OWNING IT

This summer I’ll be celebrating eight years of being a stay-at-home dad. It’s a role I’m good at. And within the confines of our home, I’m very confident in how I do it. I work with purpose and feel valued and appreciated at home. Content even. But as soon as I step outside the sacred boundaries of our family, I struggle with being “okay” with it. I receive signals from the outside world that makes me question my self-worth. Maybe this isn’t such noble work after all.

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DARE TO BLOWFISH

The only knowledge I have of blowfish is from an episode of the Simpson’s I saw while I was in college (I think my eight year old daughter actually knows more about the fish than I do). What I took away from that episode is that blow fish is poisonous and if not prepared properly, you die. So when my father-in-law asked me if we wanted to go out to a blowfish restaurant, it took me a minute to answer while I recalled this highly accurate information I learned from an American cartoon I saw 20 years ago, and debated my own consequences. It felt like the culinary equivalent of sky diving. Was I ready to be this close to death? And with my children? Well, Homer Simpson lived, so I decided to give it a try.

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TOOTH LOSER

It’s that time again. To have another magical mythical person/creature come into my kid’s bedroom in the middle of the night. It’s time for the infamous Tooth Fairy to grace us with her presence, again. To sprinkle her tooth glitter and magically collect some teeth. The Tooth Fairy was quite busy over here for a while with Ellie. She’s already lost eight baby teeth. But lately, Chloe has been dropping some teeth. To see Chloe so proud and so excited to have a visit from the Tooth Fairy is just so cute. She even had Ellie help her craft a letter .

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CUPCAKE BOUQUET

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week! Every year, the PTA at my kids’ school has big plans for this week. Each day they decorate the teacher’s lounge with a different theme. Since the school is a Japanese immersion school, they alternate between both Japanese and American themes. Last year, I was on the American culture day team. Can you say hot dogs and potato chips? But this year, the themes were different. Each day was based on a different season and holiday, and I was assigned to the Valentine’s Day theme.

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MATCHA!

Every time I visit Japan, Aya’s parents always ask if there is anything specific I’d like to do or try. They have done an excellent job at showing me Japan beginning from my very first trip fifteen years ago. I’ve tried all of the most popular Japanese foods, and even some of the not so popular ones. I’ve seen the scenic sights and the city sights. I’ve gone to the hot springs, and sang karaoke. I even saw my favorite enka singer in concert! After all that, it still seemed like I had a list of things that I wanted to try. During our previous trip, I requested the KFC Christmas chicken dinner (it’s a big deal there). But now, it’s getting harder to find things I haven’t tried yet. That was until I discovered matcha.

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