On Sunday, September 7, 2014 I earned that my son has retired from his robot-making club, an activity he has been doing since elementary school. That was the club activity he was doing when he won a trip to Singapore in 2012. His club was the Tokyo champion of his age group for robot competition; then the Kanto champion for his age group, held in Tsukuba, Chiba Prefecture; then the Japan champion at a contest in Osaka, and that won them a spot at the Robocup 2012 World Championship in Singapore where they lost to an Australian team. Typically, my wife did not inform me. I only learned after the fact by the random question, “When does Ken go to robots?”
“He stopped robots. He has juku (cram school) now.”
“He is bad in butsuri (physics).”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“No need. Why should I tell you?”
“Because we’re married, we’re a family, and he’s our son.”
“No need. Shut up.”
That’s a pretty normal conversation with a Japanese wife. So that’s it. Ken is going to cram school now to get extra help in Physics.
The same day I was casually thinking about both my children’s schools and I realized for the first time that they will both be graduating from their respective schools at about the same time - spring 2017. My son will graduate from high school and my daughter from university in the same season. I’ve missed a lot of their school events - entrance ceremonies, junior high graduation ceremonies, school open houses - either because I was working, or I simply wasn’t informed. Or, I was informed too late, after I already had a confirmed work schedule that I couldn’t abandon. But the next set of graduations are special and I want to attend them, so I thought now, two years in advance, might be a convenient time to check it and confirm with Junko. Later I confirmed with my children the season and year of their graduations and asked them to remind me as the dates approached, because I’m certain that my wife will never mention it to me, at least until it will be too late.