We Aren’t Immortal.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

I mostly dislike reading the papers, especially in the mornings. I can't understand how most people can willingly afford the first hours of the day to absorbing all kinds of bad news--stories of hypocrisy, distress, death, dishonesty, disease, helplessness, etc. I find it it terribly incapacitating. Guess it's a weak point that I have to address soon.

But this morning I was reading about new AH1N1-related deaths. Young people, not old. And perhaps they were generally healthy, without underlying health complications. It made me think about how I would react if either Brandon or Andrea were to be infected by it. The thought of them having to go through the disease, and the possibility of them dying, made me choke up a little. Was there any way I could protect them from it?

Then what crossed my mind was that protecting them meant shielding them away from the world. Keeping them away from people, from crowds, from public spaces. How then, would I provide them the stimulation necessary for them to grow up to be well-rounded individuals? I am Not the World. How could I possibly be?

My duty as a parent is to provide the very best for my children. This means exposing them to all the wonders of Life that exist around them. To overly coddle and protect them will deny them this very fundamental means of learning, and I would be doing them a disservice. Of course I wouldn't throw them in harm's way on purpose--that's just irresponsible. However, what I aim to do is to allow them to experience and use all their senses as much as possible. You can see their delight so plainly on their faces when they immerse themselves in, and learn, new things.

So if there comes a day when one or both are taken away from me, I will most surely grieve. I can't imagine what it would be like, and I don't really want to. But at least I would know deep in my conscience that I tried my best to let them live a rich and colourful life while they still breathed. Their lives would not have been in vain.

One Comment

#1Gravatar imageKenneth Hiew says:

Somehow 3 thoughts come to mind.
1. A Koranic quote, “On no soul does God place a burden greater than it can bear.”.

The bible says “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” II Cor 12:8-10

*So we know that God has promised us, in an unbreakable promise, that whatever hardship we go through, he will strengthen us. If we believe that he will do so. And rely on his promise whatever comes. And more so, that when we have undergone these things, it makes us better.

2.In the movie “Remember the Titans”, Denzil Washington says “Now I may be a mean cuss. But I’m the same mean cuss with everybody out there on that football field. The world don’t give a damn about how sensitive these kids are, especially the young black kids. You ain’t doin’ these kids a favor by patronizing them. You crippling them; You crippling them for life. “

  • The same point you’re making, that coddling them is doing them a disservice.

3.From a little story, “If a butterfly is not to struggle out of its cocoon in its chrysalis stage, it will never have the strength to fly.”

*Hmm.. somehow that makes me thing of something Michael Crichton wrote in Jurassic Park, and a quote from Scott who went on that first polar expedition. but.. I’ll save that for another time 🙂

From somewhere, inevitably, will come another viewpoint that doing this is too harsh. And it is, if done ALL THE TIME. The thing, as with everything else in life, is to find the right balance; applying “soft love” when the children need picking up, and applying “tough love” when the children need toughening up.

Well.. just look at the time, I’ve posted a loooong comment. Maybe I’ll even copy this and paste it as a post on my blog.

It was nice to see you again after quite a while. As I read this entry, I remember my own short & small experiences helping out taking care of my nephews and I imagine it’s not easy juggling in between being a mother, wanting to be a good mother and looking back at the times when you thought you were a bad mother. But I admire what you write, yes, I liked it. Parenting’s not easy but surely one who journals and looks back at experiences and takes the good ones and the lessons learnt, forward, is on the right road.

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