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Lost in Japan: The Complete Series

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***This is the complete (Three-book series) Version. Includes Part I: Taking Our Kids, Part II: Snowed In, and Part III: Guards at the Gate****
“I’m taking the kids and moving to Japan –”
My Japanese wife Miya (Me-ya) dropped it on me, staring me down for my reaction.
It was September 18th of 2011, and we stood – arms crossed, three feet away from each other – in the living room of our 1200 square foot, first-floor condo.
As she peered through me, I looked past her at the earth tone walls we’d painted together.
I turned my head away from her peering eyes and stared through the double-pane sliding glass door.
In our backyard, the brown and gold autumn leaves swirled in the wind against the muddy suburban grass and the gray Plymouth, Minnesota sky.
She’d been threatening to run to Japan since she’d been pregnant with our son Kazuki (Kah-zoo-key) in 2004, but this had last reached a breaking point when she’d been eight months pregnant with Mae (May) back in 2006.
Back then, she’d smashed our Chinaware into the kitchen floor, run to the living room, dropped to the carpet, and pounded her fists, screaming.
“I’m not gonna stay home with two kids! Kazuki can’t even fall asleep by himself. I need my mom’s help!”
Standing in the kitchen, looking at the smashed shards of glass all over the floor, I’d given her my last best option.
"Miya, I can change my work schedule and stay home with the kids.”
Miya had retorted, sitting in a heap, her head down, combing through her two feet of black hair with her fingers. “If you can’t really do it, I’ll have an abortion.”
I had sat down on the tan carpeted floor next to her.
“No Miya. You can’t. That’s my baby too. Nobody aborts an eight month pregnancy.”
She’d looked up at me.
“You’re so stupid. I can even do it myself. Nobody will ever even know.”
I had put my face in my hands and looked out at her through my fingers.
“I’ll change my schedule… I’ll do all the kids’ stuff, okay”
Then, she’d looked up and begun pulling her shedding hair out in clumps, as though milking a cow. She’d sifted it through her fingers, laying the long, black clumps of hair in a pile on that light tan carpet, tears and mascara and sweat all over her face.
“If you don’t really do it, and I have this baby, I’m taking the kids and moving to Japan. You can’t stop me.”
So… I did it. After Mae was born in late 2006, I had changed my schedule so that I could be home with the kids. And my relieving Miya had made her happy… for a while.
But, after a few years, Miya started asking me to change my schedule again so that she could stay home with the kids. I had refused –
Dressing and bathing and cooking and housework; she would have started raging again that she’d run to Japan for her mom’s help.
And so, here we were. It was September 18th of 2011, and Miya had just told me that she was taking our kids to Japan. I walked over to her – her arms crossed – and put my hands on her shoulders.
“Miya, what are you talking about Are you really doing this”
She squinted and pulled back from me.
“I gave two weeks-notice at work and bought three one-way tickets.”
Apparently, she really was doing this.
I took my right hand off her shoulder, turning it to the ceiling.
“Where will you go”
She swatted my left hand off her shoulder, and backpedaled toward the front door, crossing her arms in fists over her chest. “We are moving to my parents’ house in Misato.”
She glared into the entryway closet.
“You can come too… if you want.”
I said, “Wait… what Are you serious”
She dug through that entryway closet, then peaked her head out and hissed at me.
“My mom said to make sure that I get the kids. She doesn’t care if you come with or not.”

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