Of Normalcy and Family

Sunday, 24 September 2006

We went to a Bantus public roda tonight! For the first time in months too…I had so much fun. Stubbed my left big toe till it bled while playing (I think the nail’s parted with the toe) but it’s alright so far. I didn’t realise how much I missed being part of a roda—the singing, the clapping, marvelling at how smooth other people’s moves can be and what the human body is capable of. And the feeling of belonging to a genuinely warm community.

If you’re wondering if I’m trying to carry on with life as if I weren’t pregnant, it’s really not the case. Sitting back the other day, I thought to myself that being pregnant shouldn’t be entirely about having overhaul my current lifestyle and be afraid to do what I used to. Shouldn’t it be about learning to cope with life *together* with a dependent?


Maybe that’s the thing that gives rise to so many *pantangs* (taboos) in pregnancy, or anything in daily life for that matter—fear.

Well, *my* fear is that for nine months, and possibly onwards, I’ll miss out on a fulfilling life by being a slave to the child. I don’t ever want to resent having to care for my kid(s). So I’ve decided that I’ll go on doing what I love, so long as it’s not going to be harmful to me or the baby. Everything in moderation. My only concern is that I get stressed out at work, but I suppose learning to manage it should be part of anyone’s survival skill set.

Balance is so important.

Coming back to the question of families, I had a heartwarming…encounter, experience? I don’t know how to term it, but here’s what happened. After the roda, Han and I went to supper with [Kotak](http://kotakkosong.blogspot.com/), her brother Cabecao (‘Big Head’) and Perereca (Frog)—all Bantus buddies. In between mouthfuls of excellent banana leaf rice at Nirwana we learned that Perereca was an only child, and we were kidding around, with him saying that he’s adopted Kotak as his *che-che* (big sister).

And *that*, to me, was a beautiful thing to behold. This was a fantastic example of how a group like Bantus can act as a foster/extended family to our members. Because we’re made up of such a rag-tag bunch of people who learn to open up to each other in all honesty, it’s no wonder that we all get along so well. I believe we do try our very best to accept people for who they are and in the end, real friendships are forged. Most people end up gravitating towards how the seniors behave anyway (we’ve had lots of discussions amongst ourselves indirectly related to mentoring) and happily, the younger ones are turning out really well. Good, strong young men with sound principles and growing self-confidence, without being arrogant (I’m referring to the Bantus Suicide Crew in particular…you know who you are).

It just goes to show the kind of value groups can have. Apart from my own family and the Bantus circle, I also am part of the family of Christ—though admittedly, one of the people at the fringe of things. Despite my own misgivings about how some other Christians behave or run churches etc, ultimately we still serve God in our own capacities. I really should start going to church and contributing again. I miss being part of that family too.

2 Comments

#1Gravatar imagesooaun says:

man, i miss bantus too… but i never quite fit in cause i couldnt be around as much as i wanted too… plus i’m paranoid and anti-social… so looks like baby’s gonna be a real happy, bouncy one :D

#2Gravatar imageJanet says:

wow, well said woman!!! the bit about pregnancy should be about coping with the whole experience and not slaving and sacrifice, and that pantang larang is rooted in/from fear. I agree!!!

Sacrifice is over-rated.

Am glad to know that you continue with what you love.

hugs

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