Google Analytics

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Letter To My Ten Year Old

To my dearest newly minted 10 year old S,

From a quiet and peaceful baby to a much louder "2 digit" year old, you have come a long way. I think back to when you were young, and how nearly every behaviour and milestone came as a surprise to me, even though you were my 2nd one. I didn't know until then that the same sets of genes can combine to create 2 very different individuals :).

You refused to start walking for quite a while after you turned one, and I was also pretty laid back about it as you were such a happy and healthy baby in general. And just when we were getting a wee bit worried, your doctor advised waiting until you were 1.5 to do any further tests, you decided to walk nearly exactly at 1 year and 6 months. It was almost as though you were waiting for my birthday to present me with those first steps ;).

Not walking yet, but figured out a way to explore the kitchen ;)
From the time you started talking, or probably even earlier, you figured out how to charm everyone around you. You are still considered a "quiet and calm" child, especially by your teachers, but I know that you do have a voice and quite a lot of opinions that make their presence felt, especially at home ;). When you were first starting school, I even used to worry if you could hold your own, but I soon found that you were more than capable of finding your own way. We had a party for your 10th birthday and I was so thrilled to see the wealth of friendship that you have developed in your 2+ years at school here.

May you keep conquering new heights
You have always been fond of hugs, and these also work very well as a calming mechanism for when you need to get out of trouble ;). I keep reminding you that even when you are a "big boy" and would possibly be embarrassed by my hugs, I would still continue with them. I am happy to note that as of today, nothing much has changed, and you still like to be squished up in a "chutney" hug from time to time :).

You are passionate about running, and have been showing so much commitment towards your after-school athletics class. You insist on attending it even if I sometimes feel that you might be tired after some other activity, and I am in awe of your enthusiasm and energy. Even your teachers at school have noticed your drive and started picking you for participating in events.

With an avid reader for a sibling, you didn't have a choice but to be one. I am glad though, that you are not forced into it, but instead choose it yourself as one of the activities for your free time. The library system in Singapore has been great for this, as it gives you access to such a range of books for your age group.

You also have a lot of other varied interests, from Pokemon to Beyblades to Rick Riordan, but I especially love the fact that you also like to hear about how things are made in the kitchen. I am guilty of not letting you try your hand at much yet, other than making the occasional dosai or roti, but I hope to change this soon.

Here's to you my darling boy, may you always retain your enthusiasm and curiosity and wonder. 

Lots of love,

Sunday, February 18, 2018

To Push or Not to Push?

This is not a childbirth story, though the title would be appropriate for that as well ;).

As parents in current times, we are very aware about the impacts of stress on our kids, and sometimes this does mean that they get an easy out. I find it tough to decide when to push a bit and when to let go, and I say this as a very easygoing parent on the whole. I'm ok with some opportunities being lost, in trying to make sure that the kids are mentally prepared for anything they get into. On the other hand, as an adult, I know that we cannot always choose our challenges, and I would like my kids to be somewhat prepared for the realistic world they will grow up in.

While studying or practising (at exam time) is something that is a non-negotiable activity in our home, most other things are left to the kids to decide. This is especially true of "additional" exams that I have hardly ever enrolled them in, as they haven't shown much interest in that direction in spite of most of their peers doing it. I look at it as one more exam that I would have to push them for, and that usually makes my decision for me ;).

To be the wind beneath their wings :)
When there was an athletics event coming up this month, my 9 year old was very keen (he's been interested in running/athletics for a while as I mentioned earlier on this post), while my 12 year old .. not so much. I enrolled him, and tried to persuade her a bit to enrol as well, but then just let it be as I thought participating in something like this should be voluntary. They've both been going for classes/training for a few months now, so being physically prepared was not the concern here.

Forward to the day before the event, and the coach messaged me to ask if she could substitute as one of the girls of the relay team in her age category had dropped out. She was quite aghast to begin with and there might have been some tears along the way but she finally was persuaded to go, to help the team out. Or rather she might have realized that I wouldn't take no for an answer ;).

I kept feeling a bit guilty about it, and finally got teary eyed when I saw her running, but she did a really good job of it. She managed to keep up the pace well and even caught up a bit to a runner ahead of her, and the team finally won 2nd place and the silver medal. D was very happy with the silver medal and glad that she had been pushed into it, though I'm still waiting for that thank you note. I am totally taking credit for that medal of course ;).

S's team also won the bronze :)
Side-note: As someone who has been trying to get into running, but find it very challenging as I started on the journey late in life, I am thrilled that my kids have got comfortable with it at a young age :).