Saturday, October 07, 2006

My melancholic child

Here I am, kids in bed, tray of brownies just went in the oven, fresh glass of whisky with four ice cubes in front of me. I'm waiting for midnight. B and his partner Rup are doing the Raleigh race tonight and they are scheduled to pass by our place at around midnight. B will call when they reach the bridge, and I shall nip down with the supplies. Salt tablets, nurofen, spare flashlight and batteries, power gels, congee, brownies, etc.

Me and the boys spent the day at T's place. Adults played MJ while the kids rampaged around. Had a lovely dinner with fresh shrimps and spare ribs, a decent Chardonnay and surprisingly good Dao. The boys were nicely tired when we got home.

Just when I've gotten them ready for bed, my elder boy suddenly went all teary. I asked him what's wrong. When he opened his mouth to speak, he was sobbing loudly.

Where is that toy bag with all our plush toys?

What? You mean the net? We threw that away, remember?

But I really miss my plush toys!

He blinked hard as he spoke, as if the blinking would hide his tears. He frowned deeply.

Well, remember I asked you both to pick two items each from the net before I threw the whole thing out? Remember you took professor bear and catnap?

Yes.... but... but I miss my past!

Well, honey, we all do, every now and then. If we never throw old things out where are we going to keep all the new stuff?

Why does life have to change! I need my old toys to remember my past!

And so it carried on for another half an hour. His lower lips wobbly, his shoulders shaking, while he rubbed his eyes hard, as if that would stop the tears from flowing. He was sobbing so hard it was starting to get infectious, and I thought the melodrama might come over me, too. I had to maintain reason and composure in all this. I am the responsible adult. I need to give him security when he lacks it. I told him in a matter of fact manner that he is tired, he is dehydrated, he needs to drink some apple juice and go to sleep. He will feel better tomorrow.

I dismissed his sadness, was what I did.

He was good. He did as he was told, but still, despite trying his best to hold back his tears, his emotions overwhelmed him.

Then he looked for a book to take to bed. He clutched at a Beatrix Potter collection, and it's starting again. He's crying. This time, tears of joy.

Oh mum, look! It's Beatrix Potter!

Yes darling, it is.

I haven't seen this book in ages!

That's cos you never looked for it, you have been busy with Horrid Henry and Captian Underpants and Dilbert, haven't you?

Oh, I love this book! This brings back... so many memories...

Uh huh....

Memories of the past, when life was so simple.
sob sob sob sob sob

You see, he has this thing about how life has become unbearably complicated now that he is older. He is nostalgic for the days when life was simple.

Dear Lord he is not even eight years old. And already he thinks life is too complicated.

I can only pray that I will have the answers and reassurances which he shall need, in the days to come.

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