Month: March 2014

My Sociable Son

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Isa is now 22 months old – all praise be to the Creator and Protector.

While there was a very short phase where Isa cried whenever we sent him to the crèche, nowadays he seems to really enjoy going to that place.

One thing I notice is that Isa has an amazing memory – he seems to remember most of his friends’ names – if I were to count I know it will be more than ten names he usually mentions at home to me and his dad!

At first I thought it was because I also repeated the names at home – especially toddlers of the same age group, five of them in total. He also told me at least two names of those younger than him – I initially suspected that this could be because they were together in the baby room for a period of time that he kept hearing those names and remembers them.

But yesterday, when a preschooler – a boy whose name I didn’t know – ran in front of him, Isa said ‘Mommy, Man lari’ (i.e. Mommy, Man runs), I was puzzled. Is “Man” the name of the boy? I then asked the boy’s name, only to find out that the boy’s name is Iman.

I was surprised.

Like, wow.

Isa CAN actually remember his friends’ names correctly!

When I checked with his caregiver, she also agreed that Isa easily recalls the names of the kids in the crèche, both younger and older than him.

Allahumma – my heart keeps praying that such memory and inclination will last for a long, long time for him, because definitely, an effective dai’e (preacher of good things/agent of change) should have the capacity to remember names of people he met.

A Different Life of Hers

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I am not a very friendly person, but I do make friends.

During those days of waiting for my husband to pick myself and Isa up from my office, I often spent my time in the prayer room. There were always one or two cleaners (or janitors or floor engineers) that will be praying there too, and they loved to play with Isa.
One of them is the cleaner in charge of cleaning my office.

I found that her name is Ju, and she is an Indonesian who came to Malaysia to work.

We struck up a conversation, and discovered that we are both of the same age. She was surprised to know that, since I only have then a very young infant, while she herself already has a then eight year-old son. I told her I spent my younger years studying that I could not get married any earlier than I did. Then I realised despite us being from the same root, our lives are totally different.

Well, she also asked out of curiousity whether all moms working in the building do not breastfeed their children, which I found amusing and humbling at the same time – I guess at the place she comes from not breastfeeding is unthought-of.

Anyway, when I asked her about her boy – a topic I knew any mother would love to talk about – she told me that he is now living in a boarding school. Then she looked down. I knew she nearly cried.

She had not seen his son for more than two years due to her passport problem.

My heart broke. I could not bear the thought of not seeing my son more than I currently have to (which is sadly a third of the day), so I could not imagine the torment of not being able to hug my offspring for two years. Two years. That is more than 700 days.

She is forced to suffer that because she had to. And I pitied her. Money is not easy to find perhaps in her homeland, and she had to come this far to be able to earn some money.

Then there was a period a few months back when I did not see Ju coming to my office, so when she appeared, I asked her whereabouts. She told me she finally settled her passport problem and went back to her hometown for a break.

I asked about her son’s well-being, and she smiled when she told me he has already grown up. I was about to ask about her husband – whom she told me is also working here in the construction, but she rarely sees as they don’t live together in Malaysia – but I saw no points. If the answer is somehow negative, I could not forgive myself for hurting another mother whose husband is not around to live a ‘normal’ married life.

There is a lot of injustice to fight off in this world, don’t you think so?

Authority

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I realised that I sometimes have a huge tendency to follow authority.Obediently. I mean, so bad that to a point that I rarely ask questions, assume that there can be no exception made to the rules (that lead me to not even ask), and to follow directions that eventually have negative impacts on me.

I wonder where does that come from.

My parents always tell me that I am always a stubborn girl, but I mellowed down, to the point that they tend to tease me that I have lost my fang, once I got into my secondary school, which was a boarding school. 

I am pretty sure there were a lot of things during that (crucial) five years time that shaped me in this aspect. I have no time to dig about that yet, but wow. If this hypothesis is true, it should not come out as a surprise why I am yet to visit my Alma Mater after nearly 12 years leaving it.

Or why I have never missed any moments during those years.