Told ya #298,476


Last December Sonbeam was suddenly asked to work at his old primary school as a teaching assistant, purely as a stopgap measure to replace somebody who had left unexpectedly.  The school was actively looking for a qualified replacement, and so he only expected to have that job for a few weeks at the most.  However, the teachers he worked with decided that they liked him so much that they wanted him to stay on for at least the next school year, and possibly beyond.  I was very pleased about this, because a stable job is nothing to sneeze at in this day and age, and it would surely lead to greater things (possibly a full-time teaching position at that very school).

One thing was worrying them greatly, though: the fact that he is a college student enrolled in a very demanding course, and already working at two other tutoring jobs.  They were worried that his studies would suffer, and were loathe to add to his workload. 

What changed their minds?  Why, my homemade lunchboxes, the sight of which reassured them immensely.  Apparently handmade riceballs, made with a mother’s love (somewhat grudging, in my case) were a sign that he was getting the “right” amount of support at home.   After that, they had no hesitation in recommending him for the job. 

I knew it was the right thing to do.  I knew it would pay off.  I just knew it. 

NEVER underestimate the power of bento.  It can shape the very course of lives.


7 comments on “Told ya #298,476

  1. Karen says:

    LOL. How does Sonbeam feel about having such a busy schedule?

  2. ryomasgirl says:

    You are such a devoted mom! I have never done a Japanese-style bento for Ahmee but to my credit I do send in a hot meal (in a thermos) to school with her and not just a sandwich.

  3. Miko says:

    You would laugh your arse off if you saw my bento (it’s really nasty, exactly four huge and lumpy rice balls flavoured with dried fish flakes, a couple of hard-boiled eggs, and some pickles, all of which he has to eat cold) but he doesn’t seem to mind. Perhaps he’s just relieved that I don’t put any Hello Kitty shit in his lunchbox. I’ve considered buying a thermos, but they are really expensive here! Does Ahmee ever have any special requests for lunch?

    I don’t know if Sonbeam minds being so busy, because I literally only see him for five minutes in the morning, and five minutes in the evening, and we don’t talk very much (this is very common in Japan, males are usually out of the house from 8am to 10pm). I do worry, but he seems happy enough to me. At any rate, people in general keep very odd work/study hours here, so he doesn’t seem too bothered by his own daily routine and takes it in his stride.

  4. Jennifer says:

    Miko, Ahmee is always making requests. Sometimes she asks for pasta with sauce on the side, sometimes Thai yellow curry with vegetables and rice, sometimes miso soup (or another soup), sometimes onigiri, sometimes soba or udon noodles. She never asks for sandwiches, though.

  5. Miko says:

    It’s good that she likes Japanese food, it will enable her to feel connected with the culture even if she lives outside of it. It it widely available where you live? I sometimes wonder what would happen to the Sonbeam if he ever moved suddenly back to NZ and had to eat the local food, he’s not used to it as I rarely have chances to cook it here. At home we eat nothing but rice, miso, eggs, tofu, fish, and sometimes chicken, along with an array of Japanese herbs and vegetables. Everything else is just so expensive. Potatoes are a rare treat, and so is meat of any kind. Fruit is so dear that we almost never get to eat it: one apple or orange or kiwifruit costs about one dollar each. Strawberries are a luxury, I think I get to eat them about once every two years. Today there was a supermarket sale of large onions, 50 cents each, so I bought one for dinner. I sliced up half for today, and I’m going to use the other half tomorrow. One thing I really appreciate about life in Japan is that I’ve become very frugal! I think it’s a good thing.

  6. Karen says:

    When I was in school, and even when my kids were in school, it was much “cooler” to buy your lunch at school than to bring your lunch. We have no equivalent to the bento box. Mostly, bringing your lunch (in jr. hi and hi school) in a brown paper bag indicated that you couldn’t afford to buy lunch. Ewwww!

  7. Miko says:

    Western mothers are very good at showing love for their kids by simply telling them so, but in Japan it is strongly believed that “actions speak louder than words” and so the only option is through food preparation and various other demonstrations of self-sacrifice. My own mother was not very affectionate, and she never once told me that she loved me (or even liked me, for that matter) but she never failed to prepare beautiful and elaborate lunchboxes for me when I was in primary school, which of course I never really appreciated. I was really surprised at how relieved the Sonbeam was when I started making his lunch every morning. He should be happy though, he is getting the best of both worlds!

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