Monday, October 5, 2009

Cherishing the wonder years

It's hard to believe that Andre is 9. Just the other day, I was walking along my estate and had a sudden flashback of clutching Andre's chubby little hand as we traversed that route to his pre-school together. Was that really 5 years ago? Seems like yesterday.

I think all mothers feel that pang when their youngest child grows up. Maybe that's why we're determined to baby our little ones for as long as possible, to hang on to the sweet, wonder years where the world is still waiting to be discovered.

I won't pretend that I don't miss those years, but I'm very grateful that I was able to have near perfect work arrangements to enjoy Lesley-Anne and Andre to the fullest at that age. We can't turn back time and I feel for parents who regret not having spent more time with their kids during their formative years.

Andre has matured significantly in the past one year. I can see the difference even in his physical features. He has lost much of that baby face as well as his baby fat, probably due to his badminton training. He no longer has interest in cartoon merchandise like Ben 10 and has begun to recognise and steer towards his sporting abilities. At a recent birthday party, he was playing soccer with a group of friends and the birthday boy's mum asked me if Andre attended soccer coaching as he was a very good goal keeper. I said no, his performance was probably boosted by the fact that he's not afraid to fling himself right into the path of the oncoming ball! Andre also shared with me, not without some pride, that during PE, everyone wants to be on his team. This makes me glad, especially since back in school, I was always last on the schoolyard pick! (Bookworms and PE are like water and oil - they just don't mix).

My little boy is growing up fast. But in certain aspects, he's still as child-like as ever and I hope he will maintain that innocence for as long as possible. He still climbs into my lap and is generous with his hugs and kisses. He still holds my hand, he will make silly faces and mimic silly moves. He still says the funniest, out-of-the-blue, totally huh? things - (in reponse to an insult from Lesley-Anne - "if I'm a dust mite, you're... you're... fabric!!")

Last week when I was picking Andre up from school, a boy dashed to the school gate, waved enthusiastically at him and yelled with affection, "Bye Andre!" Later, I realised that boy was one of the kids in the class who was constantly getting into scrapes and having trouble making friends. I asked Andre if he was a friend, he replied, "Yes. W told me not to be friends with him but I don't care lah. I'm friends with everyone."

I think it is this easy-going and gregarious nature of Andre that enables him to accept everyone for who they are and enjoy whatever life has to offer. It is humbling that my 9-year-old should be a constant check against my own cynical attitude, and it's a real blessing for me. My wish for him is that he will never lose this guileless temperament. At the risk of sounding like a besotted mum, I truly believe the world would be a better place if there were more Andres in it.


Anonymous said...

awww.. this is so sweet. I know what you mean about missing the chubby hands (and cheeks!). Mine are only about 6, yet I'm already missing the little them.

I'm reminded of a beautiful song called "Water Color Ponies" by Wayne Watson. It talks about how watching the children grow is mixed with a bitter cup becos the watercolor ponies (painted by them) will someday ride away. But as parents we're to impart holy reverence for the Lord that they might mount up on wings as eagle for His cause.

The lyrics are pretty long, so I won't post them. Try google and listen to the song!


Lilian said...

100% agree that people like Andre make the world a much better place. I too wish I were more like him and less of a cynic. I like what he said about being friends with everyone. He is exhibiting what I always stress to be the most important trait, being kind to others. He's such an endearing kid :)

Veronica_L said...

Yes, the world would be a much better place with more Andres around. People like him make this world magical lah...It may seem like a small gesture to you, but it makes a huge difference in the boy's life.

A toast to more Andres in the world!!!!

monlim said...

PeaTh: I checked out Watercolor Ponies, beautiful lyrics! Thanks for sharing, very poignant.

Thanks Lilian and Veronica. It's easy to miss these little gestures in the daily grind. I'm reminding myself to be more observant and more patient so I can appreciate my kids more!

breve1970 said...

What an angelic and endearing boy! You have brought him up well, Monica. I like his cool attitude -
"I'm friends with everyone!". That is such a nice gesture.

Anonymous said...

Actually children are really good mirrors for us. When we forget what innocence is like, it's really nice to watch them. Andre has a gregarious nature that is developing into good charisma.


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