Anthony’s First Solo Outing
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Quick Trip to the Store for the first time, all by himself -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl,
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/400 sec, f/11, ISO 1100 — full exif
Quick Trip to the Store
for the first time, all by himself

Anthony's Shopping List


We ran out of bread this morning, so Anthony ran to the store to get some. It was his first time to go out all by himself.

Things sort of started yesterday when we were both getting haircuts. While he was waiting for my cut to finish, I suggested that he go to a nearby bakery to pick out some bread for himself for today's breakfast. He'd never gone out like that himself, but it was just a minute away, so I gave him some money and sent him out. He accomplished his task well, and was proud.

So, he had his bread this morning, but I didn't have any for myself. I thought to build on yesterday's achievement, so suggested that he run to the nearby 7-11 to pick some up for me. He was excited about the prospect, so Fumie and I came up with a few things he should pick up for us. He drew up a list, shown at right:

  • Bread   × 2
  • Yogurt   × 1
  • Drink   × 1
  • Anthony's bread   1
  • Small toy   1

I told him he could get a small toy, as a celebration of his accomplishment.

We gave him money and a key, and as he headed out, Fumie and I moved to the veranda to catch a glimpse of him.

We waited for a while, and a few minutes later he came marching back with bag in hand.

When he paid at the cash register, he forgot about the change and started to walk off, to which the checkout lady called after him with 「お客様!お客様!」 (“Customer! Customer!”). It's lost in translation how cute that is, those honorifics being used to a six-year-old. It's all the more cute to us because we didn't see it, but rather, heard him recount it.

It was also sort of funny that during his short few-minute shopping trip, he used the bathroom. Maybe he was nervous or it was just bad timing... or, maybe he felt it was fun to make those decisions on his own.

We should have had “milk” on the list, because an hour later we ran out. “I'll go get some!” he quickly volunteered. So he went out a second time, coming back with two one-liter cartons.

Our little baby is growing up.

All 16 comments so far, oldest first...

That’s so cute. I can only imagine how proud it makes you. I got a 16 month old son and I constantly get amazed by how fast he learn things. By the way thanks for the blog in general, it’s lovely with all those photos and stories that are so far away from my own world.

— comment by Thomas K. Nielsen on February 14th, 2009 at 11:09pm JST (15 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

I liked the comment by Thomas . When he wrote “….so far away from my own world”, I couldn’t help but wonder where his world (and l6 month old son)were. It would be nice if the responders to your blog added the country from which they were writing . Not necessary, of course. Just nice. I know Peter writes from Wales in the U.K., and I suspect your readers know that I, your mother, live in Ohio in the Unitede States, and your irreverent brothers and sister Marcina also live in the U.S., though not in Ohio.
Regular readers become familiar with regular posters here, almost like friends. I’m so new to Internet protocol that I’m not sure if this would be considerd impolite or not. It ‘s just something I personally would find of added interest.

— comment by Grandma Friedl on February 14th, 2009 at 11:59pm JST (15 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

I have a two year old son and nine month old daughter and while I have thought a lot about many of their future “first times” this is one that I had missed. It must have been so empowering for Anthony, and terrifying for you!

Grandma F, I’m from British Columbia, Canada.

It wasn’t terrifying, actually. We’ve drilled safety into him pretty well, but this short trip didn’t cross any street… the store was the next building past the one facing ours, so the entire walk outside was perhaps only 20 seconds, literally. Also, perhaps six months ago we were ready to let him go to the haircut shop himself (a much bigger trek, involving the crossing of several streets), but he got only as far as the lobby of our building before getting scared and returning. That was terrifying, and I was planning on following him quietly. But he’s a lot older now, and this trip was so close, that it was just a nice event for us all. —Jeffrey

— comment by Doug Wilson on February 15th, 2009 at 12:12am JST (15 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

What a cute story … Thanks for sharing!

We are enjoying our first weekend away since our little girl was born.

— comment by Eric Scouten on February 15th, 2009 at 2:45am JST (15 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Grandma Friedl : We are from Europe, Denmark

— comment by Thomas K. Nielsen on February 15th, 2009 at 3:10am JST (15 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

it is definitely one of the most lovely post from you Jeff. like the idea you ended the post with the line “Our little baby is growing up”. it portrays such a wonderful parenthood in you. A great and sweet daddy, you are totally one. God bless pal…

— comment by DKFANSON on February 15th, 2009 at 3:39am JST (15 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Our little baby is growing up. Love that phrase. I am a fan of your blog since two years ago when I found Anthony’s bentos pictures, but this post almost made me cry…maybe because our little one is almost 5 years old and I can’t imagine the day he will do that as well.

