Looking Back on the Farewell Party
From “Kazenoko Letter” No.411 - March 2012

 We had a graduation ceremony at Kazenoko Hoikuen daycare center on March 17th. After the graduation ceremony, a farewell party hosted by the guardians of the graduates was held. Various mothers perform at this party every year, but this year’s performance was more elaborate than ever before.

 The mothers of one class played a melody using a chorus of handbells. They played two long and pretty difficult songs, and I could tell they had probably practiced many times. Mothers from another class performed dance to music. Each of them looked full of energy and fun.

 I was worried that it might be a burden to plan the farewell party and practice because they have work, housework and child-raising responsibilities every day. However, I was convinced that this was not the case after seeing their solidarity and their joy.

 People’s lives usually rotate between work and everyday life, so I wonder if this kind of opportunity could have relieved their stress. Most mothers are in the common situation of raising a child while working. With this foundation to get to know each other and form friendships, I believe that a relationship of mutual support and dependence will grow naturally.

 The other day at a class meeting, one father told us that he got along with another father when he went to help at the night stall festival last summer, then later they went for a drink, which developed into a friendship between the families, and they finally went on an overnight trip together. Everyone was surprised to hear this.

 These fathers sometimes meet. The mothers see each other when they bring their children to the center and pick them up every day, so I believe they will get to know each other more. I’ve heard a lot of stories of guardians of graduates from Kazenoko Hoikuen keeping in contact even though their children have already become adults. This so-called “Muen Shakai” (an isolated society) that we are living in means that it is difficult to maintain relationships between neighbors. Therefore, I hope the daycare center will be the place to form such valuable bonds.

 We hope this post-Graduation party is not the last opportunity and would like to create a space where guardians regularly get together and have fun.

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