Surviving another long night without becoming zombified, when your irritable baby or troublesome teenager keeps you wide awake.
I watched my eldest’s angsty behaviour in silence. A million words could’ve spurted out, but were well contained inside. This time, my heart neither ached nor did it break; instead a wave of calmness washed over me. Whilst the disturbance took over him, I continued being an observer (and offered a silent prayer) for a couple of minutes. Then, I gave him a quick hug and kissed him goodnight without commenting on the sudden outburst. Tonight, I’d let it slide. I believed that was all he needed.
“When our kids are hard to love, we got to love them harder”.
As I was rushing home after a class, I bumped into an ex-student and her mum. Now the girl is a teenager and looking all grown up. In my eyes I can still see the sweet little Japanese girl who was all friendly and shy at the same time. Her pleasant ways with everybody and her lovely notes for me are still fresh on my mind. And the tears she shed on the last day of school because I wouldn’t return the following year. I promised to visit but that didn’t happen. It really got me. Until now.
Growing up aren’t just for young ones and teens. Even adults are going through the process without realizing that it’s happening to them. We’re not grown ups. We’re simply grown adults.
12th November 2017
Zarif, on this day, I’d like you to know your important role in my discovery of motherhood. An exhilarating journey with numerous ups and downs, twists and turns, broken hearts and happy tears. But undoubtedly, a heart full of unconditional love for all my children. A love like no other that goes beyond the unthinkables in this world.
You’re my baby, my pain, my love, my worries, my heart, my headache, my smile, my frown, my pride, my stress, my joy, my nightmare, my strength, my weakness, my champion, my enemy, my laughter, my tears, my motivation, my despair, my everything there is there. You’re my son.
Happy Sixteenth Birthday, darling!
Go on and chase your dreams for life’s too short to live with regrets. Tomorrow’s not a promise, but today’s a new day.
Loving you with all my heart, Mummy ❤
My fun loving teen loves the sense of thrills running through his veins. Stuff that makes his heart jumps and skips a beat are often deliberately sought out. He’s always game for any adventurous pursuits or scary rides at theme parks. This boy rarely thinks twice before getting himself in what a sensible adult considers dangerous.
Then there’s the tween who’s an avid collector of everything under the sun. When other kids played with toys, he started his collection of Barney the dinosaur and The Wiggles VCDs. Since young he developed a great sense of navigation to where the shops can be found in a mall. Each year there’d be something new that caught his attention. Once it was the Beatles and he spent hours googling about their life and looking up for memorabilia on eBay. Thank goodness he didn’t pester us to buy any!
As for Little Missy, she’s an outdoorsy kind of girl who enjoys going about with our neighbour’s boys. Riding her bike, playing footie and running around. After becoming confident to ride without the stabilizers, she coached her friends to do the same. Little Missy often gets annoyed when hearing girls and boys shouldn’t play the same games or be good friends. A good thing though, she has her own mind and is not listening to those party poopers.
My 3 year old bambam, is exactly like her older sister, but much braver and bolder. That’s not really a problem until you realized she’s only a little girl who has no sense of danger…just like her eldest brother!
One thing for sure, we should learn something from the kids. No matter what, be happy in your own skin by doing stuff that makes you feel good.
So, tell me what’s yours?
Whether you’re a mum or a dad, a stepmum or a stepdad, a single mum or a single dad, an aunt or an uncle, a grandma or a grandpa, a sister or a brother, a woman or a man who’s responsible for looking after a child, you’re a parenting idol. Being the carer, you’re known as the parent of the child. A role that comes with huge responsibilities and quite a number of occupational hazards.
Because of the risky lifestyle that you keep facing everyday, your amazing achievements in numerous feats that only a parent knows how, should be celebrated. Such as,
- preparing meals and snacks for a picky eater and a ravenous monster, so they won’t go hungry throughout the day (regardless how the food gets to the table, isn’t an issue here)
- ensuring a clean supply of clothes for daily wear, despite only seeing the piles of washing that need to be done, in the laundry baskets and on the floor
- your expertise in finding lost items from the most treasured underwear to the easily missed minuscule hand of a lego minifigure
- being the most reliable alarm clock that doesn’t run on batteries and can wake everyone at different times, without having to reset it
- a walking and talking dictionary that possibly has a bilingual option, with interchangeable explanation and translation tools
- a Google expert who finds the answers by a simple touch and swipe, and best of all, it’s able to function without wifi sometimes
- a homework helper machine that can provide support and coaching in most areas of the curriculum- when it can’t, the Google expert will step in
- a life skills’ coach who teaches those functional stuff like cleaning up after your own mess, boiling water in a kettle for times when a hot water dispenser isn’t available, taking trash out on collection day, washing dishes before there’s none left to use, turning off electricity when not in use for energy conservation and saving costs etc.
