Category Archives: Parenting/Parenthood

Watching You Leave, the Thoughts of a Mother

Translated…

On Sunday evening, my daughter with her huge backpack, is headed to her grandparents’ house, I’d sent her off by the door, and, nagged on how she’d not put her shoes on right, she’d mumbled back, “I’ll put it on properly in the elevator!”, I’d insisted that she was to, put her shoes on properly before she leaves, she’d, bent down, redid her laces with that unwillingness, and, I’d had, a few extra seconds, to stare at her.

Since a decade ago, my spouse’s name was stricken off my national identification card, I’d lost the days of accompanying her by the day, and only on the weekends, did we get time together to share. Every Friday evening, I’d, rushed off work, road across the city, to a kindergarten, to pick her up and, my daughter curled underneath the lamplight of the kindergarten, with her accompanying bunny, and, her eyes and smiles, turned into the stars in the skies the moment she saw me. Several years passed by, it’s now, that young woman who’d taken the MRT, the bus, to my place.

As the elevator headed downstairs slowly, I’d calculated the timing just right, went to the lanai to look, the red-topped bus slowly came close, and stopped, right underneath the bus stop; my daughter was sitting in it, her huge white backpack on her legs, with her eyes, staring up ahead, lips slightly curled upward. The autumn sun was eye catching, and, being able to travel on her own makes her excited.

Very long ago, I too, watched the bus as it sped off into the distance, imagined my own sunny and bright futures too, filled with a ton of dreams, embracing the impossibilities of life. back then, I’d never imagined, that in an unknown corner, there it was, my mother, with her tears, staring at the direction I left in.

And now, I’d become, an adolescent’s mother too, and, the once-a-week that we’d met, was what was left for me to take with in this richness of her youthfulness, but, became an aging life’s extravagance. The social media, the pop music, the trending novels, there is, no boundaries, in the world of a teenage girl, and all I could do, was smile by her side and accompany her, but I’d still, cherished the time we spent together.

not my photo…

I know, that one day, she will eventually own her own universe, write her own stories, and that I can’t, keep her all to myself. That mother was only a caretaker when she was younger, but not the one who’d owned her for this life, when she has the ability, to spread her wings and fly, or resting, on that tree on her own, she wouldn’t allow me to groom her, to smooth her feathers anymore, just as back then I’d left my own home too, although I’d bumped and fell, I’d never turned back toward my mother, and ask her to give me a hand.

And still, not butting into her life doesn’t mean that she’s not occupying my mind. After I’d lived alone for a bit, I read the words my mother wrote, “You will always be my child.”, no matter how bad life got, how awful living is, the mother will always recognize her own young; no matter how far you fly, the mother’s gazes will always be like that string connecting to the kite, glued, to the child’s body, hung there, not pulling the child down, close knit, but never broken off.

Right now, the bus my daughter rode is probably at the MRT station now. She’d, scanned her pass, and standing inside the trains, her feet, tapping to the music, reading through her book, an hour later, she will, arrive at her destination, happy, and safe and sound.

The thoughts of a mother, she’d watched her child come and go, from her place back to her husband’s home, and, she knew, that she needed to, let her daughter go, and the child is growing into a beautiful woman, and, she felt sad, because of how her daughter will eventually, spread her wings and fly, but that’s a part of what parents must face, because children WILL grow up, whether or NOT we want them to!!!

4 Comments

Filed under Letting Go, Life, Parenting/Parenthood, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Values

Eyes, a Poem

Translated…

Your eyes

Are the lights from the crevasse of darkness

Every single hard-to-define question

Floated, in the light

Toward the world, don’t understand it too soon

Touch the wind with your hands

Allow the grasses to get on your fingertips

Allow the dews to get on your lashes

Open up your eyes, the world is

Your toy tray

This, is corn, that, turnip

A green worm had come to visit us

The ants marched across here too

This, is grandma, that, grandpa

There’s a yellow garbage truck

It took with it, the tired sun

As the night falls

The black drapes turned off the lights

The sleepy little eyes looked up at me curiously

Yes child, this, is mommy’s eyes

There’s still a bit of light in them, let’s wait

For the light, to dim together, wait until the world had lost its meaning

When we wake to the sun tomorrow

The sun will bring us, brand new toys

This, is a mother, teaching a child about the world, and, by exposing her daughter/son to this brand new world that s/he had been born in, the mother is making sure, that the child has a very enriching experience in life.

