Aside

Pinky Promise

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.

Love, Mum.

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Aside

Your Child, Your Style

Parenting has its moments. The good, the bad and the ugly. Neither predictable nor understandable, every event unfolds the way it wishes to be. No amount of preparations from attending workshops to self-help books, that can provide the answers to new or seasoned parents on the art of bringing up a child. Trust your own judgement and pay close attention to your gut feelings. In fact, it’s terribly useful to sharpen your common sense for it will be an asset to have on you. 

With my brood of four, there’s a basic guideline that I follow for general use. Whether it’s for achieving milestones or disciplining them, I leave some space for improvisation, and I definitely improvised a lot. What seems to work for one won’t necessarily bring similar result with the others. Naturally, taking into account individual’s personality and circumstances, my approach varies accordingly. It’s not a foolproof method but it allows me to make mistakes and deal with the outcome objectively.

Emotional outbursts and moments of dejection are aplenty, but these are normal in all relationships. Crying your heart out is truly the best way to clear the broken system, well that’s how I see it anyway. With the kids, I let them be until they cool down and ready to chat. Sometimes I get impatient too. Sarcasm and angry words would flow without stopping. My bad.

A successful parenting should not be measured by the outward achievements of a child. See what’s within him as a person and how he fits in the society with his faults and all. Has he got the right balance of empathy and selfishness, in order to get along with others, but not being taken advantage of? Can he function as an individual and at the same time contribute to his community? 

Perfection has zero value in the real world. So does perfect parenting.

Aside

time stood still

In the empty house by the beach

Gentle wind’s caressing her dusty drapes

Making shadow play at the corner of the living room

Salty scents wafting through- mingling with mustiness of yesterday

A peculiar calmness that can’t be defined lends a charming air 

Rattan furniture of the 70’s lounging comfortably together from years of brotherhood 

Rolled up rugs adorning the wooden floor occasionally beg for a good stretch

Paperbacks snuggling closely on the overstuffed bookshelf have resigned peacefully to their fate

It’s been a while for life to be a part of this house 

Despite it all, she is content and grateful for what she has 

Even the stoic grandfather clock not wishing to move past 3 

Aside

Wishful Thinking

In an ideal world, I’d be drinking coffee like having water. From a tall glass of latte to a mug of mocha, then a shot of espresso or a cup of kopi-O and perhaps some cappuccino or macchiato to complete the loop. The drinks would flow seamlessly down my throat and leaving that bitter stale aftermath in my mouth. All the while, I’d be curled up with a novel or two to will away the hours while responsibility is nothing more than a meaningless word. Coffee, books and me. What a great company we would be…in an ideal world that is.

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Options Aren’t for the Faint Hearted

At our home kids get to choose what they want to do. They get choices for stuff like having chicken or fish in their meals, wearing long pants or shorts for an outdoor play, joining activities that are outside or in school, getting a rest or playing etc. The young ones usually starts the day with ‘Do you want to get dressed by yourself or do you need mummy’s help?’. The usual reply is obviously the former! All kids love challenges especially the ones that show others how capable they are. My 2 year old happens to be quite good at this as she keeps pushing herself to be just like her older sister. 

By giving an option between two reasonable outcomes, I’m getting the kids to focus and make an informed decision on what they want. At the same time, this helps them to feel independent and accountable for their choices. My teen and tween boys are now able to express their thoughts better when trying to make up their mind about something. They can reason out, although it may only be ‘reasonable’ to them! Well, at least they are well aware of the impact of that particular choice.

I don’t simply let them do what they want that’s not the case here. This mum can behave like a vicious dictator, but of course, not everything is negotiable in life. Just like rules are created to benefit the society and control chaos, there are certain things that we have to conform without making a huge fuss. And choices come with responsibility. That’s what I want my kids to learn; to become a thinking adult who can make judgements based on a sound mind and not merely doing it ‘just because’.

Aside

She

A photo by Mathias Reed. unsplash.com/photos/wEoRDzrgmT8she wants to leave

without turning back

not questioning herself

not even listening to her heart

she’s going far this time

on her own will

on her own terms

it’s for the best

it’s for her

the moment is right

and that’s all that matters

no more analyzing

no more over thinking

for this is what’s written

specifically for her

just be glad and let her know

this is her path-her journey to grow

watch

she’s leaving