My older son Rob has been living in Tokyo for almost 9 years. I visited him the first year, thinking I should hurry over there before he came back. But he stayed. He taught English at first; now he is a computer programmer.
The big news is that he married Rinko Hayashi (known as “Lin”) last summer. I have met Lin only through Skype. Her father is Brazilian and her mother Taiwanese. She and her siblings grew up in Rio until she was 10 and her parents divorced. Mom decided to relocate to Tokyo, where her sister was living. So Lin has a rather international perspective simply from life experience.
Lin wanted to climb Mt. Fuji and was looking for a companion to go with her. A mutual friend knew that Rob had made the climb and was the adventurous sort who would gladly go again. That’s how they met. He has always preferred adventure to security. He has been a risk-taker on numerous occasions–on skateboards, roller blades, bicycles, barefoot, etc., and has the scars to prove it!
Lin and Rob are coming to the States for Christmas and New Year’s! They want to have a “real” wedding ceremony and celebration so we’re trying to work out details among all the interested parties. Rob is so laid back he thinks everything will just fall into place. But he proposed New Year’s Eve for the wedding, when it’s hard to find reservations for anything and there are multiple competing interests. Should the wedding be in The Woodlands at his home church? Or should it be in Austin, where there are places to stay? Can we manage two places even though they’re 3 hours apart?
Questions, questions! Many couples take over a year to plan a wedding. I have officiated many, many weddings, but I’ve never been the mother of the groom. A colleague of mine and long-time friend of Rob’s will take care of the ceremony. I have to balance practical concerns with the dreams of simple elegance on a major holiday weekend. How much motherly advice is too much?
Lin wants to buy a dress after they get here–between Dec. 22 and 30–because they are so expensive in Japan. I will advise her to wear whatever makes her feel beautiful. Most of all I want her to feel welcome in this strange country of ours. Welcome to the family, Lin!
Congratulations to the happy couple! I’m going to pass your message on to Don and his son, Erwin. Erwin is majoring in Japanese at UT and wants to go to Japan when he graduates to teach English or find other work. Too bad that Erwin will be in Mailla during his Christmas break this year so he won;’t have a chance to meet Rob.
There’s always Skype! Rob didn’t know Japanese when he went there. As I mentioned, adventurous!