This diary entry is part 1 of 28 in Lily's diary dated 31 - January 2024

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

2024!  How about that!!!

So this morning we got up early – well, some of us did, the adults were pretty fried.  We got bundled up (it was pretty cold) and went to a nearby park to watch the first sunrise. It’s not something we usually do in America, but we have five and a half (Yuki stayed over) Japanese people here, so I thought it’d be a nice thing to do.

And, actually, it was.

It was like all the possibility of the year was in that sunrise.

Sometimes the Japanese do pretty cool stuff, I think.

So after that, we went back, and crashed some more.

We had a late breakfast.  They would have visited a shrine, but there isn’t one.  I let them bow and clap at me, and they were surprisingly not embarrassed to do it. I was, but I knew they weren’t doing it to me, they were doing it at me, and if nothing else, we know I represent someone, so it was fine.  I didn’t ask what they prayed for.  They didn’t tell me.  But sometimes that’s how it works.

I felt a little left out.  I can’t really bow and clap at myself.  I can’t have a shrine visit when I am the shrine.  Aww.

2024 will be a year of change.  I will graduate.  I will probably go to college.  Maybe even in Japan.  Something… will happen with Jack, and neither of us knows what.  And who knows what kind of stupid things those those Very Smart People in charge of countries will do.

But there’s no point in worrying.  Things will happen or they won’t.  At the end of the day… 2025 will come.  It is inevitable.  It’s just what our situation will be when it does that’s up in the air.

Tomorrow we’re taking the girls down to Houston to spend a day with Emiko.  I hope they have fun.  Emiko will take them to the airport.

I’ll miss them.  They’re fun to have around.  I don’t want them to miss me… but I hope they do.  You don’t miss people you don’t care about.

They spent much of the day packing their stuff up and getting ready to leave.  Minami was a little teary.  I asked her why.  She just said that she’ll miss being around a real family that cares.

I understand.  Maybe more than she thinks.

I did ask her why she doesn’t feel the same way about Mariko’s… or Yuuko’s… or even Ai’s family.  She just said they treat her fine, but they’re Japanese.  People don’t really work that way there.  They treat her like…  their daughters’ friend.  Not family.  That’s sad.

Love you all!!! ❤️

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