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「性別は生まれる瞬間まで絶対に聞かない」というポリシーを貫くと決心した俊介さん。惜しくも出産に間に合わず、でも2時間後に彼が到着し感動の対面が目前に迫ったそのとき、パパのもとに喜び駆け寄ってくるメッセンジャー、ひかちゃんはそんなパパの事情も知らずに「赤ちゃん、女の子だったよ!!」とまさかのフライング発表。なんてほほえましい、新たな家族を待ちわびるエピソードではないでしょうか 。父方のおばあちゃんと誕生日が同じ!さらに長男のこうくんも別月の18日!という、家族の縁を強く感じさせる運命的な日にめでたく生まれてきたのが、次女のふきちゃん。上のふたりは里帰り出産でしたが、今回はお住いの神奈川県でのフリースタイル出産、お産が近づくにあたりお義母さんが駆けつけてくれました。予定日が28日でしたので、当のおばあちゃんもまさか(自分と同じ日に生まれるなんて)!とおどろきだったのは想像に難くありません。スポーツが大好きなパパはさっそく、お兄ちゃんに続いて背番号18のサッカーユニフォームをゲット、お祝いムードが続いている堀河一家です。最近はハンド・リガード(赤ちゃんが自分の手をみつめる仕草)が活発になり、ふきちゃんの成長著しい毎日。「おっぱいやよだれが洋服につかないように大判のハンカチが日々、家事に育児にと大活躍しています。あと、おくるみはすごく通気性がよく、いつも気持ちよさそうですし、すやすやと眠ってくれるので助かっているんですよ」とひと美さんはD BY DADWAYのアイテムをご愛用中。「3回目の出産、育児となるとようやく余裕も生まれ、自分を客観的に振り返ることができるようになったのはうれしいですね。お兄ちゃんは産後間もない頃からキッチンのシンクでの沐浴をすすんでお手伝いしてくれたんです。するとお姉ちゃんが自分も!と合流。時にはどちらかが撮影係を熱望、私のiPhoneでシャッターをおしまくるなんていうことも。そんなとき、写真に写った自分の姿を見るのは新鮮な感じがします」。

This is Shunsuke, who decided to stick to a policy of “absolutely not asking about the distinction of sex right until the moment of birth.” Regrettably, he did not make it to attend the birth, but he arrived two hours later. At that time, when he was about to have the emotional meeting, Hika, a jubilant messenger, who did not know about her dad's resolution, ran up to him and made an unexpected premature announcement: “It is a girl!” Isn't it a sweet episode for a family waiting for a new family member? The baby's birthday is the same as the grandmother's! Moreover, Ko, the eldest son, has the birthday on the 18th of a different month! This is Fuki, the second daughter, who was auspiciously born on the fateful day that made the family ties felt strongly. The two elder children had been born at their mother's parental home. This time it was an active birth in Kanagawa, their home prefecture. As its due date had drawn near, her mother-in-law had come quickly. Since the expected date had been the 28th, it is not difficult to imagine that she was also surprised (“She was born on the same day as me!”). This is the Horikawa family in a continuing celebratory mood, with the dad, a great sports fan, immediately obtaining a soccer uniform with number 18, next to the elder brother. This is the day-to-day life of Fuki; recently, hand regard (when a baby stares at her hand) has become active, and she grows remarkably. “I use large handkerchiefs so as not to dirty the clothes with milk and saliva, and have my hands full with housework and childcare. Then, the blankets are extremely air-permeable, so she always feels comfortable, and sleeps soundly, which helps a lot,” says Hitomi, who habitually uses D BY DADWAY items. “I am glad that with the third birth and childcare I finally have some spare time and can look back at myself objectively. Her brother soon after her birth suggested that I wash her in the kitchen sink and helped me with it. Immediately her sister joined in, saying, `Me too!' From time to time, they both have an ardent desire to be photographers, and keep pressing the shutter release on my iPhone. At such times, seeing my own figure on the photos makes me feel refreshed.”

俊介さんは香川県、ひと美さんは岐阜県がご実家。親たちが離れて暮らしている中、共働きをしながら3人の子育てをすることは決して容易ではありません。ましてや病気をしてしまったときなどは特に不安が募るもの。けれども、堀川ファミリーにはそれをはるかに上回る、家庭を築いてゆくしたたかさがあるのです。「夏休みに、こどもたちだけで香川の実家で過ごすんですよ、2週間ぐらい。もちろん、おじいちゃんやおばあちゃんが面倒みてくれるからできることなんですが(笑)。その時ばかりはこどもを預けて夫婦の時間を持つことができるんです。普段、お断りしている職場のお誘いなど、夜の会合にも参加できますので、年に一回のこのイベントは楽しみにしています。離れていても頼れる家族がいるのは本当にありがたいですね。ぼくは4人きょうだいの2番目、6人家族。彼女も3人きょうだいの真ん中、5人家族というにぎやかな家庭で育ちました。やっぱりみんなが集まったときがいちばん盛り上がりますし“何かあったら誰かが助けてくれる”そういう信頼感は間違いなくベースにありますね」とパパ。「夫の母はこども達が次々に結膜炎になり、夫婦どちらかが一週間近く仕事を休まなければならなくなった時も『夜行列車で今すぐ行くわ!』と飛んできてくれましたし。そういう時にはありがたく頼る!」とママも感謝の意を。「親たちが与えてくれるそういう安心感を、はたして僕たちはこどもたち世代にも与えることができるかという不安もなきにしもあらずですが(笑)」と、子育てにお仕事に奮闘するご夫婦のリアルな本音も最後に聞くことができました。

Shunsuke has his parental home in Kagawa Prefecture, and Hitomi has hers in Gifu Prefecture. With their parents living at a long distance, raising three children while they both work for a living is not means easy. Still less is it the case when, for example, someone falls ill. Then the feeling of uneasiness grows worse. Nevertheless, the Horikawa family has a toughness that greatly surpasses it and lets them build the family. “During summer vacations, only the children go to the parental home in Kagawa, for two weeks or so. Of course, we can do it because Grandpa and Grandma take care of them (laughs). Only at such times, with the children entrusted to them, we can have some time to ourselves. We can accept invitations to the workplace, which we usually turn down, we can take part in night meetings, so we look forward to such once-a-year events. Having a family that we can rely on, no matter how far they live from us, is a fortunate thing. I am the second of four siblings in a family of six. She also grew up in a big family as the middle one of three siblings in a family of five. Sure enough, it is when all gather that things are at their liveliest; without doubt, it is based on the feeling of confidence that ‘if something happens somebody will help out,'” says the dad. “My husband's mother, at a time when the kids contracted conjunctivitis one after the other and neither of us could take time off from work for about a week, said, ‘I will take the night train and come at once!' and quickly came to help us. At times like that we can rely on them with gratitude!” the mom expressed her appreciation. “The uncertainty about whether we can give our children the feeling of security that our parents gave us is not exactly groundless (laugh),” they say. We have been able to get a glimpse of the true feelings of a husband and wife who put a great deal of effort into parenting and work.

Sep. 2016


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