One of the little memories….

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I sat across a pregnant lady tonight at a crabfeed fundraiser. During our chat I learned that there will be 6 yrs difference between her two kids. So in illustrating the unbelievable bonding I’ve observed between siblings with a wider gap in age, I told her a story that I have repeated many times in similar occasions.  – So I decide to leave it here for you two to read one day.

Nana was less than a year old.  you both were playing with separate toys when I left the room.  I came back to find Salihi  quietly crying in a corner, so I asked what happened. He pointed to Nana saying: She took all the toys.  Yep, Nana was surrounded by ALL of the toys. She had crawled over to his side and collected the few of the toys Salihi was playing with.  So I took one of the Salihi’s Hot Wheel and another toy and hand them back to him.

Nana went off whaling bloody murder…… then I get my first jaw-dropping moment when Salihi not only run to her, handed her back the 2 toys, and while  hugging her,  turned against me yelling: you don’t make my sister cry!!!   followed by the 2nd jaw-dropping:  watching him quiet her down, then walked back into his little corner empty hands to continue his silent-tearful-cheeks- cry for no toy to play with.

I stood there watching the whole scene and soaking in its little-bitter sweet feelings. He would rather silently cried empty hands in his corner than see her cry.!!!!  – Oh the siblings bonds….. when one of them really feels its their duties to be the other protector and defense-shield!!….

I have so many of these moments. – Such as one afternoon I left Nana with the Thomas and went to pick up Salihi from School. When he entered the car and saw her car seat empty, he asked: where is Nana? I teasefully answered: I gave her away. Few minutes later I noticed that he wasn’t telling me about his day as he usually does. the car was too quiet; so I turned to see him silently crying. I panicked, pulled over, and went to the back seat touching and feeling his body for pain, fever,…and asked what’s wrong? To which he answered tearfully: You gave my baby away!! and it hurts!!! – Yep, my absent-minded tease was not funny! not a bit to this big bother who truly believe his sister is HIS BABY!!

———-

As I was telling the expecting lady at the table tonight, it is my observation that when the age gap is bit wide from 4 yrs up, the siblings bonds become more of protector/protectee with an almost non-existing bickering that usually exist between siblings of narrower gap.  – Just my observation! and an opportunity to leave a little memories for you 2. 🙂

Never a dull moment! :-)

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We’ve just picked up Salihi from his soccer practice when the following started:

Nana: Salihi does your coach have a son?

Salihi: Yes

Nana: then where is he? because I never see him with his dad then…

Me: why do you want to see him? do you want to marry him? 🙂

Nana: What? NOOOOOOOO!!

Me: tell me so I can go tell him right now that Nana want to marry his son 🙂

Nana: MUMMY!! NO I DON’T WANT TO MARRY HIM OR ANYONE!!!

Me: Ok Nana, no yelling …. so you don’t want to marry at all?

Nana: no

Me: why? why not?

Nana: Because

Me: because what?

Nana: because I only love my family like that

Me: like what?

Nana: it’s complicated besides I don’t want to make or sign any contract

Me: hum! sign a contract? what are you talking about?

Nana: you know, marriage is a whole contract between 2 people.

Me: a contract? what does the contract say?

Nana: that they would love each other for ever and a whole lot of other things that I just don’t want to sign up for

Me: like what? what are some of the other things?

Nana: well lots of things. I figure I just have to adopt and I won’t have to do all the things and contract of marriage.

(At this point my mind is blown! and I’m thinking I’m in trouble!! my little girl is forming some idea of marriage that doesn’t sound so appealing!! I want her to become a strong and independent lady…. but I want her to also see the value of the marriage-unit that forms the family! – I’m in trouble!)

Salihi: Now little girl, just how do you know about all of that?

Nana: I read and observe and I know what I want

Salihi: no you don’t. You think you do, but you don’t

Nana: Yes I do, I know I’ll have to adopt a kid if I don’t want to sign a contract with anyone! so you see I know!

Me: so why don’t you want to sign a contract? even with somebody you love?

