"Nippon Mode On"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD
Aven was recently fascinated with the country of Japan. And then she asked me one of those questions that triggered the inner nerd in me. "Daddy what do you know about Japan?"
Inside me , I was going :" Oh my God! I have always wanted someone to ask me that , thank you for being the first one and yes I do know tons and I am willing to show you and tell you and yes we will watch more anime than is appropriate. And we would be talking about games and more weird stuff than you could ever imagine."
Externally since I was driving at the time and couldn't wave my hands and act like a headless chicken on speed I just said: "A lot" rather more calmly than I felt.
We then launched into the whole language learning phase and as I translated and explained what certain words and phrases meant to Aven , I could begin to see a certain wanderlust in her eyes. This is what I probably looked like all those years while my cousin Amilcar and I watched Unsubbed VHS tapes of Son Goku turning into Oozaru or Giant Ape form. Awesome and overwhelmed.And wanting more!
I think I was going too fast that Aven said. "Wait dad! I have to write all of this down! I will write all of this down! Where is my notebook?!" "Oh and dad what is the difference between Japanese , Chinese and Korean? I am mixing them all up!" I wish I could have shown her this at that time.:
By this time I could see certain gears in her mind moving around a bit to accommodate all the polite languages and informal phrases that I was bombarding her with. It was such a treat hearing her say the words for the first time. And the time spent driving seemed soooo fast. Here is another thing that we could bond over. My own daughter learning things with me.
In the back seat , I could just picture my wife rolling her eyeballs inside her skull. She now knows that when we are choosing movies and we find new anime she will now be outvoted! Yeah! She just knew that Aven has risen to a whole new level of nerd and in our house being Nerd is the norm. Yeah!