Friday, January 09, 2009


Leiya and I were chatting yesterday and she asked if I remembered the details of the long trek she and Takumi once took. Since I was filling her in on her scant memories I thought I might as well write about that day here too.

For quite a few years after we moved to our house in Nikko we continued to go to church in the next city over, about a 30 minute drive away. We would arrive at church about 9:00 in time for Sunday School and then the kids would wait around until adult services were over around 12:00. On days when there was a Sunday School teachers meeting, and Tetsu and I were both Sunday School teachers, we often didn't get home until late afternoon.

There was one winter Sunday when Tetsu stayed home from church (he had gout in those days) and I took the two kids with me to Sunday School. This was a teachers meeting day and Takumi 11, and Leiya 8, decided that they did not want to hang around all day until I finished up at church. I gave them permission to take the bus home. Takumi was pretty responsible and when I handed him money for the bus I told him to look out for his sister. They left the church area around 10:30 and I never thought about them again for the rest of the day.

The two kids made their way to the bus stop, about 20 minutes away on foot and they stood waiting for the bus. Takumi knew which way they were going and which bus to get on and Leiya people watched and complained of the cold. The first bus came but Takumi knew it went to a different place so he waved it on before it even stopped to pick the kids up. Leiya must have seen this as great power to command. A wave of the hand and a bus would do her brother's bidding! She must try this. So when the next bus came (the correct one) she waved it on before Takumi even realized what she was doing. There goes the bus!

Takumi was furious (and you know how brothers can get furious at their younger sisters!) Dumb girl had waved their only ride and now they would have to stand in the cold for the next hour! No way was he going to stand listening to his sister whine and pout. Get going girl! We are walking to the next bus stop! At least we'll stay warm walking!

Great idea except that Takumi didn't know where the next bus stop was and as it turned out, he didn't even know the bus route. The road that we always travelled from our town to the next by car, was NOT the bus route. Takumi struck out towards home along the road I usually used. Leiya could do nothing but follow him and so they plodded on Takumi still thinking that sooner or later they must be coming to a bus stop.

After church and the teachers meeting I went grocery shopping and so I didn't get home until 5:00 or 5:30. I walked in the door thinking life was fine but was greeted by a sobbing Leiya, an angry Takumi and Tetsu who was hurling questions and accusations at me! What had gone wrong?!

It seems that the kids had arrived home just moments before I did. They had been walking for nearly 7 hours! Of course they never found a bus stop so all they could do was walk or turn around and kill time together at the church until I was finished and no way was Takumi going to kill time with his dumb sister who had gotten him into this bind to begin with! On top of that twice along the way Leiya had dropped her brand new hat, a bright red furry thing that she loved. But all that walking had made her hot so she'd taken it off and was twirling it around or stuffing it in her pocket and it got dropped along the way.

"Takumi! I dropped my hat! Mom's going to be upset! She just bought it for me. We have to go back and look for it!"

So back they trudged until they spotted a red lump along the road. Okay for one time, but when Leiya dropped it again near one end of a long tunnel and didn't realize it until they'd come out the other end, Takumi was beyond fury! He was never speaking to his sister again!!!

When they finally reached home, Leiya was so relieved that the long walk had ended that she burst into tears and went crying to Daddy that she'd walked ALL DAY and Takumi was MEAN to her and that she was TIRED and HUNGRY. Takumi started in loudly about how his IMPOSSIBLE sister couldn't do anything right and Tetsu (who was already in a bad mood from his gout) blamed me as I walked in the door at just the wrong time!

And me? I laughed and gave both the kids a hug and told them they were marvelous to have walked all that way (over 11 miles, plus who knows how much they doubled back looking for the lost hat!) and what a good story they would have to tell someday.

And so they do.


Margret said...

Tanya, that is really an adventure to remember. Children are capable of doing incredible things. Would it be still save to do the same?

R.H. said...

Such a cute story. I'm sure it will be passed on for generations, of course it will be 2 stories depending upon which person it tell it. It made me smile. Rae Ann

Callie said...

What a great story (and funny - it made me laugh) and what a great Mom you are to see the humor in the situation and to praise them for the things they did right.

Quiltin' LibraryLady said...

Such determined children!! They'll remember that day forever. And haven't times changed? You and both of them look back on that day as an adventure. Nowadays you'd probably be arrested for child endangerment, at least in the US. I remember doing things as a child, that my parents never thought a thing of, that would put them in jail nowadays. And I don't think it's an improvement. Children in my day, and your children too, grew up to be much more self reliant and sure of their abilities to take care of themselves than so many of the kids I see now.

Chocolate Cat said...

What a great memory to have of a big adventure!!!

Takumi said...

yap, i stll remember that story. now i feel sorry for leiya because it is probably a traumatic memory for her. thanks for the picture of the street path we walked :)