So, I havn’t been around kids in a long long time. So long in fact that I forgot what they were like. A few weeks ago a friend of a friend moved back to San Diego after spending 3-4 years in Japan (actually two friends of a the same friend were there and they both recently moved back, we’ll call them Tom and Oscar).
I became good friends with both of them even though Tom spent a little over a month in San Diego before moving to Santa Barbara to go to school. However, Oscar decided to move in with his family down in Chula Vista. Well, now that he is settled in is time to do some gaming (which he had been on a 3-4 year hiatus and was itching to get into character).
My friend (who is the friend who had the friends who moved from Japan, we’ll call him Jonathan) was more than eager to oblige. A few of us head down to his place to do some gaming, but…
It is a Japanese household (as they all sit on the floor and eat with their toes) and he has FOUR kids. Oscar had ordered a pizza and we had to help him clean up his garage for gaming. The two older boys (one 6 and the other 4, I think) we’re running around and doing kid things around us. When we finished everyone went inside except myself and the two boys. I suddenly became very nervous as I felt completly responcible for them. Suddenly one jumped up and ran toward the street and ringing around a car.
After about five minutes of this I couldn’t handle it anymore and realized everyone was staying inside. I decide to head back in hoping the two boys would follow… they didn’t. Again, I became super nervous thinking I was responcible. Eventually the came back in, perfectly fine.
The second time I went up their I had to pick up the two younger guys in our group while Jonathan and Oscar picked up another pizza. We arrived early. Just me, two guys who aren’t old enough to drink, 4 kids and the mother. Immediatly the two guys had fun wrestling and playing with the two boys (and the girl who was 2 or 3 and tried to jump in).
Just before arriving Jonathan called us and asked us to read to the kids (apparently, a daily tradition that must be completed before we game). Jonathan asked me but I told him I don’t do kids and handed the phone off.
But something strange happened. After the wrestling the two guys offered to read to the kids. The mother pulled a few librairy books and handed it to them. Suddenly all 3 kids (the 4th one is actually and infant only a few months old) crowded around the two. One started reading a book about dinosaurs and kept asking me how to pronounce certain dinosaur name. He than tried to give explainations of the material that were little more than useless, especially to a bunch of kids to whom English is a second language.
I felt an urge to take over. I’ve always had an interest in teaching (I actually applied for the Jet program, a program to help teach English to Japanese students) and wanted to read to them. I didn’t interfere and let my friend continue reading but now I have a regret that I didn’t read to them as I know I would have done a great job. I’m actually looking forward to going back over their, and perhaps reading to these children and hopefully get use to them.