Be with people who know what they have, when they have you!

Some thirty years ago, when I signed on the dotted line with SF, there was this decision we made to live with his parents. Of course, there were his two sisters, of marriageable age, but, sigh, very, very, not attached. And so, things fell neatly into place …. The kampung house they lived in was only to be demolished and they had to live in a flat, so SF and his elder sister applied for a 5-roomer and we moved in. I loved my parents-in-law. My mum-in-law was really sweet …. She cared for me like she would her daughters, brewing all sorts of nutritious soups for each one of us. We spoke in Hokkien, even though she was Hainanese-Cantonese. My sis-in-laws did their own thing ….. Then along came my three girls, and we were all one big happy family.

Today, as I write this, I wonder. I am grateful to both of them. My girls grew up with them and I could see they have nurturing instincts. Don’t all of us women? They loved my three girls and yes, though, sometimes I felt that they interfered a lot … By being too overly-concerned and too much of a worry-wort ….didn’t help too that one had a syndrome of “learned helplessness.” Then things changed when my Mum-in-law contracted cancer and my brother decided to meet his Maker … All in three short months. Scary, isn’t it?

Things went downhill, really downhill 😦 My mum struggled with depression. I struggled with depression, (I am writing this while having lunch in SQ278 heading back to Singapore from Adelaide, where I spent a glorious 8 days just being a mother, friend and teenager to Paulina, so forgive me if I sound too energized and upbeat!) Eight again, man, that’s my signature number, and yes, gotta invest in 0278 coz my luggage, which weighed 27.8 kg went thro. And My baggage allowance is only 20kg!

Okay, where was I? Oh yes, depression. It’s scary, and I lost 10 kg in 2 months …. It’s like you feel everything is dark, you wake up and don’t want to do anything, you just want to close your eyes and sleep …. and right smack in the middle of all this turbulence …. I had just taken over Janus Education and became managing director, instructor, marketing, administrative officer all rolled into one! Talk about family togetherness. I think all of us were struggling …. And none of us figured out what to do … I am not plugging my book, in fact, I am plugging it shamelessly 🙂 🙂 find out more in my latest book, Love! Live Dangerously! And Have Fun! Ooh! This is so deliciously riveting, the orange, the sparkling …. The food I mean, nothing else. And of course, my book!

Okay, forgive the deviation. It’s hard to talk about it. But I discovered writing about it is so therapeutic … We live under one roof, but we hardly ever talk! Don’t know why, don’t know if it’s coz we have different outlook about life but hey, I lived with them for 19 years until 2003, then we moved back together back in 2007 …. But we hardly ever talk! So everyday when I get back, I’ll go to my study room, which is Pam’s room, and do my own stuff. Used to bug me …. Wonder why we became this way (strains of Cliff Richard’s We Don’t Talk Anymore 🙂 ) but yes, I wonder. But I guess if this didn’t happen, I won’t have time to write, to read and of course, to travel on my own! Yes, I think both my sis-in-law are good people, but too hemmed in by rules and conformity and fear of death. God, everyone fears death, which is why we have to live now! They are enduring life. They have to embrace it! C’est la vie! There is so much to be thankful for!

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The best new year present …. Kid’s play

The best new year present ….. Kid’s play

When I keyed in Playgrou…, immediately the word “playground” sprung up as a word. Interesting …. I think playgroups are essentially playgrounds for 18 to 36 months. At this age, what do kids do? They play. They learn visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile skills through play.

I enjoyed the audit. First in the new year. And so fulfilling and an eye-opener. It’s so wonderful to meet the two teachers, who have grown-up children but still am contributing to their personal growth by working with these children. As a mother, it’s really lovely to go back again to a Playgroup. During my daughters’ time, Playgroups were a rarity. Now some 20 years later, they are the norm. I remember Pat’s first day in kindergarten when she was five. She literally stood at the window, shedding tears and stretching out her hand through the window grille to her grandma. Lasted for a month. Seems just yesterday. Can’t imagine then that this crybaby would be a toughie lawyer today 🙂

When these kids played with matching shapes, hey, my heart went a-flutter! Aaw, I bought this for Pat when she turned one. Went shopping and found this sturdy, non-toxic, suitable for infants “playskool” toys. And as I guided her tiny hands to the right shapes, and saw her joy when she inserted the shape into the corresponding hole, I felt the tears of happiness well up in my eyes, hey I can’t explain why but I get happy when my girls are happy. Take it that mothers love unconditionally and I’m an emo mum!

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