Bailey’s Mix of Language

Well folks, I’m pleased to tell you that the whole bar mitzvah thing is officially over – Bailey has sent out his very last thank you note.  What I found fascinating, was that when appropriate, my American son wrote his thank you notes at least partially in Japanese.  This particular one here is special because it is to his private Japanese sensei with whom he has been working for four years.  Sensei bought Bailey the most appropriate and wonderful gift for his bar mitzvah: a Hanko.  A Hanko is a Japanese signature stamp.  It can be registered with the ward office when Bailey is fifteen, and he will be able to sign legal documents with it.  Marc and I have never bothered to get one; foreigners don’t have to, but Bailey has been given one.  Sensei also designed a kanji for him, and assigned it meaning as only she could, using the characters for Bay-Re and Rice, symbolic of an American, but talking about how the combination of the letters connotes ideas like bright and clever, which are very much in line with Bailey’s personality, according to her.  Our sensei is a very special person in our lives and this was an exciting coming-of-age gift for him.  It was no wonder that he wanted to write to her in a combination of the languages that they share.

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