Saccharine Moments

There must be something in the September 2013 air. Something that made the kids grow up.

Matthew’s tops and pants seem to have become shorter. Megan’s legs are almost stick-thin, not unlike that of Matthew’s.

Worst of all, the heart-breaking, blood vessels-bursting clashes with the kids have increased ten-fold. It is as if the kids are ganging up against us to push the boundaries, test our limits, and drive us to an early grave. Every day is a struggle; a power struggle. The kids are still too young to let them go, let them do whatever they want with no regards to rules. So we try to rein them in, and they try to break free. The same song plays, again and again.

Yet, when things look bleak and I become emotionally and mentally weary to the point of giving up, the kids throw out a few seconds of sweetness that make me have second thoughts.

I was alone with the kids one evening and the power struggle had been going on since morning. I was on the bus with the kids and I had already talked myself dry to get the kids to behave in public. I was too tired to continue talking to the kids, so I just sat in the seat and stared into space.

I must have looked so dejected that even Matthew noticed. He looked into my eyes and said, “MaMa, can you give me a smile please?”. He demonstrated what he just said to me with his signature lop-sided smile. I could not reject his request, no matter how much I protested inside. I turned up the corners of my mouth at him, and his smile widened with satisfaction. That sweet moment was seared into my memory, and my spirits lifted enough for me to last through dinner with them.

I have fallen ill recently and am now nursing a cough. The first night I had the cough and lost my voice, I apologised to the kids for not being able to read them a story that night. Matthew started nagging me to go see a doctor the next day, so I can get medicines and get well. While his repeated reminders were a tad annoying (my tolerance for naggers is really low), I am secretly happy he cares for me.

Megan gives the best hugs in the family; strong, tight, and extremely genuine. I told her that recently, and she was so happy she told her dad I said that, after giving him her signature hug. Now, I make sure I get her to hug me at least once daily, and I reinforce by telling her how much I love her, despite the naughty things she does. I hope she will be able to understand how much she hurts me, one day.

Reliving these memories is keeping me going on the past few days, which have been made worse because of my illness. I just want a sweet, happy family. Is that too much to ask for?

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