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What is your child’s favorite food? What does he do in school? What songs does he like?
Can you answer any of the above with confidence? Yes, great! Here’s more –
The last time your child asked you something while you were on your mobile, did you put said gadget down, look your son in the eye and talk to him?
When you plan a day out with your family, do you try to squeeze it with endless activities? Have you tried spending a day with your child, perhaps at the park or perhaps at home, doing nothing very much but just soaking in each other’s presence? Learning about each other, and discovering the simple joy of being together without being distracted by all the razz matazz?
If the above has you clueless, then you sir, or mdm, need to spend some time out from your job, from your social media postings, from the busyness of life, and just STOP.
Stop doing the chores, stop taking pics, stop checking your work email for just an hour or two.
Lay with your kids. See the world through their eyes. See how they view you with awe and pure happiness, as if you’re the greatest human being to have ever walked the surface of this earth. See how they find joy and curiosity in the mundane and inject life and fairy dust into everything.
There’s not many things I can guarantee in life, but I promise you, if you spend that hour with your kid meaningfully, it will be one of the fullest, most joyous moments of your life. Because in that moment, you are living life fully with them.
So what got me all wistful and melancholic, thinking about the above and how fleeting time is, was the MV ‘Photograph’ by Ed Sheeran. I only saw it recently because Pips thought it was beautiful (ya lah! I’m very suaku and out of date, I know!) and indeed it was. It wasn’t your typical MV that’s beautifully shot in exotic locales or chock full of exquisite dance choreography. It was simply an MV made up of images and videos of Ed growing up over the years, from babyhood till now that his parents lovingly took.
ERMAGAWD! Can anything be more moving seriously? A whole MV of pure, selfless love from parent to child?
As an SAHM now, I’m so busy most of the time that even when I’m with my kids, I don’t feel like I’m with them. I’m listening to them half heartedly while going about my goddamn endless painful chores (lol. U can tell my hatred for housework eh?) Thus, when a time comes where I’m floored by plain old love as such, it hits me like a truck.
Suddenly, I’m viewing life with crystal clear clarity – what in this world could be more important than being in the moment with my kids? Surfing Facebook? Catching GOT? Washing dishes? They’re all important, but not today. Today, I want to live in the moment with my kids, because before you know it, you would have missed out on life without having really lived.
Ask yourself, when was the last time you truly lived without being in a rush, milling through life as if you were another product on the factory line?
All too often, we walk along life’s path without paying heed to all that’s around us. What a shame. There is so much magic and beauty in this world if we only take the time to appreciate it. The path that we walk isn’t just a means to an end – it can be more, if we only allow ourselves to see it that way –
Look! The flowers by the footpath are in full bloom! Look at the little line of ants carrying little items that’s bigger and heavier than it is! Isn’t it fascinating how the mimosa leaves fold up as soon as you touch it?
Look at your baby – his first flip, his first crawl, his first walk! Meet your baby’s gaze as he searches your face adoringly and clambers up onto you. Your back is weary from a day’s work, I understand that. Are you then seeing your baby’s embrace as an obstacle to your disappearance into the online world, or as a touch that heals you and gives you strength for tomorrow’s journey?
Will you mill through life as a mere cog in the machine, living, but yet, never truly having lived?
Whenever I browse through my babies’ pictures in my phone as I’m doing now for this post, a fuzzy feeling of overflowing joy will always envelope me in a warm embrace, as precious memories flood my senses. My heart is so full I daren’t breathe; this happiness, these kids, are they really mine? This happiness that I carry is so great that I can scarcely believe it’s mine to hold and treasure.
Then the dark comprehension that skulks at the back of my mind washes to the fore – the piercing realization that time is ticking away, never pausing, never stopping pulses violently, reminding me that everything comes to pass. Whether it’s good or bad, it’s what we make of it.
It then comes to me once again, with stark clarity, that the days and months, no matter how tough it seems for that moment in time, don’t matter at all. The sands of time continues to flow, and the years zip by frighteningly fast. It won’t be long before those sleepless nights and baby tantrums are nothing but dates set in history. Belonging to a time so long ago that they almost seem to be faint figments of our imagination, yet so vivid and precious that we know, yes, we were there.
We were there, but right now, are we here with our children? Or are we tapping away at yet another gadget (iPhone 8/X anyone?), lost in an online world, with our kids but not really?
My little baby won’t be wrapping his fat fingers around my pointer for much longer, or sticking them in whatever available orifice for that matter. Already his big brother fights the mere notion of it, insisting that he’s very capable of walking by his independent self. They won’t come crying to me for much longer too. As they grow, many new people will float in and out of their lives, sharing pieces of their joy and sorrow that I may never come to know. It’s a good thing, though it makes me a little sad and lonely. For now, I am just thankful that they still look to me now for comfort, even if I was the one that made them cry.
So my boys, much as I want you to grow up healthy and strong, and soak up all the wonders and opportunities that life has to offer you, a part of me wishes that the hands of time be still. That you’ll always remain this little, hanging onto me, loving me fiercely. That our precious bond will remain unchanging and steadfast and true.
But baby, I know one day, a day that will come all too soon, I will have to let you go, to spread your wings and soar high into the azure sky where you’re meant to be. Before then, I promise to live with you in the present; to experience, to hurt, to anger, but most of all, to love, lots of it. When the day for you to leave the nest arrives, I hope you know too, that we have lived and laughed and loved greatly together, and whether you’re one or four or thirty, you’ll always be my baby. Always.
P.S. be sure to come back to the nest sometimes. Know that your mom and dad will always look forward to seeing you, as much as you look forward to seeing us when you were little.
Do follow the Jashuat family as we zip around town and the world (currently, we are living in London now, which is perfect for our souls that yearn to travel yay!) on facebook and we will share with you our grandmother stories, insta adventures, giveaways, reviews, contests, parenting tips, lifehacks and more!
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