Friday, October 21, 2011

Enjoy Your Child

We've just returned from a family holiday and though it's just a short trip (4 days to be exact), I can't believe it can be THIS TIRING. It must be a sign of ageing.

Throughout the trip (which I'll share more after sorting through the tonnes of photos), I didn't have access to the internet and like coffee drinker not getting her daily caffeine fix, I felt like I was experiencing the withdrawal.

But God knows I needed that, to just be with my family and not think about anything else. With the entrapment of modern technology, don't we sometimes end up being physically there but not fully present, as our attention get diverted to our iPhones, iPads and other gadgets? I'm guilty of that ever so often and this trip was a good reminder to be more present with those I love and to spend time on what truly matters in life.

And some thing else touched my heart.

On the flight to our destination, the lady beside me initiated a chat. She talked about her business and her children, and then to my surprise, praised Kenan for being very well-behaved.

Well behaved? I almost started telling tales of his mischief and tantrums, but decided not to bore her with the details. Later, she enthusiastically showed Kenan photos of her cat and dog, to which he showed no sign of interest. I felt bad about it, because she obviously adores her pets. Our conversation came to a halt when meals were served and I got busy feeding Kenan.

About half an hour later before she closed her eyes to sleep, she turned towards me and said, "Enjoy your son".

Enjoy my son? I'm not quite sure if I ever used the word 'enjoy' to describe parenting Kenan, especially not when I've been feeling frustrated lately dealing with his increasing tantrums. While he has brought me lots of joy, I never quite thought of being a mom as an enjoyment.

For the rest of holiday, the words of my fellow passenger echoed in my mind. Slowly, I saw the wisdom of her words. It felt like a message God wants me to hear, and this is what I learnt.

That as a parent, I should learn to be more relaxed and accepting - be it towards his playfulness, his messing up the house, or his so-called 'difficult' behaviours. After all, he's just doing what ever little child his age would do.

And very soon, he will be all grown up and I'll miss these precious moments when he's just a sweet and sometimes playful little boy. When I look back at these times, I believe I will forget all about the mischief and tantrums and only remember with fondness his cute and endearing ways. Like how he now thank us (using baby signs) when we buy things for him, how he rains kisses on me when he knows I'm angry with him or how he simply loves to stick to me and thinks the world of me.

Thank you, fellow passenger and mommy, for those wise words! Yes, I'll learn to enjoy my son, have more fun with him and enjoy the parenting journey.


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