Leave a comment

Filed under Life, Parent-Child Interactions, Parenting/Parenthood, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Socialization

Parents Who are Open, Granting a Future of Possibilities for Their Young

The KEY determinant here, is still the attitudes of the parents, written by a school principal, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

As I’d held the meetings with the teachers, the first grade instructor said, “I’d used a lot of time away from class to teach Shih-Shin Chinese characters, but, as I’d turned around, he’d forgotten, I feel so beaten by this”.  I’d told her, “he’s a special needs student, there are bound to be things that happen with teaching him.”, another teacher next to me stated, “He has beautiful handwriting, an excellent artist too.”

My eyes became bright, I’d told everybody, “I’d discovered, that Hong-Hong too, is excellent in art as well.”  Hong-Hong was one of those kids who were often kept after school, to finish up his assignments; last year, for Teacher’s Day, the third grade class drew a ton of beautiful pictures, that amazed us all.

In teaching, the teachers might focus on the grades of the academic subjects such as Chinese, math, science, social studies, but ignored how the child is intelligent, and, there are even MORE teachers and parents who would restrict the child from exercising her/his other talents, because the child didn’t do well in the academia, this sort of belief of how “the scholastics will rule” is often killing the children’s areas of talent, and it’d prevented the child from developing her/his other areas of abilities as well.

Many years ago, a parent told me, when they’d taken the child to sing karaoke, she was surprised at how her daughter could sing all the songs, she’d seen her daughter, hitting the books, she wonders, when her daughter had picked up on the music; that year, the child got into an all-girl’s high school, and is now, a middle school teacher.  My friend’s older sister’s son, when he was back in the third grade, couldn’t figure out what five plus three is, and now, he works in the finances, and gold investments.  Bo-Yen loved researching birds, on the weekends of his middle school, and high school years, he’d followed the bird watching association, to all over the places to watch the birds, and, his grades are less than impressive to his parents, he’d signed up for the biology department back in the university years, had done excellently on his oral exams, was accepted by a namely public university.

Kai-Jie’s father is an officer, his mother is a homemaker.  Once after a parent-teacher conference, she’d told me, she’d let it go.  Because her daughter who was accepted by an all-girls’ high school told her, that she should allow her younger brother to go after the majors he’s interested in, otherwise, she will end up, losing a younger brother who is close to her heart.  Later on, Kai-Jie entered into the cooking majors, gotten his chef’s certifications, competed, became excellent in his area of expertise.

Bao-Jen since he was younger, had loved little critters, as he’d gone into the middle school years, as his classmates are out playing balls, horsing around, and running, he’d shared the time with insects, fishes, birds, or carried on in conversation about the topics of animals.  His grades are very high, it would be easy, for him to get into a namely high school, but the parents both stated, that they’re going to allow their son, to choose a major of his own choice, respected his decisions, and now, he’s studying, in the major of animal health, as he liked.

So, from this, you can see, how the parents must support the children in their areas of interests, and not just focused on the academic performances, because allowing the kids to pursue their interests can become a drive to learn for them.  And still, open parents are often keys, to a child, learning happily.

There’s an endless possibilities for the children’s futures, there are still a ton of unknown industries that we don’t know about, that are, waiting to be developed.  Focus on the moral education of the younger generations, cultivate their areas of interests, so the children can have more supports from the parents, making way, to happier families.

