Dear Husna My love,
You have just turn five and I have to leave you again. Okay, five months to be exact. Still, an achievement. I am now in Shenzhen, China and it is hard for me because you are not here. I love to go back home and see you. All my worries and tiredness left me the moment I see you.
My dear Husna,
For these few months, it has been a roller-coaster ride for me and ibbu. We worry a a lot about you. A lot. You don’t know how many times when you sleep, I would poke you to make sure you’re still breathing. Because you were so still. And so small! These days, I just watch your breathing. Your diagram going up and down. Up and down. And I just stare at you. Still vigilant, but no more poking. I promise.
On this joyous occasion, allow me to ‘talk’ to you a bit. I’m not sure when we can have this kind of talk, so I just pen it here for you to read in your leisure time.
I have been talking about your future with your mom. Yeah, she don’t entirely agree with everything that I have planned for you. For example, you are to stay with us for the rest of your life; You will be homeschooled so that you are well protected from the other nuisance outside. If you think about it, I’m saving you from a lot of drama. Really, there’s nothing much out there; your friends would need to screened by me; you are not to watch too much tv; etcetera etcetera. I don’t know whether I will change my mind later on. Your mother think that I’m being overprotective (read: crazy) and in time, I might let go a bit.
But meanwhile, I need you to hear this advise:
Learn to say ‘no’ when you have to. We are in a culture where we want to please people. And we abhor the thought of disappointing other people. Or we hate the idea that people hate us if we say ‘no’. But if you say ‘yes’ and your heart is not into it, then there’s no point of saying it in the first place. And if you feel that you are doing something wrong, then your ‘yes’ is a no-no. And when you have to say no, it is better to do it sooner rather than later. Learn to stake your ground and say no.
Don’t stare at people. If you caught yourself doing that, you got that from me. And I got that from my mother. Sekali tu Abba tengok Opah tengok kat orang lain, selamba jer. At least try to be discreet. I know, we are intrigue by other people – the beauty and ugly. You wonder why they are like that and what their lives would be like. And we don’t really bothered by people staring at us, right? But people don’t like to be stared at, that’s all. All in moderation, Husna.
Don’t watch too much tv. I did that most of my childhood life and I guess I missed out on the more fun things. I become sort of a recluse. Had to learn to be socially adept at later age. Luckily I went to boarding school and that forces me to be friendly with other people. We’re going to limit your entertainment. Too much of it is not good. I remember what Ziggy said: “I found that television is very educational. Every time someone turns on the tv, I would go to the other room to read”. Studies has shown that children who doesn’t watch too much tv, turns out to be bright and intelligent.
That brings me to my next point: read, read and read. People don’t read enough, I say. Their mind therefore is mostly backward. I really hope that you developed the passion for reading. Now, what I mean reading is good books, not magazine about media, entertainment and stuff like that. I also don’t mean newspaper. As you might have seen, I don’t read too much newspaper. I agree that I might not be abreast of the current situation, but I find out that it’s not that important. Anything important at one particular time will so die off and you don’t even need to remember them. Books, on the hand, is timeless and will continue to be useful for years to come. If you see me capable of looking far, it’s because I sit on the shoulder of giants.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Choose the battle for you to fight. Sometimes thinking too much about things are just a time waster. For example, a lot people wonder about what other people think. And they beat themselves about it. But hear this: you can’t change what other people think, that’s just the way they are. And they think like that is because they mind is caught up on small things as well. And they are not capable to change their mind easily. There are time to consider other people’s feeling and there time to just let it go.
Respect the elders. There will come a time when you think you know more than older people. No no no. They know more than you. They have gone through many more things than you. The reason you think you know more is just because you mind has not expanded yet. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you know more than other people. For that matter, don’t look down on younger people as well. They might know more than you and you’d make a fool of yourself if you just assume that you know more just because you are older.
Never tell a lie. Be like Benjamin Franklin who said: “I cannot tell a lie”. You don’t want to feel the pain of people finding out you were lying. Allah also don’t like us to tell a lie. Speak the truth wherever you are.
Around a month back, a girl in her twenties, decided to run for office under DAP. A Malay girl at that. Which is unheard of before. I don’t know what is the political condition in your time, but this girl created a wave which was never there before. She’s either very brave or very stupid. Why I’m telling you this? Because I want to tell you to STAY AWAY FROM POLITIC! I don’t care what you believe which party IS good or what, just don’t do anything about it. Don’t register for any party, don’t campaign for either parties, don’t marry a politician, basically, don’t affiliate yourself with politics. Now, this is dicey situation we have here. Your mother took political science at university and your grandmother is somewhat of a public figure for one of the parties. So, they are well informed about politics. So, you can read and know about politics but just don’t act on it. Just so you can know what is happening with our politician and our country. I myself tend to ignore them totally. The politicians do make a good laugh sometimes with their stupid comments and acts and I would follow what is happening for a few days. But just for comedic relief.
Don’t follow what other people do just because you want to. Keep up with them. We now live in a very commercialized living. The media tend to determine what we need to have, to wear, to eat, to go for holiday etc. So you might feel the pressure to spend money on things that you don’t need. You might feel the need to wear branded cloth, expensive phone, expensive car. This is because the media has molded your thinking. They want you to spend money as much as possible into their coffer. It’s legalize robbery. You don’t need to know brands and spend money to buy them when you can have a perfectly acceptable product cheaper.
I’ve witnessed a new trend of social media during my lifetime. I’m not sure what the effect yet to your generation. But I see bad things coming. People sharing mundane little things in their life. People do have the prerogative. But I hope that you would exercise caution with this thing. I hope that you would take care to use it for benefit and not for showing off, to share pictures that’s too revealing and such and such. And lastly about the social media…
You are our first child, so we don’t have experience handling and raise a child. We are doing the best that we can. We want to instill the best education possible for you. The best care. But we would not give everything to you. You have to learn independence. We are not going to be there all the time. Allah knows our time is limited. By the time you’re in college, I’d be way too old to help you every step of the way. Therefore, there are times that you would have to settle your problem on your own. And we would watch. We can’t tell you what to do, you have to do it yourself. Otherwise, you would be too dependent on people that you cannot stay on you own. Someone said: “prepare your child for the road, not the road for your child.” I think that that’s the best advise ever. So, you’re on your own, kiddo!
Till next time Husna. I already got back from china and I’m now taking care of you. Today is the first day of ramadhan for you. Of course you are oblivious to the fact. The latest feat that you’ve accomplished to ‘meniarap’. That’s super thing that you did there. I hope that I would be able to see more accomplishment. Your standing, running, mumbling your first word, riding a bike and all. Though it’s hard for me to make up my mind – do I want you to grow, or do I want you stay this way for the rest of your life… because you are so cute now!