Dear little boy,
I just want to thank you for your presence in my life. You bring joy to everyone around you with your funny dances, your laughter which sounds like rainbow bubbles bouncing against each other, your musical voice that is clear and sweet like crystal bells.
I do get frustrated with you sometimes when you have demands which seem unreasonable by my standards. Like today, when i bought guava slices, you insisted that i do not eat it and that Papa should eat them instead. I initially obliged, but when you kept on fussing about it and even wanted to take the guava slices away, i became angry. I’m sorry dear… it’s really tough to understand you when you are fussing and whining, and when I don’t understand, i get frustrated. I’m also learning to handle my emotions, and I must say, you are giving me wonderful opportunities to do that.
After some tapping, i did calm down and we sat down for a while beside the road since you were tired and I wanted to settle myself as well. You wanted to sit on my lap for a hug. Perhaps you sensed some dissonance in my energy this morning and you were reacting to that. Anyway, with the tapping, i was more present with myself and I realised that part of my frustration came from missing the deep sense of connection I had with myself in Penang, that was hard to sustain here at home.
I told you, “Little boy, I miss Penang.”
With your head against my shoulder, you gave the tiniest nod of acknowledgment.
“I want to go back.”
Again, you nodded your acceptance of my statement.
It was the first time that I shared my feelings with you in this way, and I was very touched that you were so understanding of my feelings, like an adult.
Of cos, being the cheerful spirit you were, you didn’t let me dwell too much into my feelings. A second later, you jumped off my lap wanting to scare away a little sparrow that was in the nearby bushes. That broke the sombre mood, and we continued on our way to school, both feeling much lighter and definitely more connected with each other.
Thank you little boy… for being the special boy that you are, and for loving me as just I am, imperfections and all.
A precious moment from the Inner Dance retreat in Penang
Dear little boy,
It has been a very long time since i last wrote a letter to you. In fact, the reason why i’m writing one now is because I was checking my blog stats and realised that the no. 1 entry wins the 2nd entry by a mile, with 2991 views till date, as compared to the 2nd entry (Schema therapy) which has 794 views. And the no. 1 entry is none other than my letter to you on “10 reasons why I love you”.
I read that entry a no. of times, and i just read it again. I think i understand why that entry has attracted so many readers. Aside from the fact that there seems to be a regular no. of people who google on “reasons why i love you” and similar key words almost everyday, that entry is indeed an excellent one. It is sweet, and touching, and it’s so FULL of love for you.
And it made me realise how things are a little different today. I still love you very much, and that’s the biggest understatement of the century millenium! In fact, Uncle KY saw the way i behaved towards you and commented to me that I obviously had much more affection towards you than towards your Papa (usually big boys are less cute than little ones..).
But things are different today, and I am aware of how little time i have been spending with you for the past few months. First you decided to stay over at Mak Mak and Ye Ye’s house, with the reason that there are “bad people” in our house. Even with that misunderstanding cleared up, you still wanted to stay over, which i fully understand because Ye Ye and Mak Mak, like typical grandparents, showers you with so much love and attention (thank goodness your Gu Jie is around to uphold discipline!). And I was happy to at least spend a good hour of quality time each day bringing you to school, where we would read books or just play on the MRT, and have train races using tree branches on the walk to school.
However even that is reducing in frequency, since Ye Ye will bring you to school directly on Mondays (play ground days when you need to get to school by a certain time so you don’t miss all the fun), and sometimes even on weekends, we have family outings only in the evenings after Mee Mee has finished work.
Why am i even writing a letter about this? Well, it’s like a reminder to myself that motherhood isn’t always a bed of roses, and sometimes, i don’t even feel like being a mother. Shoulds and oughts aside, i guess there is a part of me who cherishes independence, freedom and privacy, and i am afraid that these will be compromised with you around. Maybe it’s true sometimes, and i must say, at other times, it’s probably more illusory, since you are very good at entertaining and playing by yourself, and the only thing that is keeping me from doing what i want to do is my own beliefs about the things i can and cannot do when playing Mother Goose e.g. cannot use the computer, cannot meditate TOO long, cannot sit down and go into a daze which i find myself doing from time to time out of old habit.
I am very happy to see Papa bonding with you in a way that has never been since you were born. You guys are like best pals. You play computer games together, you ride on Papa like a horse, you go to the arcade together, and when it’s bathtime, when you used to go “Mee Mee”, now it’s “Papa”. Papa does have a natural playfulness and zany humour, which I can see you getting drawn to. Far from being jealous, i’m actually both delighted and relieved, cos at least if I choose to be absent, you have Papa to nurture you and shower you with love.
Still, i know that Papa will not replace Mee Mee, and i will never let that happen either. I may not be a typical Mee Mee (if there is such a thing?), but I know that the role I play in your life is super important and cannot be replaced by anyone else around you, simply cos there is no one else in your life who is like me.
And no matter what, i know that our connection still remains strong and I still love you very much.
I still get amazed and awed on unexpected occasions when you turn around, and I see the light on your handsome face that comes from within.
My heart still melts when i hear you calling me Mee Mee in that sweet endearing musical voice of yours.
And even if I am used to having my own space on the bed now that you’re usually not around, when you do sleep over on Saturday nights, I love the way you hug both arms and legs around me almost throughout the night, like i’m your giant bolster.
