Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Big Day-Micah's 6th Birthday

So I finally had the big birthday party I wanted to do for Micah. I enlisted some Korean friends of mine, and my neighbor to help chop food and cook up a Korean dinner for the children and teachers. Even with all that help, it took around 14 hours of total cooking time. I think Korean food is very time consuming, plus baking on top of everything just took longer than I expected. I didn't want to do the typical American, throw the kids down with pizza, juice box and store-bought cake tradition. I feel as though I sell myself short when I entertain this way. But, the whole Korean food is a different animal: the chopping, marinating, sauteing, is soooo (jung shin up so), which means, out of mind, crazy, chaotic.

My cousin in law, who grew up in Tokyo encouraged me to invite the children class for a party, so I took her advice, and around 24 Japanese children (almost all from Micah's class) came to the party. We had them trick or treat on base, and they had a blast!
I had been hemming and hawing about the whole ordeal for weeks now, and am relieved to say, I made it alive. I didn't know how 30 children and bunch of teachers and other adults would fair in our little 1400 sq ft home. (Compared to 3100 sq foot home in Charleston?)

My friends, husband and I were thoroughly impressed by the children and the teachers. There are couple things that struck me about Japanese children.

1. They are so adorable and innocent. It was so cute to see them say, "Sugoi!" (which means "great" in English.) I had so much fun seeing how excited they were. They found all the Halloween festivities to be so different.

2. The entire class lined up throughout the whole trick or treat event, they were orderly, and so well-behaved.

3. We crammed around 30 children in our tiny home, everyone sat on the floor and ate pizza, Korean food and cupcakes with Capri Suns. Not once do they get up to play or run around in the house as they ate, (not like there was room in the house!) all of them finished their food, and after they were done, they cleaned up after themselves.

4. When the teacher spoke, they stopped to listen and follow directions right away.

5. Not one child was cranky the entire evening, other than my son, who was having a melt down by the end of the night.

After, I invited some parents and teachers to have a sit down meal after the party. That was fun, however, between our almost non-existent Japanese, and their English, we couldn't communicate very well, but enjoyed how both parties tried to make an effort to converse. That was fun, but realized, if you can't speak the same language, it's very hard to build a friend ship), By this point, I was just a bit exhausted (after 14 hours of cooking?) and I was a tad bit bleary-eyed, but the next day, I woke up and told my husband, "Let's do it again!" He had a scowl on his face, he didn't have to say anything. His expression meant a thousands words: NO. (well, until I tell him again that he can take the day off, and golf all day while I cook again, and then he would be up for it again!)