Friday, July 25, 2008

Another birthday!

I'm sure you are getting tired of hearing about my family everyday, but today is LEIYA's birthday and I can't let it go by without wishing her a very happy one, especially since she is in far away Ohio and we are here in Japan.

Leiya is 19 today and though most years at least I can celebrate her birthday with her (we are usually together in California during the summer) this year our visit was in June so we're off schedule. I'm not even sure where Leiya is today. I think she has been staying at her friend's house and will be going to different people's houses until school starts. So I couldn't even send her a birthday present! Poor Leiya!

An interesting thing happened last month when I got an e-mail from someone who turned out to be the mother of Leiya's future roommate in college. I guess the college had contacted the girls and given them each other's name and the mother of the other girl Googled Leiya's name and came up with my blog. The mother was nice enough to introduce herself and I told Leiya I had had contact with her roommate to be.

"Oh no. You mean she read about me on your blog?! Mom, you didn't say anything nice about me this summer! You only wrote about the problems I caused! (Letting the dog chew up her money, leaving the room a mess, not getting around to writing thank you notes.) She'll think I'm a terrible person!"

Let it be known that Leiya is a wonderful person! These past three years away from us she has overcome a lot more language, cultural and relationship challenges than I ever did, and she's managed to stick with her goals without giving up! Pretty good for a 16 year old girl (when she first went to the States.) In the past few months she has handled all the contacts with her college, with banks, with scholarship boards, with student aid by HERSELF, making phone calls and explaining her situation of having her parents in a foreign country. I know that countless people have helped her along the way, but at the very least, Tetsu and I have only been able to give her moral support and tell her that she'll have to work things out alone. I would say that she has been thrown into being independent and realizing how life works (how are we going to pay tuition?) whether she wanted to know or not and she has BLOSSOMED beautifully! I could never have been so mature at age 19!

This is a quilt I made for Leiya last year and I chose some of the words that I thought described Leiya well. (You can see what some of Japanese words mean if you click on the link.)

Leiya, we are very proud of you and think you are wonderful!


Shelina said...

Happy birthday to Leiya, and I got an impression from your blog that she is a wonderful young woman.

Amanda said...

More birthday wishes to Leiya - and tell her no-one reading your blog could think that she is a 'terrible person'. She has come across as exactly all the words in your quilt and her new room-mate's mother will love her I'm sure.

artfilstitch said...

The Happiest Birthday Wishes to Leiya! I'm sure that everyone will love her as a very mature, sweet, young lady. Enjoy your Day! :>)

Diane said...

Tanya, I love reading about your family! My sons are 17 and 20, so your family is going through many of the same experiences as ours. In fact, your post yesterday about Takumi's travels inspired me to write about my son, backpacking through Europe. The family portrait you posted yesterday was lovely too. Happy Birthday Leiya! It is obvious from your mother's blog how very proud she is of her children!