A New Sanctuary 

Life became topsy turvy. Intense at the beginning but bearable. Home was no longer a quiet sanctuary. Sanctuary became any time and any place when my kids were not with me. 

Parenthood. Parenting. Building a family life. A new norm to accept and come to terms with. A new form of sanctuary. 


A Dad’s Reflections

Poem for Z and J
I hate and love NS.

It takes away me from my family but at the same time it also brings us together.

Grapefruit – how sour!

But we loved eating it together, and it was so fun by to see how you cringe as you ate the Grapefruits.

“I want to eat the whole thing”!

As I type this, a smile on my face and a sour taste in my mouth!

I’m sorry that I had to work the night before my ICT, and couldn’t read a story to you.

But I treasure the time I could have with you, carrying you, praying for you. 

You always remember to ask me to pray for didi who is sleeping. I would put my right hand on him and pray “I lay you down to sleep”.

I love how you whisper “goodnight” to me as I close the door, your lovely eyes big and wide, and you trying to strike a last conversation with me, asking me why are the lights off. 

As I told you that I am going to be a soldier tomorrow, you said “bye bye” so tenderly. I feel tears fill up my eyes as I close the door. 

Goodnight my son…

J – you are always full of joy and energy. You little bundle of action, always in your own little world, exploring the toilets, the common corridor and the dehumidifiers.

The dehumidifiers actually do a great job helping you learn to walk!

You remind me to be a child of God – and as I experience my love for you, I experience that tiny little bit of Daddy God’s love for us.

I loved how happy you were when we ran together at the Airport and at IKEA. You were jumping and squealing in your stroller as kor kor scooted and carried you in the IKEA shopping trolley.

I love the way you crawl to me with so much excitement and laughter.

I love looking into your eyes as you look around curiously.

I love you J.

Core Memories 

Dear Z, 

Papa and I watched ‘Inside Out’ last week. It was such a delightful movie about family life and our emotions. After watching the movie, we were more consciously aware about forming core memories for you. 

Grapefruit memory – Today you went groceries shopping with Papa and asked to buy grapefruits. You and papa ended up having a good bonding time eating grapefruits together and we were amused by your facial expressions to the sour taste. You saw that it made us laugh so you kept doing it again and again. 
A gardening memory – we discovered aphids on our bean plant. I knew those were aphids from reading Eric Carle’s “Bad-tempered ladybug” to you. We wouldn’t have known it if not for that book. You followed me around our corridor while i trimmed off dead leaves and the aphid-infested plant. So many things can pique your curiosity in your expanding mind. 

Laughing-at-nothing memory – papa and I were so exhausted from the day and we laid down on the playmat. You joined us in what we were doing, not that we were doing anything fun, we were lying down doing nothing, but because you wanted to be with us. We had a good laugh asking each other why we were so tired. You did not understand why we were laughing but you joined in anyway. 

A happy family laughs with a toddler at something that is entirely nonsensical. 



Bonding with Grandparents

Dear Z,

You will be spending tonight and tomorrow with grandpa and grandma (my parents). A brilliant suggestion from grandma. This isn’t your first time but it’s the first time since J was born. On one hand, she wants to bond with you and on the other hand, I get a breather from having to manage 2 of you at home. 

It was cute watching you decide what you wanted to stuff in your mini luggage. You eventually brought your elephant-printed pillow and Rheneas the train. 

Since we moved you and J into the same room, your night sleep has been shortened by 1 hour because J wakes up an hour earlier than you. It wrenches my heart when you are not getting your deserved sleep but I am so glad you took it well in your stride and you compensate for the loss in your nap. Yes there were mornings when you were cranky but you are doing so well on the whole with J. 

You have such a good and giving heart. I am blessed by it.

I wish you a good time with grandpa and grandma. Treasure their companionship while you still have them. 

Dear J, with big bro out of the room for the night, I am going to sleep train you, so you both have the same waking time. 

Hopefully. Prayerfully. 

There will be a time when you too will spend the night with grandpa and grandma. When you are slightly bigger and sleeping longer. 

With Love,