Friday, November 7, 2008

A life lesson I learnt from my son

Being clueless is part of Andre's DNA. Take a recent incident for instance. One of his friends called and he chatted away animatedly on the phone for a full ten minutes. When he finally hung up, I asked, out of curiosity, "Who was that?"

Andre (shrugs): I don't know

Me (incredulously): Huh? You talked on the phone for so long and you don't know who it was?

Andre (indignantly): He didn't tell me his name!

Apparently, the name of the caller was just a minor, unimportant detail. I told him he should always know who he's talking to, so since then, every time he gets a phone call, he would demand, "Who are you?"

But yet it is this same cluelessness that enables him to enjoy life. Sometimes, I think it must be great going through life as Andre - never worrying about tomorrow, always living for the moment. He doesn't care what other people think of him, not as a strategy for a happy life but I suspect because it doesn't even occur to him to care.

Just this Monday, Andre told me it was "Be Yourself Day" at school, so he could wear anything he liked. I had recalled reading it in a note but had misplaced it. Nevertheless, I took his word for it and let him wear his Ben 10 t-shirt to school.

When Lesley-Anne came home from school (she's in the morning session, he's in the afternoon), I happened to mention it to her. She exclaimed, "It's not today, it's TOMORROW!" OMG, I almost died. (Lesson: never take Andre's word for anything, always check with the clued in elder sister.) I imagined him sticking out like a sore thumb in his Ben 10 t-shirt amidst a sea of school uniforms.

My dread deepened when Lesley-Anne recounted how a girl had mistaken the wrong day for Racial Harmony Day and starting crying because she was so mortified to be in her red cheongsam when everyone else was in their school uniforms. If this had happened to Lesley-Anne, I'm sure it would have scarred her for life.

So you can imagine my concern while waiting for Andre to return home. When Andre stepped through the door, I casually asked, "Wrong day?" To my immense relief, he smacked his own forehead and laughed, "Yah!! It's tomorrow!! Hahahaha!!!" Andre has a very infectious laugh, so pretty soon, we were all in stitches. Then he added, "Can I wear my other Ben 10 shirt to school tomorrow?"

It's not often I learn something from Andre but this is a valuable lesson: when you don't take yourself too seriously, you're more likely to enjoy life to the fullest.

(Picture Andre drew of himself when he was in p1)


Domestic Goddess said...

I love this post! Andre is so cute. :) It is a nice reminder to me too, I often take things too seriously.

And that is a superb drawing. So childlike and such innocent portrayal. He must be a happy child. :)

Lilian said...

He is just too adorable! We would all do well to take a leaf out of Andre's book of bochap living. The world would be a better place for it.

Alcovelet said...

Monica, your Andre is such a sweet and funny guy! This is a great lesson, to just live each day fully and not be so self conscious. It's easier said than done though, for a lot of us, so Andre's got a real gift in life.

And his self portrait is so piercingly reflective of what he is - I guess this one is for keeps!

bACk in GERMANY said...

yeah great self-portrait... may there always be sunshine in Andre's life and even when the skies are grey, a rainbow is definitely on its way!

Andre's such a happy kid.
Btw, my husband is a really happy man! Remind me to tell you what his secret ambition was when we meet.

Has it ever occurred to you that he might just wanna be wrong so that he could wear his Ben 10 t-shirt again? After all, he has more than one. And there's certainly a need to parade all of his collection!

breve1970 said...

"When you don't take yourself too seriously, you're more likely to enjoy life to the fullest." - Monica, I like that phrase. You are so true! If such a thing had happened to me, I would have been very upset and probably "scarred for life too".

But Andre, he is such a jovial and easygoing boy. He will grow up to be a cool dude:)! Not many kids can shrug it off like that. There is definitely alot of immaturity in Andre and that he doesn't mind being different from the rest of his friends for the day!

monlim said...

In a family of worriers, I'm so thankful I have one happy-go-lucky one - it certainly gives a lighter perspective to life, something we all need now and then! I'm not sure if it's due to immaturity and whether he'll grow out of it, I hope not! Cindy: I'm hoping that like your husband, it continues all the way thru to adulthood!

monlim said...

Andre says: "I'm so embarrassed!" (He isn't really, he's relishing all the attention he's getting from the aunties here). "It's true - I'm so silly!!"

eunice said...

Hope he maintains his individuality when he grows up. Have a feeling we are going to be 'seeing' more of your son in the future and he'll be something! (in a good way). Keep it up Andre!

breve1970 said...

Sorry Monica.

Typo error... "I meant maturity and not immaturity".. gosh am hopeless with typing. Thought I did proofread that before posting it.


monlim said...

Ann: Freudian slip, actually I think you're more accurate to say "immaturity"!!

breve1970 said...

Har? Fainting...

Anonymous said...

Hi Mon,

Your ds is so adorable! I agreed that taking things too seriously in life will make a person unhappy no matter what he/she is doing. I guess boys are more easy going than girls, girls are usually the worried ones. My younger gal is also those happy-go-lucky type while my elder one is more serious. The younger one is not a fast learner like her sister but I'm not giving myself any presure, as long as she is happy.


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