Nana: I only love you, daddy, Salihi, and my big family like that.

Me: how about you Salihi, will you get married?

Salihi: I think so. only if I really really like someone, yes I will get married.

Me: will you have kids?

Salihi: Well, on that one I don’t know. I don’t think I can get that responsible for a long time

Me: how responsible?

Salihi: responsible to take care of a kid. I don’t think I will be that responsible for a long time. – And Nana, if you ever get drunk you can also have a baby without adopting one or getting married

(at this point, I’m thinking: where did that came from? hum?!?!)

Nana: how? how do you get a baby when you get drunk?

Salihi: well people do stupid thing when they are drunk

Nana: like?…. oh Salihi you are making me think about how babies are made! and Ewww! I don’t want that! that’s why I said I will adopt. No thank you I’m not getting drunk! disgusting!

Me: Salihi where do you get the drunk idea thing from?

Salihi: from book and talks and shows.

Note to self: this conversation sooo needs to be continued!!!-more importantly needs to get Nana’s conception or views on marriage. am I projecting something that she doesn’t want for herself? it’s a bit of contradiction here especially coming from her; considering that she actually sat me and the dad up one day to tell us that she never want to hear us talk about the D-word because as she put it “when parents divorce it is the kids that pay the price, it’s the kids that are miserable between houses & step-parents & new brothers & sisters…” (was a shock but we found out that 2 of her friends were going thru parents divorces and the kids were talking). So I would expect her to be the one to want a child with a daddy & mommy….. not what I’m learning tonight!

On a positive note: none of them is getting drunk anytime soon and my son already gets it that having kids is a huge responsibility……..:-) – Never a dull moment with these 2.

Heaven & Getting what you pay for …

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It is my conviction that no one can clean your house best except you. Yet I found myself having to use outside-paid-cleaning services with the hope of carving time and energies for other more important things (such as date-with kids, family game times, a 5years-overdue garage cleaning, a playarea reorganization …. etc.) But when I found myself still partaking in the cleaning along the cleaners – because it just had to be done!- there is a kind of frustration & disappointment that arise from the realization that I still can’t get to those more important things that I wanted to spare time and energies for. I was in one of those frustration when I joined this conversation started between the kids and their dad.

The conversation started off by Nana telling Salihi that soon he will be her driver driving her everywhere she wants to go. Salihi to reply no not everywhere. And daddy to join in saying oh yes, you will be driving her and going on all the errands your mommy sends me to do now for her. 🙂 and Salihi to say no I won’t because I’m not her keeper- to which I answered yes, you will always be her big brother, her keeper and protector even after you die, you’ll still be around as an angel to watch over!! 🙂 – Then the conversation changed to the following:

Salihi: I would really like to know what happens after we are dead

Daddy: we go to heaven

Salihi: me, I want to re-incarnate

Me: re-incarnate? Into what?

Salihi: into a human super-power – OR stay a ghost to nicely haunt people! 🙂

Nana: me, I’m scare of dying…

Daddy: you’re not going to die….

Me: what scares you about dying?

Nana: (and this the best I’ve heard so far…) I don’t want to get STUCK in heaven!!!!

We all burst laughing…..

Daddy: what? You want to go check out hell from time to time? – still laughing… 🙂

I guess we haven’t sold her (yet?) on the idea of heaven!!!! – It was strange hearing her put ‘stuck’ & ‘heaven’ in the same sentence!!!!!

Nana: (not laughing-serious face) no, they say when you die you go to heaven forever and I don’t want to get stuck there for EVER! It’s not funny!

Me: Nana, all of us that are born are going to also die. Yes we are all going to die. The most important thing is to live a nice, happy life always doing the right things, helping others, being kind and honest, doing goods and when you die, heaven is not a place you can be stuck in. Can you be stuck in the world?

