So on the days when my life closes in on me and Tokyo’s atmosphere weighs upon my shoulders like a cape of dirty, enfolding grit, and I find myself sitting on the floor in our small apartment picking rice grains out of our cheap, grey carpet and playing peak a boo with a 1 year old girl, I think to myself:

Why don’t I feel or wish I could just fly away from this all? Maybe take the “Japanese speaking receptionist” position on the cruise ship sailing out of Hawaii that i just saw on craigslist…

And then I realize i don’t want to fly away because I would be too worried about how much Maika was eating and whether the heat rash on Mia’s back was cleared up or not and whether Naoto was drinking his green juice…

And then I realize that by having children I will never never never be free again. I can never run away from it all because of these two little souls, these two butterfly spirits who weigh more than all of Tokyo and the separation from my family and friends and the daily struggle in Japanese.

They anchor me here, to this life, and now there is no escape. Wherever I go, wherever I may be, whatever I may be doing, these two little ghosts whisk around me, demanding affection, time, patience, love, physical being in the here and now.

So not only can I never fly away again, I can’t even seem to want to fly away.