- fixing things using tapes, super glue and whatnots
- DIY, art projects and research work advisor
- kisssing countless boo- boos to make it better and tries hard to believe that it actually works
- highly sought after problem solver who’s on demand round the clock
- a skilful driver, professional chauffeur and bodyguard all rolled into one
Though being a parent can be a nightmare at times, do know that you’re doing just fine by loving and caring for your children in the best possible way. No one should undermine what or how you do it. As a parent, you’re simply wonderful ❤
On Monday, after arriving home from school, Mr Teen related the sweetest news ever. Coming from someone who wouldn’t put any extra efforts for anything academic, he actually volunteered in class to share his PowerPoint presentation that was given for homework. Looks like miracles do happen at the most unlikeliest time. I told Mr Teen how proud I was of him. Though it’s only a tiny step, it makes a huge impact on his confidence. I’m sure.
To my precious brood,
Growing up is a journey heading towards the unknown. In its path, there are plenty of adventures that you’ll recall with great fondness or will leave you scarred for life. Of course there are also the in-betweens. Memories that you won’t be able to remember, but would resurface from a sudden trigger that comes out of nowhere. However, don’t let your fear of the uncertainties stop you from experiencing life fully. Be a curious adventurer and brave through the storms as best as you can, by using all the skills and wisdom that you’ve acquired along the way. Looking back, you’ll feel a sense of pride for getting to where you are.
But, remember: when you’re over the moon and can’t keep your feet on the ground, I shall be there pulling you down. When you feel lost and disheartened, I’ll firmly hold your hand, guiding you until you’re ready to let go. When you’re too full of yourself, I’ll give you a smart slap to pop that bubble, so you’ll be humble again. If you need someone to listen, I’ll be all ears. If you want a shoulder to cry on, I’ll be ready with a hanky. If you think you’re unworthy, do know you’re the most valuable gift- unforgettable, unexchangeable, irreplaceable gift in my life.
Thanks to you I get to taste the bittersweet journey that is filled with unimaginable adventures. Sometimes they’re so overwhelming that I want to call it quit. Sometimes they’re light and fluffy that I keep wishing for more.
I will always be your champion, darling. Never ever doubt. That’s my job, and that’s what I’m good at. Being your champion for life.
Earlier today, Mr.Teen went off for a netball competition over the weekend with his team mates and he’d only be back on Sunday. When I sent him to the train station, I found it hard to simply let him go and wait for his friends on his own. Of course he insisted that he’d be fine. Why wouldn’t he? So after failing to convince him that it’d be better to wait in the car, called out the last I-love-you, I reluctantly drove away while still glancing at the rear mirror watching the boy whom I had to leave behind.
That brought back to mind the chats we had last night.
Me: No fava beans. Mr.T: Who eats that these days? Me: They’re in mixed nuts snacks. Oh, no nuts. Just don’t eat nuts. That’s safer. Mr.T: (Rolled his eyes) Me: Don’t touch mothballs or anything suspicious. Not even smell. Mr.T: I know! I’m not stupid to do that.
Those were just snippets of what took place between us. He was probably frustrated with being treated like a novice on his first sleepover. This wasn’t his first at all. He has made many trips without me or his dad, and he managed just fine. In fact, there was a sleepover for a friend’s birthday treat at a hotel without hovering parents nearby.
Now, it struck me how trite it sounded especially when I recalled all the things I repeatedly saying. At the same time it’s normal for parents to become a worrywart when they aren’t there to protect one precious child (no matter how super annoying he is) from unknown danger. I have every right to worry how ever much I want to but I must remember to do one thing. Take a chill pill. Mr. Teen told me once to stop thinking negatively about people. A little trust is all it needs.
Oh, did I mention that Mr. Tween had a sleepover at school last weekend? I did exactly the same thing. Reminders and more reminders…the best one I reckon was this: pee before your bedtime. As if he doesn’t know, right?
Luckily that boy didn’t become all annoyed and brushed me off. Perhaps there’s still a little room for patience in him. Must thank my lucky star for this!
What do toddlers and teens have in common?
Sulking in the corner
when not getting their way
Slamming the door
for some much needed attention
as you open your mouth
Taking it out on a sibling
’cause it’s you they can’t touch
Talking back big time
only they know what’s best
can be frustratingly hard to understand
Fearless adrenaline junkies always game for some thrills
while catastrophe and injuries are adults paranoia it seems
So called eclectic style
works beautifully (only) on them
Ignore all the No’s and make them a Yes
a mantra they keep day in and day out
Oh, it’s all about me
P/S My Mr. Teen and Missy Toddler get along famously. Having shared many irresistible traits, they recognize their special bond through and through. Here’s to peace and quiet at home…
Time flies, days turn into nights and birthdays pass by. Before you know it the kids grow up and what’s left of yesterday remains in the past. Deep in your heart, you wish the moment won’t come but there’s nothing that you can do about it.
The other day, while enjoying tea with my teen, we looked at a collage of old photos that I made when he was younger. What a great time we had talking about our family and of course, so many fond memories reappeared. Everything started to flow as we recalled the details of different events that took place in the photos.
A strange feeling of melancholy and lightheartedness filled my heart. I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh. Then I looked at my son and he was clearly having a wonderful time reminiscing while listening to me. That smile on his face was etched firmly in my memory.