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Saturday, July 31, 2010

The last day

She sat on the couch in the classroom next to her little friend. The pink crown, the one that caused the tears the other day, was perched on the top of her head. It had yellow stars stuck on the front. Matching pink wrist bands completed the look.

Her teacher started the music. Three boys sat sullenly on the couch and refused to sing. The girl and her friend joined in right away. Tong, tong, tong they sang. Suddenly I understood the origins of the words she had been singing all week. As the teacher sang the song, the girl did the actions, managing now and then to shout out a word in Japanese.

After the singing the real party began. While the other kids started filling their plates from the left side of the table, the girl started from the right. She ignored the brownies and peach slices I had brought and went for all the new treats instead. A waffle, a coconut cookie, a fish shaped baked good that she thought was filled with chocolate but was really filled with beans. I let her. I let her try a bit of everything before feeling twinges of guilt and sneaking some real food on her plate.

The boy ignored the treats. Instead he sat beside his sister at the table and ate sushi as fast as I could make it. I check the floor to see if he had thrown the sushi on the ground he ate the first one so fast. After four hand rolls with cucumber and avocado he finally stopped.

I showed her where Ottawa was on the world map wrapped around a pillar in the classroom. Then I reached around the pole to show her where Japan was on the other side of the world. Where's W's house? she asked of her friend who lives two blocks from us. Right here I said pointing back to the first small dot. He lives here too.

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