And so here, the attitudes of the parents ARE the keys to the kids’ success.  So parent, DO show your kids supports, when they come to you, all excited, because, that joy in learning will become their motivation in life later on, but, there are just, too many parents who PUSHED their kids to take the majors that they THINK would be better, and that will manage to SLAUGHTER the love of learning for their offspring.

Leave a comment

Filed under Awareness, Cause & Effect, Child Development/Education of Children, Education, Life, Parenting/Parenthood, Socialization

When the Child Wants to Go to School without Her Parents’ Company

The kid is declaring HER independence, the FIRST step, translated…

Q: Ming-Ming in the fifth grade no longer wanted her mom to pick her up and drop her off at school anymore…

Although there’s no problem with the safety in Taiwan, but, there would still be instances where children are kidnapped.  There was a construction site nearby, and, a ton of different people go in and out of the area, Mrs. Huang worries for her daughter, Ming-Ming’s safety as she goes out, so, even if Ming-Ming is already in the fifth grade, she’d still picked her up to and from school, as well as taking her daughter to the cram schools, to this date, the mother had never allowed Ming-Ming to fly solo.  But, recently, Ming-Ming started stating how she wanted to head out by herself, and, Mrs. Huang knew that one day, she will have to let her daughter fly solo, but, she’s confused, at when is the right time, for her to let go.

A Not About Independence, But, One Day, the Parents Must Let Go

The CEO of the Professional Development Center for Growth, the elementary school instructor, Lee, from Bei-Hsin Elementary School, pointed out, that now, the families are having less and less children, most of the families only had one child, and, the parents hovered over them, feared that there would be issues of traffic and safety, and the rates of parents picking the kids up to and from school are higher, compared to the past years.

The Distance Mattered

The observations of parents chauffeuring the kids to and from school, and, one would notice, that in the first and second grades, it’s very normal, but, by the time the kids get to third or fourth grades, they can already walk to school on their own.  But, all the families are different, there are kids who are in college, and still gets taken to and from school by the parents.

Lee stated, that sometimes the parents picking the kids up has nothing to do with whether or not the children ARE independent, instead, it has more to do with the distance between home and school.  She’d sated, that there are small schools in the city of Taipei, most are close to the homes of the students, it would take a short walk to get to school, the parents would naturally, feel securer, to let the kids go to school on their own; but, not in the city of Hsinbei, the schools are huge, and, far from the homes, and, it may take up to twenty minutes for the kids to get to the schools, the parents didn’t want the kids to tire out, and would rather ride their motorcycles, to chauffeur their kids to school, and, there are other cities and counties, with this sort of trend too.

Cherished the Time They Shared in the Car

The parenting expert, Mom Mee said, that from before when they lived in Tainan, there is a long distance between her home and the kids’ schools, she’d played classical music in her car on the way to school, so the kids could feel soothed, she’d utilized the time they shared in the car, to carry on in conversations with her young.  To her, as the children grow older, the time they have with each other became less and less, she’d cherished this time together, and, enjoyed it too, the kids also felt very happy, and, became expectant when she’d picked them up.

Mom Mee said, if as the parents picked up the kids, they’d started nagging about homework, or kept ranting, the children may become defiant toward that, and she’d suggested that as parents picked up the kids, they should communicate with their young.

Mom Mee said, some of the kids would want the parents to pick them up all the time, but, when the kids wanted to strike out on their own, the parents can let go slowly, to let the kids fly solo for a short while, to try it for a couple of days first, then, decide whether or not the kids are fitting, to go farther on their own.

Not Letting the Child be Alone on Her/His Own

Mom Mee and Ya-Jing Lee both pointed out, that when the kids entered into the middle school, they’d become insistent on going to school on their own, and not wanting the parents to pick them up anymore.  Mom Mee said, the children in the teenage years cared a lot about what their peers say about them, seeing how the other classmates could go to and from school on their own, but, the parents are still picking them up to and fro, the children would not like it.

When her child was in the fifth grade, the other kids of her class started asking her to walk to and from school together as a group, she’d also let go, but, every family IS different, and, letting go is reliant on the parents’ and the kids’ attitude, as well as the distance from the school to the homes.

