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Twenty Seventeen

Just two months back, a friend was asking about our long-term plans – whether we were intending to move back to the little red dot or continue staying in its northern neighbour. I vividly remember saying that I don’t see ourselves moving back in the next 4 years.

Fast forward a month and suddenly it seems that our plans have changed drastically.

The reality of moving back is slowly sinking in, and along with it, the stress and worry of how the eldest will cope with the syllabus (especially the one language that seems to plague most Singaporean children). Unfortunately, he dreads the language and asking him to read aloud or do his 听写 is probably akin to tearing out his hair, strand by strand. The sighs and huffs that follow the instruction given will make a politician proud. You would have thought he was stressing over some major political issue that will have repercussions over the entire world.

Thankfully, the second child is dealing with it much better so that’s the silver lining.

I’m now thinking of how best to help him move forward since he is so far behind without him hating the language even more (if that’s even remotely possible). The popular tuition centres will probably require him to take classes at a lower standard or even multiple lessons in a bid to catch up. And I’m still trying to get over how exorbitant one-on-one tuition is over here and to reframe my mind from thinking in ringgit.

In the meantime, we’ll be doing some major catch-up and hoping we don’t exasperate each other too much in the process because I remembered there was a reason why I outsourced Chinese.

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Thank you, my little help

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As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭55‬:‭9‬ NIV)

Life’s pretty interesting with hindsight.

During pre-marital counseling classes, the only thing that we couldn’t come to a consensus was the size of the family. He wanted four while my internal conversation was along the lines of “I’m getting married?! Really? Children?!!! Can we just take things one at a time?”. I was not adverse to the idea but planning long term was just really not my forte.

After the first born, I was hoping for a close age gap between the siblings but the second did not come along till four years later. Amidst the joy and gratitude, there was that little disappointment at the age gap because I had naively believed that the gap would directly correlate to the closeness of the relationship.

Fast forward to present day.

I am ever thankful that God’s plan prevailed and He knows my limitations. When people ask me how do I do what I do (quite a mouthful!), besides attributing it to the grace of God, I know it has to do with my little help (and the age gap!).

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He makes meals when I can’t.
He entertains his siblings when I can’t.
He calms his sister down when I can’t (or honestly sometimes when I wouldn’t).
He helps me remember things when I can’t with my cheese-holed memory.
He entertains himself when I can’t.
He packs the house when I can’t.
Among others.

And because of all these, I forget he’s merely a seven year old. I take his maturity for granted and berate him for things that I expected him to do. I get frustrated at him when things do not turn out the way I want.

The other day, I hugged his lanky frame and apologized for the ranting tirade I was on. As I talked, his shoulders shook with his cries. My heart broke when he said, “I’m really trying to be good.”

And that’s when I remembered.
That I am the adult and he’s just a child.

So thank YOU, my little help.
I’m sorry for the weight that you carry on your tiny shoulders.
I really wouldn’t know what to do without you.
I can’t promise glorious golden everydays but I know we shall aim for that together.
I love you.

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Perfect Seven

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Thank you for being our son.

At times, I forget what a privilege to call you mine.
I forget to look into your heart and see your abundant love.
I forget to look past your maturity and see that you are still a child.
I forget to look beyond the mistakes and see your intentions behind them.
I forget to look past your boisterous shouts and see that you are just a boy.
I forget to look at the present and enjoy what the moments bring.

I forget a lot of things.

But I hope you won’t forget that I love you and how precious you are to me.

Blessed birthday my dear boy. I pray that God guides your every step.

Turning Six

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He turned 6.

Without much fanfare this year.

And half of the celebrations were with the little sister in tow. Being the little trooper he is, no complains but rather, he was the one who insisted on celebrating it together (their birthdays fall in the same month) when we suggested otherwise.

When I wanted to write this post, all I had in mind was to grumble and rant. About how difficult he had been of late. Of his seemingly mindless tantrums. His whininess.

Then it struck me. That maybe all he is looking for is just that bit more love and attention.
A bit more time.
A little more figuring out for himself his identity and finding his way around.

And to remember his independence.
His sensibility.
His laughter and smile.
His servanthood.
His care for the elderly.

And for me to remember that at the heart of it, he’s still my firstborn. My son. And six, an adult in his own eyes but still rightfully a child. A fact that eludes me at times when I expect him to act otherwise.

Blessed birthday, my son. Thank you for being ours, and so precious in our lives.