Newman’s Nook: Ashibe’s Family

Shonen Ashibe GO! GO! Goma-chan is a short-form ongoing anime series aimed at children. It’s about an elementary school aged boy, Ashibe, and his pet seal, he named Goma-chan. The show follows the everyday life of Ashibe, his friends, his family, and his seal Goma-chan as they deal with a seal being in their life. It’s adorable and a favorite among my four children.

Ashibe’s Father (pictured in the header) is a carpenter. He dresses rather traditionally and tries to provide for his family the best that he can. He occasionally falls into the trope TV Dad category of just being kind of a buffoon, but in the end he is a loving, present father who loves his wife, his son, and Goma-chan. They may not be a wealthy family, but they get by day to day and are happy with each other’s loving company.

Ashibe’s Grandfather is rich. He’s a very wealthy businessman and manages…well, a number of different businesses. It is never entirely clear exactly which one is the one he started. He is wealthy and is totally cool throwing money at problems. He loves his son and his Grandson, Ashibe. In an episode where Goma-chan goes missing, the Grandfather buys the businesses where the seal was last seen in order to help Ashibe find Goma-chan. Not send people to look – purchase the businesses. He has some walking around money.

During Ashibe’s birthday, some of the Grandfather’s employees meet the extended family and meet Ashibe’s Dad. They see that he’s a carpenter. They see that he is not wealthy like the Grandfather. They shrug at him and they act like it’s a big problem as though Ashibe’s Father is less than because he’s not wealthy. In reality, it’s irrelevant – both father and son have chosen different paths.

I saw that in my own family as well in much the same way. My Grandfather was a well to do businessman. He managed electronic businesses in and around New York City selling electronics to the wealthy throughout the 60s and into the early 90s before he finally decided to retire. He hoped my father would take over the family business, but he wanted nothing to do with it. He, instead, forged his own path becoming an electrical engineer focusing on telecommunications and has worked for the phone company for over 30 years.

I am a father myself. I also took a different direction than my own father. I work as an environmental engineer living hundreds of miles from my parents and siblings. In the end, each of us made our own path and went our own way. There is nothing inherently wrong with that.

Just because your parent were a certain way, it does not mean you’ll end up exactly like them. King David was a man after the Lord’s own heart who, sinned and fell, but in the end focused on God. Yet, look at his children – he had a few who tried to overthrow the crown and his eventual heir worshiped various other gods. Samuel was a prophet of the Lord and Samuel’s sons were awful wretches. Who your parents are will not necessarily lead you a very specific way – but there is hope that they will instill values within you that will last a lifetime. The hope is that those are good, admirable values.

In Proverbs 22:6, Solomon states that if you train up a child the right way, they will not stray from that path. It is a commonly held verse in scripture to try to promote good parenting. But that’s not what it really says. It is telling us that how we train up our children is how they will live their lives.

My Grandfather instilled in my father a strong work ethic and the importance of providing for ones family. They may have selected different paths, may have had different interests, but those values still remain strong and, in the end, they both had a strong work ethics in their respective fields. My father passed that along to me but also trained me up to love and put my family first. It is a value I have kept with me as I raise my own family and my own children.

This article is scheduled to post on May 4, my son’s 9th birthday. As I sit back and reflect on his 9 years, I am wonder as my father and Grandfather did before me – what type of person will he grow up into. Will he want to be an engineer like me? Will he go into telecommunications like my father? Or will he defy all expectations and do something brand new? In the end, that is merely window dressing. What I hope happens is that he takes the values I try to instill in him and mold them into the life he plans to live based on his own interests.

Shonen Ashibe GO! GO! Goma-chan can be streamed legally at Crunchyroll.


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