Love your blog because besides of your beautiful pictures, I have learned many things from Japanese culture more than from my husband who is Japanese. I am a fan of Fumie’s bento boxes (by the way I haven’t see any) I whish she would have her own Bento’s Blog and share some recipes and tips.

Thank you very much for your blog, it is a space for relaxation to me. I am from Mexico and my husband Ken is from Tokyo, we currently live in Arlington, TX.

I do apologize for my terrible writing I am still learning English and just starting to write a little bit, just didn’t want to miss the chance to comment on this post.
Thank you!
Griselda Garcia

— comment by Griselda Nishikatsu on February 15th, 2009 at 11:12am JST (15 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

I can so totally relate to your entry. Our own little fella is 5 years old, and crossing many of those same “firsts” as well. Walking back home from the local park by himself to get something at home comes to mind as a big first for him some time ago. Sledding down the “big” toboggan/ski hill hill all by himself.

Keep the stories coming. They always bring a smile!

Ottawa, Canada

— comment by Chris on February 15th, 2009 at 11:33am JST (15 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

We loved this post Jeffrey. Cute!

Chantilly, VA

— comment by Jon Van Dalen on February 16th, 2009 at 12:35am JST (15 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Cute post! Must be a very proud moment for the two of you seeing Anthony grow up =)
Hope to be able to share more of such moments through your blog in future.

— comment by Daniel Chia on February 16th, 2009 at 3:27am JST (15 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Enjoy your time with Anthony – just now a child he soon will be a young man. But then he will make you proud in other ways, I’m sure. I’m at your age and my my elder son is already 19 years old (and he still makes me proud). My younger son is 15.

I got started reading your blog due to my interests in photography but I found so many stories about a likable family living in Japan and many other things too, not forgetting your wonderful photographs. Thanks for all that.

Like Griselda I’m still learning English. It’s far easier to read something, then to write by myself, therefore I’m not commenting so often but I’ll keep reading and enjoying your postings.

Thomas from the easternmost City of Germany.

— comment by Thomas on February 16th, 2009 at 4:40am JST (15 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Hello Jeffrey, I follow your blog as I admire and use your many LR plugins (and like your new biz model too!). However I also greatly enjoy the touches of humanity in your work and life that you generously share as well in your writing. Great news for the rest of us who love to see the world through new eyes. Cheers from Austin, Texas. – Rice Jackson

— comment by Rice Jackson on February 16th, 2009 at 8:59am JST (15 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Thanks for this wonderful little story, I’m still waiting for the day (my son Dylan is now 3,5 years old).

Also many thanks for the wonderful site that I really enjoy reading.

Grandma F.: I’m in Berlin, Germany

— comment by Daniel Cutter on February 17th, 2009 at 1:43am JST (15 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Great post. I ran into your blog a few years ago while searching for D200 information. I’ve followed it on and off since then, and your stories always bring a smile.

I have two daughters (2 and 4) and wish I had the discipline to write out their stories, it would make for good reading when they grow old. I’m sure Anthony will have quite a blast reading this when he gets older and has kids of his own :).

Grandma Friedl, I’m from Johnson City, TN.

— comment by Delbert on February 17th, 2009 at 4:48am JST (15 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

We live in MN, USA. I have been following your blog for a few months now. I am so moved by your proud yet protective parenting style. I thought I and my husband are the only ones like that! Your son is very cute and is like ours who is almost 6 years now. I too dread the firsts and wish I can somehow be everywhere to guide. Thanks for this wonderful blog. I am pretty sure I will continue reading it if available till Anthony is all grown and is writing his own stories on this blog.

— comment by Sonal on February 18th, 2009 at 4:22am JST (15 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Lovely post! Once again you have put into words what so many other parents feel.

Anthony’s kana is coming along nicely!

Mrs. Friedl, I’m Connecticut-born and raised, Ohio-educated (Kenyon College) and now in VA outside of Washington, DC.

— comment by Karen on February 18th, 2009 at 11:41am JST (15 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink
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