One day, the parents WILL let go.  Lee said, that if you’re allowing your child to go to and from school on her/his own, do remember, to remind the children not to be alone, the parents can take the kids on the paths a couple of times, to understand the traffic conditions, and pick the routes, and, remind the kids to watch the traffic as they cross the roads, if someone is stalking the children, they can duck out in the shops close to the schools, if someone asks the child for directions, the child only needed to point the way, and not lead the stranger to where s/he wanted to head to.

This, is What You Can Do…Tell Your Worries to Your Children

Mrs. Huang drops off and picks up Ming-Ming to and from school, but, Ming-Ming said she wanted to go on her own, Mrs. Huang could use empathy, to explain her own worries to her daughter, because the roads near her house is under construction, she’s more worried about the traffic, so, that, is why she’ll be taking Ming-Ming to school, and, she can also emphasize to Ming-Ming, that if she heads out on her own, she must watch the roads.

Mrs. Huang, if she is to let Ming-Ming go to and from school on her own, she must watch for her own safety, as well as the traffic.

If Mrs. Huang wanted to let Ming-Ming go to school on her own, she could drop her off close to the school first, let her daughter walk the shorter way, then, after Ming-Ming learns to watch out for herself, then, let go.

And so, we have, worrisome parents, who are unwilling to let the child go, and, the child wanted to go, which signifies that she wanted her own independence, and the mother here, is having troubles, letting go, and, it is NOT about independence at all, it’s about the parents’ inabilities to let their kids go.

An Overly Active Child Became Calmer Because of Reading

The experiences of life, from someone, translated…

My son had always been hyperactive when he was younger, and would not head to bed, until, he’d drained himself of ALL his energies completely every single night, I, being his primary caretaker, often felt too tired to chase him around.

When my child was around two when he’d learned to talk, whenever I’d had the time, I’d sat him on my lap, held on to his fingers, picked up the picture books, and, as he’d pointed to each of the Chinese characters, I’d read it aloud to him, sometimes, when he was playing with his toys, I’d read to him too.  Even though, he didn’t seem like he was listening, but, his brain had become a sponge, and started soaking up the things I’d read to him already.

Once, I’d told my son, “Jun-Yi, go wash your hands.”  He’d replied, “Clean up the hands, so I can cook”, it was so shocking to me.  Ever since, the child who couldn’t recognize the characters can read the words aloud, while flipping through the picture books.

As my child was in his last year of kindergarten, I’d subscribed to the “Chinese Weekly”, and, my son slowly used the phonetic spellings to read, and after he’d read, he’d shared with me the stories, and the comics he’d thumbed across.  When he’d entered into the first grade, I’d changed the subscriptions to “Chinese Daily Papers for the Children”, my son could now, read, independently, with the phonetic spellings now.  In the second grade, he became taken with “Journey to the West”, and, modeled the Monkey King as if he WERE the Monkey King; in the third grade, he was taken with the Warring Nations, read a ton of the varied versions of the tale, but, he’d still read it for pure enjoyment, once, I’d asked him, if we could give the books he’d read away to someone else?  He’d firmly answered, “NO, I’m saving these books for my own kids.”

This overly active child, rather than reading the books for fun, still didn’t focus his mind on his homework assignments, and, in school, while he was sitting in class, his mind was somewhere else, in the stories he’d read already.  Acted up in class, wanted all the attention of others, he’d become the main characters of the stories he’d read, to the point that he was seemingly possessed by the stories, he was, the top problematic student of his class.  There was nothing else I can do, but to transfer him to another school, and start taking him to school daily, without his playmates, it’d given this child with difficulties concentrating a cleared learning environment.

My child was a changed kid in this brand new environment, everything started from zero.  He is now, the teacher’s little helper, the smart child in all of his classmates’ views, and, took up the role of the cleaning master and cultural education helper of his class, compared to the problematic student he was, it’s like he’d become, TWO different persons.

