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Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Being A Mother

A good read for all of you (that leaves you out, Adam!).

After 17 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said, "I love you, but I know this other woman loves you and would love to spend some time with you."

The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my mother, who has been alone for 20 years, but the demands of my work and my two boys had made it possible to visit her only occasionally.

That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie.

"What's wrong, aren't you well," she asked.

My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news.

"I thought it would be pleasant to spend some time with you," I responded. "Just the two of us." She thought about it for a moment, and then said, "I would like that very much."

That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. She waited in the door. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last birthday on November 19th.

She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angels. "I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed," she said, as she got into that new white van. "They can't wait to hear about our date".

We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady. After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large print. Half way through the entries, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips. "It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small," she said. "Then it's time that you relax and let me return the favor," I responded.

During the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation-nothing extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each other's life. We talked so much that we missed the movie.

As we arrived at her house later, she said, "I'll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you." I agreed.

"How was your dinner date?" asked my wife when I got home. "Very nice. Much more so than I could have imagined," I answered.

A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I didn't have a chance to do anything for her.

Some time later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place mother and I had dined. An attached note said: "I paid this bill in advance. I wasn't sure that I could be there; but nevertheless, I paid for two plates - one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you, son."

At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: "I love you" and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off till "some other time."
  • Somebody said it takes about 6 weeks to get back to normal after you've had a baby... somebody doesn't know that once you're a mother, "normal" is history.
  • Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by instinct... somebody never took a three-year-old shopping.
  • Somebody said being a mother is boring... somebody never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a driver's permit.
  • Somebody said if you're a "good" mother, your child will "turn out good"... somebody thinks a child comes with directions and a guarantee.
  • Somebody said you don't need an education to be a mother... somebody never helped a fourth grader with his math.
  • Somebody said you can't love the second child as much as you love the first... somebody doesn't have two children.
  • Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery... somebody never watched her "baby" get on the bus for the first day of kindergarten... or on a plane headed for military "boot camp".
  • Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her child gets married... somebody doesn't know that marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a mother's heartstrings.
  • Somebody said a mother's job is done when her last child leaves home... somebody never had grandchildren.
  • Somebody said your mother knows you love her, so you don't need to tell her... somebody isn't a mother.

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Wednesday, 8 October 2008

He Ain't Heavy, He's Aaron Loke

It's been some time since we have updated Aaron's blog. Young couples these days should wonder how our parents managed to care for multiple kids in the past! It's either going to cost you or take much of your effort to manage two already! Well, maybe you can argue that families with more kids have a more frugal standard of living, but I'll leave that to another post later.

Our second boy has been a blessing to our family. It's hard not to compare children, but Aaron has been a easier baby to handle. It may have been the lack of using BabyPlus, lower expectations, or having experienced the first one already. The confinement period was a breeze as he ticked like clockwork - sleep, wake up, feed, poo, repeat.

By the time he was two months old and for every subsequent pediatrician visit, Aaron has been breaking records in terms of physical growth. Each time we weigh him and measure his length, the pediatrician would tell us that he has broken the maxima for weight and length according to the Asian child development chart.

No, we don't feed him lots of milk although he has been taking 6 ounces since the early months. Breastmilk helps in lots of ways, but the results vary and certainly does not apply to Aaron since he was weaned after the second month. He doesn't go the gym either...

But one thing's for sure, everyone who sees him tells us how chubby and handsome he is. I'll show you one of his best shots.

At his age now, he gets curious about the world around him and pays special attention to his bigger brother. When we carry him, he prefers to face front by shifting his torso to let us know. With one arm under his bum and the other in front of his chest, it gets very difficult to carry him for long! Believe it or not, we get wrist sprains carrying this baby!

Mummy calls him her "biji", meaning a small unit or ball. Wanna hug my little biji? :)