Little babies dancing....yep, even though Kenji was only a few months old - I felt he would start to walk early. I would hold him and his feet would push off against my body as if to say "hey, put me down I want to run!"
Our house was comfortable, not too filled with furniture, especially in the tatami room adjacent to the kitchen. I really didn't need a playpen for him because the whole room became one. The floor was soft underfoot, very clean as no shoes were worn in the house..perfect for a little one to learn to crawl.
Tom worked very hard and was gone for a good portion of each day...leaving early and returning after the sun had gone down. I was afraid he was missing the best part of being a parent...the begining years. The Japanese do believe in vacations which really meant a lot to us then.
We packed up and went on several short overnight trips, down to the coast...and black sand beaches. We stayed at some very advent garde A frame cottages near the beach...it was a change of pace and much needed escape for Tom.
One place that we stopped to eat at had outdoor seating around these tables that had noodles swishing in circular moving containers. The idea was to quickly with chop sticks (hashi) grab your noodles and dunk them into the prepared sauce that was in front of you. The noodles were served cold...but boy were they good. Kenji sat in his stroller content with his bottle...giving us looks like "whatever are these two doing?"
I can remember, oh so clearly, coming home from this trip. We had just parked the Volkswagon into our little enclosed spot when we noticed our neighbors in the back talking in a group. It was starting to rain so I grabbed the baby and headed into the house...Tom went back to see what was up.
He was gone for several minutes, he came back in shaking his head..."It seems the septic tank has backed up...we're going to have to open it up and see what wrong." Tom said. I think I said "Yuck". Well, of course by now it's pouring out, so he puts on this yellow raincoat & hat (sort of like that fisherman on the commercial wears) and out he goes.
I busied myself with unpacking, changing the baby and getting him ready for bed. I was kind of tired by this point too and wondering what was taking so long in the courtyard. See, there were four houses that all shared the same water, sewer lines. So a stoppage would not be a good thing and you would want it fixed as soon as possible.
Well, a good forty-five minutes passed I finally stepped out into the courtyard to see Tom climbing up out of the dam thing! All kinds of bad thoughts are running through my head...dear God do I let him into the house, hose him off out here...ooh yuck. The other men, our neighbors, were laughing and quite loudly. I saw nothing to be laughing about, a man covered in mostly crap was no laughing matter to me, especially if I was the one who was going to have to clean most of that.
Tom approached me, told me to get the garden hose, turn on the water, bring him some soap too. He was still laughing...I said to him "Whatever is so dam funny?" He said "I found the cause of the stoppage." I said "Yeah? But what's funny?" He said he found so many condoms in there it had formed a large blockage so nothing was passing through as it was supposed to.
I guess they were not biodegradible.
Us, being the newly weds I was sure that we were getting blamed. Although, several of those other husbands were snickering too much for my benefit.
Such are the moments in life...and I just had to laugh.....