Wild wild summer

So much has changed since we left Japan in the Autumn. Instead of winter in Tokyo, we’ve experienced an Australian summer,  with long hot days and even longer nights. 

It was not only the season that was different, but the language too, as my 20-month-old son was suddenly surrounded by English speakers. In Tokyo he spoke a few words – some English, some Spanish, a little Japanese (“どうぞ!”) and so many baby signs – yet as summer progressed, so too did his vocabulary.

And whereas in Japan we read books about farms, and gardens, and children playing outdoors, in Australia he could actually live that wild, muddy life.

Every day he happily followed his “nana” (ばば・おばあちゃん) to help in the garden – watering the plants, digging for vegetables and raking the leaves – or feeding the chickens and collecting their eggs.

young boy watering the gardenAs his confidence in the yard work grew, his language skills did too. “Eggs! Tomato. Potato. Beans! Nana. Garden,” he would say, pointing out things we once bought in the supermarket that were now right outside our door.

Before long, he learned the names of local flowers and wild birds, insects and reptiles , none of which we’ll ever see in Tokyo.  

small boy with wild flowersAustralia’s summer storms were equally as fascinating, if not terrifying, for such a small boy. Living near the coast means storms roll in from the ocean, bringing heavy rain and wild thunder. “Storm, yes!”, he cried one afternoon, as the sky outside darkened with ominous clouds.

Rain? Yes. Thunder? No. Lighting, no!”, he announced, and I‘m still not sure if it was a statement of fact or preference. Either way, it showed just how much he’s grown…


IG: @aioaleksander