase’s first day at school in his complete school ensemble:
I see pictures of him like this and I swear he takes my breath away. I had an argument with Cliff this morning and I am going to throw him under the bus a little bit. From the beginning, No one would ever describe Chase as a “wispy” child. He has been referred to as Buddha Baby, Big Tiny, Gentle Giant, Bam Bam, etc…. Cliff has always been very concerned about his weight, but I for one have never worried because the doctors have all projected that he will end up somewhere in the 6’3-6’5 height. Anyhow, last night over dinner, Chase asked me if I thought he was “chunky”. At this point I must contain my inner Mamma Bear and just ask him why and if someone is teasing him. So he admits that some of the boys have said something, but that his tennis coach also called him chunky and “even Dad calls me chunky.” I don’t believe that Cliff would call Chase that to his face, but I do believe people can let you know how they are thinking by other forms of communication, like, say, questioning your food choices, portion size, seconds, you get the picture. It really bothers me that Chase would feel insecure about his body at a time when he is still a growing boy. For the first time, when I told him I thought he was perfect and that he would need his flesh for the growth spurt, he told me I was just saying it because I was his mom. I feel so sad about this but I really don’t know what else I can do other than support him and tell him how beautiful I think he is.
Anyhow, I wanted to follow up to the bad news about that 3rd grader at St. Mary’s who died unexpectedly. I found out that His mom killed him. I might have mentioned that despite being one of the safest street cities in the world, Tokyo does have a high rate of parent/child murder as well as child/parent murder. The details are too macabre to go into, but needless to say, now, when I get mad and I tell Chase, “I’m so angry I could choke you!” he starts running. It is all so surreal and hard to believe, and yet it happened. Chase’s friend Shebab was able to recite a poem for his best friend.
Back to happier news.
Yesterday, after I saw Chase off to school in the uniform, I met with my girlfriend Nghi and we biked our way to Tsukiji Market. It was really such a high point of being here. As I biked through the city, early in the morning and walked around the market with my new friend in tow, I realized this is what relocating is all about. This whole moment was so uniquely Tokyo and I was wallowing in the moment.
I ended up buying some Salmon and Tuna and believe it or not, I got them at less than US prices! Today I plan to cook the salmon. I just finished skinning and deboning the fillets and I have to tell you, I am not sure it was worth it. I either need to get better at cleaning fish, or I need to just buy the fish at the market already sushi-fied.
After the market, I had to race across town to meet with Adonica for our Japanese Vegan cooking class. The teacher is Hema Parekh (author of “The Asian Vegan Kitchen”). The lesson was enlightening and the dishes were so delicious I know you carnivores out there will not believe how satisfying it was. I am going to cook a version of the eggplant marinade tonight and tomorrow I am planning on making the bamboo rice and stir fried carrots & burdock. I’ll wait here while you get up to get a towel for your drooling lips….
Today, I am actually trying the grocery delivery service from Nissin Store. I felt so inspired by the cooking lesson, so I went to the grocery to get ingredients and stock my pantry and just wasn’t in the mood to do the Tide 300 so for 600 Yen ($7.84) they will deliver my groceries to my door at my designated time. I asked for after 5:30pm today so we’ll soon find out.
Until next time…