Nana: no because it is big and you can go places…

Me: Well heaven is bigger…. so you see, you can’t get stuck

—————–

Right in that moment of a conversation that started with a teasing, then turned into a serious little discussion with smiles and laughter, then ended with a reassurance on a fear… I got another confirmation that our-couple life would be pretty stealth and monotone without these 2-little people in it. I found harmony in that thought. A harmony that erased the frustration I was feeling before joining the conversation. Harmony from realizing these are the kind of moments that matter! That are the most important!!!!!!!!! 🙂 These are the moments worth carving out time and energies for. I realize that I was getting what I paid for with the cleaning services, but just failed to see that…. because I was not doing the palpable, countable, or physical things on the list such as cleaning the garage, organizing the playarea…act. Having that non-physical, emotional moment brought that realization home to me. 🙂

The Song that says it perfectly: My Wish by Rascal Flatts

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I hope that the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you want to go,
And if you’re faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin’ till you find the window,
If it’s cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,

But more than anything, more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
And you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God’s grace, in every mistake,
And you always give more than you take.

But more than anything, yeah, and more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

This is my wish
I hope you know somebody loves you
May all your dreams stay big

The song that says perfectly: I hope you dance by Lee Ann Womack

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I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance….I hope you dance.

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’,
Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone.)

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

Dance….I hope you dance.
I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
I hope you dance….I hope you dance..
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone) 

The Talk – Part-I (1)

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I must say that it was a long time coming.

it has been brewing for months now. A bit more precisely towards the end of last school year after the week of the lesson on “family planning”.

on our way home from school, Salihi blurred out: mommy do you known what an erection is and what happened to a penis when you have one?

Me: that’s a conversation to have in private.

to which Nana jumped in: b’cos I am here?

Salihi: yes; and you must be a 4th grader too

To which Nana replied after a moment of silence: well, I’ll just have to google it!

Thanks technology! (note to self: really tighten the parental-control’s words search on her laptop!)

And that was the end of that conversation.

Fast forward to several weeks later in 2nd week of August, Salihi came back from school one evening at the moment of kissing us goodnight, made sure Nana wasn’t around and hesitantly uttered:

 I have something to ask you two-

We: yes.

salihi: do you guys have sex?

Dead silence…. then

We: why? why do you asked?

Salihi: b’cos my friends at school were talking and one of them said all parents have sex and I said not my parents and my friend said that if I was born naturally,  not adopted or otherwise, then yes my parents do have sex. So I would like to know if that is true.

Dead silence again……… then saved by Nana arrival.

…. (To be cont’d).

Family volunteer-vacationing

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Reading ‘Soulshine Traveler’ blog yesterday prompted me to post this, not only to relate my life’s dream, but more importantly with the hope of getting some informational comments as well.

When I was young, I have always envisioned my old-self as world traveler moving from places to places on volunteer jobs or assignments to help in general and more specifically drawn to any cause for the betterment of children (yes, I am such a sucker for them).  As much as I love kids, having my own was more on the back-burner in my mind for several reasons ranking from the almost impossibly high standards I have for a man qualify as dad to my children,… the unhappiness of marriages around which I’ve grown up, …. to my own-difficult character and simple yet really high demands in relationship. So the idea of travelling the world while helping was more realistic, thus front vision I had for myself. 

Then I met my husband and the back burner became very much front. And as much in love I am with my children, my soul still craves that longing to be on the volunteer-move. So I enjoy my kids now… with the plan that as soon as they leave home for college, I will find and make my way back to  what I call my “soul-fulfillment”.

But in the meantime, I would very much love to still find project or organizations or ways to still take my kids to help, volunteer on each vacation travel we go on. – Personally, I feel that this is my way of keeping a foot in that domain so that by the time my kids are grown I won’t also outgrow that longing and become miserable for life. Plus I have seen the huge giving heart my kids are born with and would love to nurture that trait in them.

So please, if you know of any organization that coordinate family vacations w/specific project or a site that does something similar, please post-comment it here for me. I would love to plan our family vacation according to these needs… where out of 7 days vacation – 2 days can be spent volunteering or giving in whatever country we go to.

Please let me know.

Thanks very much.

Who tries nothing gets nothing! & Failure is always better than fear.