10 January, 2017

Yesterday's joys

I travelled to our monthly mission meeting on the other side of Tokyo yesterday. The difference was that I was accompanied by our three boys (David had a staff work day). I think this may have been the first time I've done that long journey (three trains, a 40km journey that takes about 1 hr 10 min from station to station) on my own with them. I certainly wouldn't have attempted it, even six years ago. See my post about tackling Tokyo trains from October 2011 here.

It was fairly smooth, if I choose not to remember we were late for the first train I'd planned to catch because the guys couldn't get themselves organised and the grumpy attitude of one boy for the first half an hour of our journey and another grumpy boy for a portion of the trip home.

Because it was a public holiday we had a number of missionary kids who usually can't make it to these meetings (more than a dozen). We mums did a little bit of conspiring to get the teens there, but I'd best not say too much about that! Overall we had more than 50 people there, quite a large gathering for us.
There was much more food on this table at our
mission's headquarters yesterday, much to
our boys' satisfaction.

The meeting started with some fun games and was followed by a short, applicable-to-all devotion and some singing. Of course it involved food (a teenage boy magnet), coffee and other hot drinks (a mum magnet, especially after making my way across Tokyo on the trains :D), and socialising too!

We broke into smaller groups for an hour before lunch and the older kids (all boys) had a good time with one of our missionary men. In fact they'd had such a good time, that they barely took time for lunch. Someone brought Dutch Blitz and they played that way past the official ending of the event. As a result, I had lots of time to talk with people because it seemed that a number of others weren't rushing home either. It was delightful. I had a super time.

In the end, though, I thought we should start heading home and the most introverted of our family was heard to say, "You know we've been here for ages when Mum comes to get us to go home." (They were on the second floor of the building, and I'd been on the ground floor.) Apparently I have a reputation!

We had a good trip home. I was thrilled, though, to run into a friend and her son (best friend of our youngest) in on last train. We got to stand together (yes, typical Tokyo train travel) and chat for a good half-an-hour in the midst of our busy day. Girlfriend-conversation was just a bit more fun than the interactions I was having with the boys by that point.

It turns out that we were also able to solve a problem for her: buying wrestling shoes for her son who will need them at Saturday's middle school tournament. She'd been having various difficulties and it was very satisfying to be able to to help with that.

A very people-filled day. Perfect fuel for me as I headed into four days of computer-based work starting today.

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