Now my child is in the higher grades of the elementary years, he still doesn’t have any afterschool program, every day after school as he’d come home, he’d done his homework, then, worked on his workbooks, he’d insisted on reading the papers still, and, I’d allowed the newspaper articles to turn into another way of education for him, and, we’d have discussions of what he’d read.  Although he’s only midrange in his class in the matter of grades, but, having the good habits of reading daily had helped him become a well-rounded student who knows a LOT outside of the textbooks, and, his character made up for his not doing well on his tests too.

And from this, you can still see how IMPORTANT reading is, it’d helped this kid who was disruptive, who was overactive calm down, and, it’d helped enriched his knowledge base, and, this mom started her child on the reading track, when he was just two years old, by reading the books to him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Abuse, Cause & Effect, Letting Go, Life, Parent-Child Interactions, Parenting/Parenthood, Perspectives, Socialization

Through Play, We Observe…

This, is how we do it!

Through play, we observe, because playing IS work, for children who are very young, and, because they LACKED the verbal communication skills to tell you, the ADULTS what is happening in their lives, that, is why, you, stupid (because that, is what you ALL are!!!) parents need to be keeping an eye on how your kids are playing.

For instance, if your baby boys are becoming more and more violent with their cars, causing a TON of CRASHES, or getting that eighteen-wheeler to turn OVER a lot, then, that should be a SIGNAL to you, but, do you notice?  No!  besides, you are so god DAMN fucking busy, with your own lives.

Or, how when your little girls started spanking their dolls on the bums, and call them “BAD!”, or how when your little girls tear those head off those Barbie Dolls, that, is NOT normal playing, and that merely means, that they’d experienced something awful, bore witness, to something AWFUL, that they can’t tell you about!

Through play, we observe, but, we can’t, we get side-tracked by that cell phone that’s ringing, and, we can’t turn off those i-Pads or whatever, because we’re all, TRACKING the “movements” of those so-called “friends” we have on FB.  Through play, we observe, and we understand, what, exactly the children ARE telling us, without using ANY form of verbal communication, but, do we, pay enough attention?  HECK no!  Nobody EVER paid ANY attention when I was FUCKING those dolls of my childhood, and, that, was how I’d DIED, a very, very, VERY long time ago, and here I still am, bringing about AWARENESS, on HOW you all need to be BETTER parents, and, am I a mommy?  Hell no!  And besides, my EMILY had been DEAD, since 2008………

Leave a comment

Filed under Being Alone, Being Exposed, Childhood, Cost of Living, Early Exposures, Innocence Lost, Loss, Observations, Parenting/Parenthood, Wake Up Calls

First Time Abroad

Translated…

Every time I’d read articles on the papers about how parents let go of their young, so their young to go off abroad, I’d felt especially moved.  Because I too, am among those who were blessed, to have this sort of wonderful parents.

Remembering how when I’d hauled out my luggage, and was about to take that trip abroad, I was only a freshman from college.  I’d just gotten approved for the foreign exchange program, and, I’d started getting anxious.  I’d thought to myself: this would be BAD, a “strawberry” was about to head out on her own?  Can I do it?  Comparing, my parents had full confidences toward my abilities, from the application process, to the moment I was about to depart, they’d given me complete support.  And so, with an unsettled heart, I’d left the familiar Taiwan.

But, the moment I’d set out, it was trouble.  On the transfer flights, all the flights were grounded, because of a snowstorm.  In an unfamiliar place, and, it was, a non-English speaking nation, what, am I to do?  Seeing how the time on the monitor keep on delaying, the transfer time for my flight had slid right past.  This, is truly bad!  I’d hauled my luggage, and started panicking, I’d dialed home subconsciously.  The moment my father picked up, I’d started crying.  “Can I come home?”, I’d said, with this nasally voice.  On the other end of the line, my father encouraged me, “don’t worry, be strong, you CAN do it!”

