22 May, 2014

Proud of my son

I'm proud of my eldest son today. Last night he went to his Japanese club's wrestling practice. He normally goes to the Monday practice from 7.30pm-9.30pm, but it was cancelled three weeks running, so he got desperate and went to the Wednesday one this week. He doesn't normally go to this practice, because it is later: 8.00pm-10.00pm. It takes 40-50 minutes to get there on the train.*

It was all going fine, he hopped on a train in good time at our local station headed to the right station and pulled out a book. Next time he looked up he realised he was in a subway tunnel. There are no subway tunnels between here and the station he was headed to on the usual line, so he thought he was on the wrong train. I'm proud of him because he kept his head and hopped off at the next station to investigate.

Tokyo's train system. Not hard to get lost here!
He spent some time trying to figure out where he was in relation to where he wanted to go and figured out that the line he was on would indeed go where he wanted, so he hopped back on the next train. I'm proud of him because he took the time to figure this out, and succeeded. A year ago he wouldn't have been able to do this.

Trouble was, when the train got to his destination it was a completely different platform to the one he was used to arriving at (this is Ikebukuro, one of the largest and busiest stations in the world). He had to work hard to figure out where the next platform was that he needed. Ikebukuro Station has many lines running through it and the platforms aren't lined up parallel to one another. Under it is quite a network of tunnels and hundreds of signs, not to mention thousands of people. He took some wrong turns, but eventually found his way to the Yamanote line (one of the busiest and most important lines in Tokyo). I'm proud of him because again he didn't panic, he took his time and found his way.

He arrived five minutes late to his practice. Thankfully they are a lot more casual than the school wrestling team is (where they'd be penalised by multiple "burpees" for every minute they were late).

Our boy's growing up! Next week he turns 15. He is growing in many ways (he's over 170cm now), but not just physically. The ability to handle himself when things don't go as planned is a fantastic skill. I'm proud!

*See here for my post from last year about when he joined his Japanese wrestling club.

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