It was a very long week at work in Japan. Stress, lots of work to do, deadlines. You know, just another week.
So when it came time to finally leave on Friday, I was ready to take a nap in my 30-minute taxi ride from work back to my hotel.
Alas, it was not to be so.
In all my trips to Japan so far, I’ve had a good handful of taxi drivers. Some repeated. Some terribly slow. Some terribly fast. Some using their phones to translate their Japanese to English just to tell me the traffic is “slow as molasses”. One really attractive Japanese woman who drove like a maniac, cutting everyone off, and probably bringing dishonor to everyone’s families. But this particular Friday commute home, my taxi driver actually spoke decent English!
Because he was able to speak English, he initiated small conversations. You know, apart from me telling him, “go to this hotel using the expressway and exit here.” He asked me how long I was staying in Japan and what I do. Stuff like that. Then silence for a while.
He then asked me for permission to ask me how old I am. I laughed and told him my age. He then proceeded to tell me that his son is also the same age as I am. And that his son got married only two months ago.
We were stopped in traffic so then he kind of turns around to say that he wants grandchildren. I could see the smile on his face. From the joy I saw in his face, I could tell that it was such a sincere, genuine desire amplified by Japanese pride in family and progeny. A certain pride and desire that seems to be diminishing back home in the United States.
I affirmed him saying that yeah, I hope he gets to have grandchildren soon! More small talk, and we arrived at my hotel.
As I’m writing this blog post, this moment with the English-speaking taxi driver happened just yesterday. I’ve reflected on it some since then.
This desire to have grandkids, through the example of my taxi driver, speaks of a love that is fruitful. A love so profound that when husband and wife come together, it can result in Another. And the cycle goes on. And on. And on. And on. And I got a practical taste of that which is so good, so true, and so beautiful in the simple desire of my taxi driver.
This resonates with me. A lot, actually. I think of all the times that I hang out and pray with the elderly in nursing homes as well as my own grandparents at home, now that they’re back from the Philippines. They’re always so proud to have grandkids.
So as for me…yeah. God-willing, I want grandchildren too some day.