Greatest treasures in Japan: My students

There I was wandering in Ikebukuro trying to find this restaurant that ‘the second mom’ of the group had sent me. She has the special skill of getting us together, reserving places for our hang outs and keeping the link strong. She really sparkles and is a good sport.

I met this particular group of students some 5 years ago when I had my demo lesson as a part of the interview process for that school. I went on to be their homeroom teacher twice and taught many of them for 3 years. Even when I didn’t teach them we always connected because it was a pretty small school. We have always had a special link since that very first day.

They are now young adults who are at different universities in different places in the world and they make time to connect with me – this makes my heart full. They are all home for the holidays and they all made time to meet up with me and spend some quality time. I feel like a mom whose children are making their way in the world and doing so very well.

So much laughter, great stories, tasty food, long and meaningful hugs peppered our meet ups as we made some wonderful memories. I remember at the start these kids were not at all comfortable with hugging. My heart sings because now both boys and girls love my long hugs and run to me so we can embrace.

There are growing up and the tone of our talks have changed, I am no longer their teacher but their ‘Tokyo mama” as one said cheekily, after I impressed upon him, the need to save some of the money he makes from his part time job. It is awesome that we have a comfortable space where they can talk about their new found romances, highs and lows, things that make us LOL from their old school – from which I have moved on.

I am so happy for all these social networking platforms that allow us to keep in touch and keep this special link going. I do not take it for granted. As I prepare to lunch with two of the young ladies from the group, who did not make it to our hang out last Friday, I realize that they and other students are my greatest treasures here. There is something that knit us together and I hope we will always have this thing…


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