It’s not that there weren’t any good pictures in this chapter, just that they were all in weirdly-shaped panels, and not good for the square shaped preview pictures I always make, so this chapter will be represented by this cute picture of the twins dressed in the clothes they received from their grandparents on their birthday, playing with leaves.
Chapter 50 is about Matsunaga-san, Shiharu and the twins’ journey to Fukuoka to visit the twins’ grandparents. It starts out on a lovely fall day halfway through September, and the group is riding an “eco-train” to Fukuoka. Akane is eating an onigiri, and Shiharu is still fussing about intruding on what she believes is a private family outing. Matsunaga-san, looking dashing as usual and carrying Aoi in his lap, assures her that she’s welcome, and that her presence lets the twins feel more at ease, since they are used to being around her. They arrive at the park where they’d arranged to meet the grandparents, and Shiharu is amazed by the beautiful Ginkgo trees lining the entryway. She tells the twins that there are boy and girl ginkgo trees, and that you can tell which is which by their leaves, which look either like pants (boy) or a skirt (girl). I doubt this is true, but don’t really know, since I’ve never seen a ginkgo tree. Matsunaga-san gets a phone call and it’s the grandmother. Just ask she asks him where they are, she realizes that she can see him from where she’s standing, lol. The grandfather comes up behind her a moment later and scolds her, reminding her that she shouldn’t be running. Shiharu immediately introduces herself as Nakamura Shiharu, who has been having the privilege of being the twins’ babysitter. The grandmother introduces herself as Takegawa (no first name) and thanks Shiharu for looking after the twins. Then she greets the twins, who stare at her blankly until Matsunaga-san orders them to thank her for the birthday presents she sent them. After they do, Matsunaga-san asks the grandmother how her health is and she says she feels very good today. She turns to Shiharu and first asks her not to stand on ceremony / be so stiff, and then thanks her for traveling so far to see them. Next is the funny exchange involving the twins grandfather: he says to Matsunaga-san that he’d heard stories, but didn’t expect Shiharu to be so young and cute, and he asks Matsunaga-san “You’re also “being looked after” in various ways, eh, Seiji-kun? PERSONALLY.” Lmao! Shiharu and Matsunaga-san both freak out, and Matsunaga-san even says something in a small text about that being illegal (LOL?) Then the grandmother elbows the grandfather and scolds him for teasing the ‘young kids,’ breaking the tension. Aoi asks Shiharu to go and play and at first she’s unsure, but the grandmother urges her to let the twins play, and even asks Akane and Aoi if she can play with them too! They look at her shyly at first, while hiding behind Shiharu, but tell her it’s okay. Shiharu thinks to herself that the twins’ grandparents seem like very kind people. While she, the grandmother, and the twins are playing with leaves and acorns, Matsunaga-san and the grandfather are chatting and Shiharu wonders what they are talking about. She fears it might be about arrangements for the grandparents to take custody of the twins, but then thinks that it probably wouldn’t happen so soon. While they are playing, Aoi-kun notices a dog approaching them. When Shiharu sees it, she’s overcome by it’s cuteness, but then notices the owner is no where in sight. The grandmother suggests it might be lost or even abandoned. Shiharu calls out to Matsunaga-san for help, and he decides to go ask at the management center (whatever you call the receptionist at a park). The grandfather and grandmother agree that since the dog doesn’t act threateningly towards people, it must be someone’s pet. Aoi tries to pet the puppy’s head, but his grandmother stops him and explains that if you touch a dog from above, where it can’t see you coming, it might get scared and bite, and suggests that they crouch down and let the dog smell their hands first, to get used to them, and then it might let them pet it. The puppy licks Aoi’s hand and he giggles and says it tickles. Shiharu is impressed at how much the grandmother knows about dogs, and she explains that she used to own one long ago. Just then a voice starts announcing over the loud speaker that a lost dog has been found, and Matsunaga-san returns with a leash, which he was asked by the people at the management center to use to keep the dog in the park. The grandmother suggests that while they wait for the owner, they should bring the puppy to somewhere that he can get a drink of water, and so they bring him to a cool fountain-like thing. Just when they start to worry that the owner still hasn’t shown up and the dog might really have been abandoned, a paniced young woman runs towards them, shouting for “Musashi.” The dog responds to his name being called and runs back to his owner. In tears, she explains that it’s her first time taking him for a walk, and his collar must have been too lose, because he slipped out of it. She thanks Shiharu and the others for looking after the dog for her, and then she and Musashi depart. After they leave, Akane-chan bursts out crying and shouts “Don’t gooo——!!” Shiharu tries to deal with this tantrum by acknowledging Akane’s feelings of wanting to play with Musashi a while longer, and tries to explain that he is probably hungry and has to go home to eat, but Akane doesn’t want to hear it and even claws at Shiharu’s face, before throwing herself face-first onto the ground. Shiharu thinks to herself that this level of tantrum isn’t something that can be reasoned-through by talking about it, and uses another tactic. She holds out her hands and asks Akane to put all the いやいやさん’s (I translated this as “unhappy feelings” but it’s really much cuter than that in Japanese) in her hands. She then rolls them into a circle, kind of like you’d roll an onigiri, and releases all those unhappy feelings into the sky. She asks Akane if there are any more, and when Akane replies that there are, the grandmother steps in and asks Akane to give her a portion of those unhappy feelings, as well, and she repeats the hand motion and releases them into the sky. When Shiharu asks again if there are any more, Akane has stopped crying and says no, they’ve all flown away. Shiharu notices Aoi quietly holding onto her arm and acknowledges his feelings as well, asking him “You also wanted to play with the puppy for a little while longer, huh?” and when he says yes, she hugs him and praises him for handling it so well. A little while later, Shiharu and the grandmother are sitting on a bench watching the twins play, and the grandmother tells Shiharu that she resembles her daughter, the twins’ mother. She says it’s not the facial features, but rather that they both really love children. She also says that her daughter originally wanted to be a childcare worker (like Shiharu) but she got so sad seeing the kids grow up and leave the kindergarten, that she gave up and worked at a photo studio for kids instead. The grandmother then says “That’s why I was so happy when she had children of her own…” and she finds herself crying! She apologizes to Shiharu, who doesn’t mind at all because she’s also on the verge of tears. She realizes, perhaps for the first time, that this woman lost her own child, but that something precious (this is overlaid over an image of the twins) has been left behind. Shiharu also acknowledges that although she loves the twins very much and they are very precious to her, to their grandparents they are even more precious. While playing Aoi suddenly trips and falls flat on his face. His grandfather crouches next to him and asks if he’s okay, but Aoi picks himself back up and says with a serious face that he’s okay. The grandfather praises him for being so strong. On the last page, Shiharu watches them with a sad-looking face, thinking that these two will surely make the twins very happy.