I do know that you miss me from time to time, and you sometimes ask Papa where I am. I know that i need to spend more time with you. However, I do not want to do it out of obligation. It should never be a need. It should be a want. Right now it’s not a want, and you should know that it’s got nothing to do with you. There are probably some things in Mee Mee’s past that needs to be let go of, and while I am still in the midst getting it “fixed”, I pray that no matter how far away i seem to be, you will always always feel our soul connection. It might not replace my physical presence, but i sure hope that it counts for something. And I pray that the universe will continue to send you all the nurturance and support for you to continue growing into your beingness, so that you can fulfill what you came here to do.
Usually it’s the happy moments that gets captured down in photos and diary entries. Seldom moments like these, which you hope would get forgetten (when in truth, nothing gets forgotten!) and gets lost in the midst of happier ones. But i would rather you know about it when you’re older, so that if in the case you DO get affected somehow, it’s out in the open for you to resolve, than for you to spend tons and tons of money trying to dig it out. It’s a good thing your Mee Mee is a therapist… i know how to help you save money on therapy in future.
Okay, bad joke, and anyway it’s not meant to be a joke. Oh well, i do hope that you realise that if i didn’t love you, i wouldn’t be writing this in the first place. Your Mee Mee may not be the best mother in the world, but you chose me, and i know you chose me for good reasons.
I’m still very glad that you chose me. Thank you thank you thank you… for being my precious dearest little boy.
Dear little boy,
Today I suspected you would be angry with me because you expected me to get into the car with you and Papa, instead of waving goodbye to you from the outside. While you didn’t cry, your face was filled with disappointment, and I knew that you wished I could join you in the car.
Tonight, you didn’t want to come home from Mak Mak’s house, and in the background, I heard you crying, I don’t want Mee-Mee! That does not upset me the least, but my mummy instinct told me that you felt abandoned by me this morning, and perhaps your cries were a reflection of your feelings of not being wanted.
I’m very sorry to make you feel that way my dear little boy, and i cannot say it’s totally untrue. Yes, I do not want you sometimes. I hope that by the time you get to read this (if at all), you would be old and mature enough not to get shocked by that statement. It is true that there are times when I don’t want you around. However it doesn’t apply to you alone. Mee-mee is sometimes all about efficiency and would choose to be alone because that allows her to do the things she needs to do more quickly.
It is the same as when you sometimes prefer to be alone playing by yourself, and would ignore anybody who is talking to you. Sometimes you might even ask that person to go away.
We all have our moods and preferences. It is ok for you not to want me tonight my dear boy. I know you are safe and well taken care of at Mak Mak’s place. But I hope that you never never think that i don’t love you.
Love can be such an over-hyped word. Some say it’s a noun. Some say it is a verb. I write and say it a lot towards you, and I think i do a lot of things with and for you that show how much I love you. But if you were to grow up thinking that I don’t love you… well, the counsellor part of me wouldn’t be surprised. After all, we express and expect love to come in different forms, all unique from one another. If to you, love means sacrificing one’s loves for that person’s sake, then you might think that I don’t love you, because my dear boy, i don’t sacrifice anything for you.
I retain my hobbies, interests, work and one-on-one dates with your Papa. Anything i do for you, is mostly because i really want to do it, and that doesn’t constitute as a sacrifice to me. There are the rare occasions that I do feel resentful about doing certain things for you, and i’m lucky that there are so many support persons around to ensure that this doesn’t happen more often.
You might think that i’m a self-centred mum, and i wouldn’t deny that. Still, i know that if i were to sacrifice all the other things which are impt to me, i would not end up being much of a good mum anyway.
You see, my dear, I have seen or heard of other mothers, including my own, your Popo, who give up their passions and loves for the sake of their children. I can’t and won’t generalise for all, but i know that some of them end up being unhappy with life and themselves, which overrides their happiness in taking care of their children.
It is not easy to take care of another human being, whose sense of timing, likes and dislikes, rhythms, etc can differ so much from yours. When you grow up and have your own children, you would understand (and I do believe that you won’t be the kind of father who lets the wife handle everything when it comes to the children).
My dear boy… you ARE important to me. Extremely important. And it is also important for me to keep developing myself and working towards fulfilling my life purpose. We are always connected in energy. I believe that a mother who is away from you but is fully involved with Life and happily contributing to others’ well-being, somehow benefits you much more than a mother who is often with you but has shut away parts of herself that were not given the opportunity to grow and blossom.
I can’t be sure of course, i can only hope. I know that I do best as a mother when I am actively involved in pursuing my dreams, and still get to spend high quality moments with you. I don’t want to try spending more time with you, but end up being absent anyway in heart and spirit.
If you end up feeling that I am rejecting you, then i’m really sorry because this is not my intention. I am trying to be the best mother i can, and i think the soul part of you knows that too (i hope so?). If I am really not spending enough time with you, then i pray that the universe will support me in managing my time more wisely and healing aspects of me that resists motherhood, so that i can give you all the nurturance and love you need from me.
Whatever it is, if there is one thing i can guarantee, it is that I am setting a gd example to you, of reaching for one’s dreams no matter what. I will NEVER sacrifice your well-being for my dreams, that’s for sure… your well-being is my top priority you know. I just feel that your well-being is not proportionate to the time i spend with you.
Anyway, I know you were hurt and disappointed this morning, and probably mad at me as well, and I give you the permission to have all those feelings for as long as you need to. This way, at least you might learn that we all need to make choices that feel right to us, no matter how they may make those around us feel. As long as not taken to the extreme of frequently hurting others, I think this philosophy will serve you well. It’s always a tough balance between pleasing others and following one’s heart, esp when the latter is often seen as selfish.
I don’t claim to know everything son. I just do my best… and i hope you will understand one day… and i hope that when you grow up, you might even be proud to have a mother like me.
One thing i know for sure, i will ALWAYS be very proud of you, no matter what.