And so, I’d put up my tears, and started thinking of ways, to contact the counter of the airlines, and charade with my broken English, confirmed that latest status of the flights.  With the courage from my father’s words, through the difficult trials, I’d finally arrived at the nation, and, successfully, finished my coursework as a foreign exchange student.

Many years later, it’d dawned on me, my parents were very worried about me being a foreign exchange student, especially my father.  But seeing how I’d gone on my dumb force, with the urge of striking out on my own, he could only put up his worries, and became my strong backup, gave me complete support.  And, even later, did I realize, that that phone call from the airport had caused my father to stay worried for several days afterwards, he couldn’t eat, or sleep because of it.

Actually, as children of my generation, we didn’t have to worry about anything economically, which caused us to doubt our own abilities when we’re about to leave home, and to the point of panicky and helpless.  But, thanks to the parents, who had given us their warm and steady shoulders to lean on, to bravely, push the kids forward, and only took up that safe harbor to their kids.

It’s so nice to have you guys!

So, this is from the support of her father, and the father didn’t SHOW that he was worried about the daughter, just kept being the strong support for her, and that, is how a good father shows support for his offspring.

Leave a comment

Filed under Letting Go, Parenting/Parenthood, Perspectives, Properties of Life, The Declarations of Independence

The Baby Stayed Awake the Entire Night, on Parent-Child Interactions

These first years, are always the HARDEST to get through, aren’t they???  Translated…

At three in the morning, I was awakened, by the sound of the baby crying, the living room lights were turned on, my daughter held her one month old son, hung her head in defeat, with this listlessness in her eye, “I don’t know what’s wrong with him?  He just wouldn’t sleep the entire night.”

My daughter who’s completely drained said in a hoarse voice, my heart wrenched for her, I’d held my arms out, wanted to share her load, she’d taken her arms back toward herself, said bashfully, “I can’t!  Mom, you still have to work tomorrow, he’s about to fall asleep soon.”  Then, at eight in the morning, as I was heading out, the two of them still hadn’t slept a wink.

My daughter came home for the month-long recovery after birth, I’m naturally pleased, during the day time, I’d hired someone, to make the specialty food items for her, and, during the evenings, my daughter would take over the looking after of her son, when I have the spare time, I’d helped her warm up the bottles, feed my grandson, change his diapers.  Seeing the bottles, the plates, the bowls are piling up in the kitchen sinks, I’d wanted to help my daughter alleviate her stress from having to handle so much.  But, having a bad back, and I hadn’t held a child for thirty years, my body started to feel sore all over, and, the mother’s wrist had, turned into, grandmother’s wrist now, and I couldn’t tell my daughter what was going on, as she’s already stressed out about how her breasts are bloated every single day, and her son crying all the time.

I’d often believed, that having extra pairs of hands means getting the extra help, I’d often asked my son who’s in graduate school, to help his older sister out rom time to time; but, to my son, unfortunately, video games are taking over his life, no matter how I ushered him to, he still wouldn’t move at all.  Even if his young nephew’s cries are about to bring down the roof, as an uncle, he’d turned DEAF, gotten locked into the virtual, fighting world.  In the end, as the grandmother, I couldn’t hold my horses anymore, I’d held up my grandson, to soothe him, and I’d disregarded the advices of those parenting experts altogether.

Every day, I’d hoped that time could fly, because as my grandson sleeps, he’d become an angel, but, when he woke, he’d become this crying devil.  I hope, that my grandson can grow up safely, so, his first-time mom, and his first-time grandma can successfully get through this first year that marched so slowly.

The first years are always NOT easy, because the baby would cry endlessly, and, because you’re new at this parenting thing, you’re more than likely to develop problems such as postpartum depression and other problems, and this time, the mother feels helpless, because there’s NOTHING that she can do, to help her daughter, alleviate the stress from taking care of her own child.

Leave a comment

Filed under Family Matters, Observations, Parenting/Parenthood, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Vicious Cycle