Letter to my mother…

Read the heart and not the letter for the pen cannot draw near the good intent

– Michelangelo

Dear Mother

Each time I start to pen my letter, my heart is filled with overwhelming emotions of regret, guilt and pain. What should a daughter write to her mother?

I should be thanking you for bringing me into this world and for raising me through the storm to be a strong individual equipped with the tools to bash my way through thorns and impenetrable hills. I thank you from the whole of my heart for the sleepless nights when we were ill and for doing everything in your power to provide decent meals in times of hunger and financial crisis. I must admit, we were not the easiest children to raise.

Mother, now your daughter is a mother too. Learning and trying her best to be just like you. But why do I feel judged in your eyes? Why do I feel as if anything I attempt for my child is never good enough for you?

Your grandchild is three years old now. It’s been 36 months since her birth. And not once you’ve looked at her with approving eyes. There is always something lacking. There is always something I should have done more. There is always something not good enough. Why do I try so hard to get you to smile with approving eyes, eyes that say “daughter, I’m happy that you are doing your best for your child”

36 months it has been and counting since I yearned to hear you say I am trying my best to be a good mother to my child. You have never once told me that my daughter is growing up well. Each time we visit, you inspect her and noticing the slightest bit of weight loss, you chide with a subtle accusing tone that I failed in someway to feed my child well. It does hurt a little.

Perhaps I have become more sensitive. Perhaps I might be reading too much. You’ve seen me struggle and yet you stayed away when I asked for help. Perhaps you thought I could manage. Perhaps you thought I was learning to be strong.

But all I want is for you to say “Daughter, you are doing your best to be a good mother.”

Mother I am not perfect. I have flaws that need reflecting upon. But I yearn for you to say those few words. Now I try to be hard on my daughter so I do not disappoint you with her upbringing. Am I doing the right thing? You won’t say perhaps because you want me to figure it out on my own.

Perhaps I should stop trying to impress and gain your approval. Perhaps I should try to do my best to be a mother to my child, who will someday write to me saying “dear mother, thank you for believing in me. That is all I ever wanted.”


Your eldest daughter

The eyes of Maldini

Walk with me as I wonder curiously towards the meaning of “mid-age crisis“. Let’s not get too affected by words here. Allowing the teacher in me to surface, lets break down (not define) the terms “mid-age crisis”. I can’t define what I can’t figure out.

Mid-age – let’s not go there. Let’s all just agree that age is a number. Perhaps I would start feeling the effects of age when my body starts aching and my muscles resist the climb of just 3 flights of stairs. Riiiight…. Now that is most probably not a mid-age problem. It’s just my body screaming that I am terribly unfit and I desperately need to head to the gym. Yes I shall just add that to my new year’s resolution for 2020 or perhaps for 2021. Age… I want to do so many things yet I have only 24 hours a day.

Crisis – It’s a crisis if you think it is. It’s a problem if you think it’s causing one. It’s a worry if you feel yourself brooding over it every night. How does something become a crisis? I don’t know… Is it because I’m awake at 1.30am in the morning trying to figure out if life is going as it should or I should be doing more to make it worth it?

I am no psychologist. I cannot speak for anyone.

But I just realised that I was falling… somehow I am so sure that I am not going to land with a spine breaking agony. Perhaps I feel something is going to cushion my fall. My fall towards long uninterrupted slumber.

As I lie in the comforts of duvets and pillows, hearing the rumbles (snores) from my dear husband by my side, I think back to younger days. Days when I was prancing around, soaking in the transition from teenage-hood to adulthood. How life has changed. How gawking and staring at guys brought absolute “peace” to our already stirring hearts. Oh please, we were only 19? or was it 18? I was not alone in this. I had a full battalion of girl pals who felt ogling and sometimes drooling was just part of growing up. Of course, we had to keep re-directing our attention back to our books. Some of us failed miserably. But still, I must say my adventures sort of stopped just at the ogling. I was too afraid to do anything else. *shrugs* I just needed my friends to pass me lots of tissue to wipe off the drools.

I remember watching soccer with my girl friends. Sitting up all night, watching a game so we understood what the boys were talking about. Don’t judge. We just wanted to feel included in conversations. And then we watched A.C. Milan. Who would have known… We (now i speak for all my girl friends) were watching just.one.person.

Paolo Maldini. *swoons*

When he walks into the field, you feel an Alpha male stalking his preys (opposing team), eyeing their every move, moving like the wind, faster than you can catch your next breathe. Watching how he claims his side of the field, standing his ground, and so no one can get through that wall. Very powerful. Very mesmerizing.

He was most probably in the prime of his career, being the captain the football club, some say he was one of the best defenders yet. What would I know… What would we, young girls know… We were just watching him and perhaps only him.

His eyes… Yes those eyes… What colour are they? Grey? Blue? A mix of both? How those eyes used to sing to our youth and cradle our dreams. Those were the days… younger days… We’ve only seen him on TV for interviews (which we tried not to miss). And watching him talk, the 6 of us girls, swoon and just stare. It was too rude to drool then. You can’t drool at Paolo Maldini. Gotta give him respect for that. You had to savour those eyes. Just let them drag you down into eternal abyss. Drowning us in our youth, eyes holding as we fall… crashing. Painfully sweet.

It is funny now that I reflect. How those eyes just toyed with our minds, gluing us to each game, watching and admiring his every move made. Enthralled by his dance. It was just youth.

I sit here now (still hearing the snores), I married my anchor, my husband, who stole my entire being with just his chestnut brown eyes, lifting and cushioning me from my fall in the abyss. I cannot define what I can’t figure out. But I know for sure, when I fall, he will pick me up from whichever crisis I land on.

Introducing… Pingu

Wait for it…

Have you ever looked at a YouTube show and just watched it in awe? Wondering how on earth your mouth curves up and you just burst into random giggles and laughter especially when you have no idea what the characters are talking about?

Don’t fret! My husband stumbled upon PINGU on YouTube and he insisted that we allow our daughter to watch one episode. I was the least bit willing because our daughter was currently queuing sesame street episodes for almost an hour.

Now is that too long a TV time for a 3 year old? Please I beg of you to not judge…

So I watched Pingu… And I must say…

I LOVED PINGU!!!!!!! Sarang hae

I was initially concerned about what a penguin and his parents were going to do for a 10 minute show. But oh boy was I amazed… For the record, Pingu is the elder son of a family of three. His parents have a younger baby nestling (chick), who is slowly introduced in later episodes. The episodes pride themselves as short mini films that broadcast the teaching of values such as tidying up your toys after playing with them (we call it housekeeping with our daughter), finishing dinner before playing with toys (includes finishing the vegetables and greens! plus cleanup), daddy-son work/play time. Mummy-son play time (with many many hugs). But what melted my heart was Pingu being an amazing and doting brother to his younger sibling. (am i using the right word here?). From changing diapers to baby sitting and bringing out the little nestling for walks… I just say WOW!

But of course… there’s bountiful humor, mess and chaos… they are kids afterall!

I would have expected mindless throwing of snowballs throughout the episodes and penguins chasing each other in the southern hemisphere. I am actually speechless now. More like struggling with words… I have always preferred my daughter watching a show in which she would be able to learn about values and there is no age too young for that. Although she is laughing hysterically while watching Pingu waddle with his family and friends, I try to sit with her to explain why he’s doing what he’s doing… And that too because… I don’t trust advertisements on YouTube…

Is it 100% worth it… I can’t say it for you. But please just perhaps try one episode to see if it appeals to you. It’s fun for all.