1 Oct 2007


I was looking at some pictures the other day - old photos of my children growing up. Sometimes I wish I can see it all over again, experience again those wonder years. Looking at Rizal's pictures - at one month old, six months old and so on... life seems to have flown so fast. Now I'm here at his house looking after his child. He was such a beautiful child, I think all my children were. No doubt I'm being very partial but I do believe its true. Rizal was such a good boy - he hardly ever misbehaved. And so fussy about cleanliness. I remember how he refused to go inside my mother's toilet - it was wet and there were signs of mould on the walls where she didnt scrub them. He would step on my feet and refused to put his own feet on the wet toilet floor. Watching the village boys playing in front of my mother's lawn, he refused to join in despite cajoling and persuasions from the other boys - they looked entirely too dirty for his liking.
Wan however was the exact opposite. He would dive in regardless of the dirt and the wet. I remember his cheeky smile after a particularly grueling play session at Sequoia Park in California. He was so covered in dust you could hardly recognise him. More like a street urchin than my own. No child revelled in dirt as much as that one did.
They were all different in their own ways - the girls and the boys. Rizal had to grow up suddenly when we had Wan. He had been our only child for a long time - 6 years , then suddenly had to be pushed aside by this little squalling brat everyone said he had to love. Sometimes I wonder how he felt. At that time I was studying for my degree, so had very little time left for him.If I could change things I would change that aspect of my life and pay more attention to him.Looking at photos of him as a seven year old I see a scrawny looking boy, a bit sad in the eyes and regret not paying attention to him then. Even when we were in the States and Rizal was 9 or 10, I don't remember sitting down with him and talking to him of school and what he did - just asking him whether he had completed his homework. I really must have been a terrible mother I think.

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