Monday, August 25, 2008

Just Call Me "Oya Baka" Again

[Oya= parent, baka= fool] Forewarning: Proud Mama is going to do some bragging here...

One of the things I've been so proud of while watching my son establish his independence from us and live on his own in LA, is how he has set certain goals for himself each year, and has managed to fulfill those goals within the set time limit.

In the beginning the goals were straightforward and relatively simple: get a cell phone, get an apartment, get a job. But they weren't simple to obtain. Without a California driver's license, it was next to impossible to get a phone; without a phone it was impossible to get an apartment; and without a place to live it was very hard to fill out job applications. Everyone treated him as though he were an illegal immigrant, despite having American citizenship. The average kid would've taken the last of his money and hightailed it home to Japan. But my son stuck it out. And got the phone, at long last, soon to be followed by a place to live and a job to boot. We know God was in his corner, and we're grateful. But I also know my son himself exhibited a lot of guts and determination and it's paid off.

His next goal was to get a job in Beverly Hills at a high-class restaurant, because he had heard that's where you get the good tips. He had been working in a less prestigious Japanese restaurant the first five months of 2007 and felt like he was only spinning his wheels there. He had a number of things he wanted to purchase eventually and needed a better income. So he set out to get a job in a fancy Japanese restaurant in Beverly Hills. He had to enter the staff as kitchen help, but has worked his way up to server, gradually excelling in each job he did on the way. I really have to take off my hat to him. He's proven to be a very hard worker. (His father's boy!!)

Recently his boss acknowledged his hard work by asking him to serve exclusively in the sushi bar corner (where sales are lagging) because his boss is hoping that having a bilingual, top-notch service provider will increase the popularity of that corner. This was an honor and my son was smart enough to recognize it! Since his tip income would initially decrease as a result of this change in his duties, his boss was willing to supplement his income with guaranteed salary, paid out of his boss' pocket! What greater compliment could an employee want?!

There have been a lot of small goals in between...especially in the purchasing of this and that on eBay or some other net auction service, and he has acquired a lot of the equipment he needs to begin producing music in his apartment (which is his ultimate goal and why he moved to LA in the first place). He's been there less than two years and has accomplished so much!

Keep it up, Honey! You can do it! And there's nothing foolish about my believing that, at all.


Maiko said...

To read your blog is little bit hard for me:P
I'll try to comment when I read your blog:)

Sal said...

Thanks, Mai-chan. I appreciate your faithfulness! If you have a question, don't hestitate to ask me anything!

Twice Blessed China Mom said...

Sally, I was so happy to read this post! I really admire how you've handled the move to CA. I could just cry when I think of my kids going off to high school, much less college and away from home for good!!! A friend told me that God prepares us by blessing us with the challenge of teen years so that it might be a tad bit easier. I'm so glad that Naoki is having such a great experience! He's learned a lot from you and his dad.

Sal said...

Jeana, one day you'll understand. You pour your heart, soul, mind and all your strength into raising your kids. When they become adults, the last thing you honestly desire is for them to continue acting like dependent children. It has been SUCH a gift from my son that he's handled facing adulthood in such an independent way so that I could occasionally hang up my Mom Hat and stop worrying 24/7. You have to eventually trust God with their lives, and trust your own efforts to have raised them well.

I look at my son and simply rejoice. How good God has been to us!