Wednesday, October 21, 2009

An invisible shroud of gloom

I seem to be walking around in an invisible shroud of gloom lately. I can't seem to shake it off despite my efforts to perk up. I prayed, telling myself that I have many things to be grateful for and that this is an attack from the devil. Still, the shroud remains. Some moments, it is so thick that it suffocates me. Other times, it doesn't constrict my daily normal functioning but I know it's there.

A few nights ago, I told Osh Osh that I will be travelling overseas for a business trip on 1 November. He looked at me puzzled and said, "But Mummy, you said 2 November!" I had told him last month about the trip to prepare him for my one week of absence. He wasn't happy but he was comforted by the fact that my Mum will be coming over to stay and help us out. I was surprised that he remembered that I said I would fly on 2 November. It was only recently that my manager asked me to change my flight to 1 November to have an extra day there for more meetings. Osh Osh didn't cry when we talked about my travel plans but I could see that his heart sank and he was trying very hard to be brave. He said that he will miss me and it will not be the same not having me there beside him, reading to him each night before he sleeps. I told him that his Grandma will be there to read to him. Osh Osh replied, "It's not the same. Poh Poh doesn't read Froggy the same way that you do!" He started to sound exasperated so I decided to change the topic. We left the "reading" topic and I told him that I will be away for only 7 days. I assured him that I will buy a toy for him as a souvenir. He smiled a small smile and said, "If you cannot buy a big toy, a small one is ok."

Maybe this is the main reason for my invisible shroud of gloom. Just as Osh Osh feels that it will not be the same without me around, I feel that there is an emptiness when I am not with him. I will miss his laughter, his hugs and kisses, his numerous recounts of the events of his day, his acute words of Godly wisdom and our quiet moments of closeness. I will miss him so much that my heart will break. I dread the arrival of 1 November. I don't know who will be the stronger one. Chances are I will start bawling first at the airport! It would be as though a big part of me is roughly ripped out, leaving a gaping hole of loneliness and emptiness.

DH and I talked about this last night. He comforted me in that my business trip would only be for 7 days. The days would go by quickly because my schedule is very packed. I would not have any time to sit in the hotel room and mope or twiddle my thumbs and think of home. DH was very tired from work so he didn't want to stay up until late to continue talking about my shroud of gloom. I was tired too so we slept.

I don't have any answers. A lot of people travel long distance for business trips leaving their loved ones behind for days, weeks and even months. They cope, they make the effort to connect and be a united family despite the geographical distance. I am just going on this one trip. It's not the end of the world. I guess I don't have what it takes to be a true blue corporate Mum. My heart belongs to my "Soft Toy Boy" and nothing in the world will ever change that.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hearing the Voice of God

I learnt a very important lesson on hearing the Voice of God from my son last night.

It all began at dinner time. Osh Osh normally eats his dinner at the coffee table while watching his favourite cartoon as DH and I move about the house doing chores. Last night, for a change, we made him sit with us at the dining table. Initially, he was very reluctant. He had to decide between spending time with his parents or watching his favourite cartoon. If you were a kid his age, you would agree that it was a very tough choice!

I asked him if he wanted to have dinner at the table like a "happy family", thinking that since Osh Osh coined that phrase himself, he would see the importance of it and give up his programme. My attempt failed miserably. DH finally came up with an amicable solution. He will eat with us at the table for half an hour, after which he can go watch his tv. Osh Osh finally said yes!

We had roast chicken last night. Osh Osh asked, "Why did the man kill the chicken?" I probed him for more details. He went on to explain that man keeps chickens in small boxes then he kills them and we eat them. I said that if we want to eat the chicken, it has to be killed. Otherwise, we wouldn't have any chicken to eat. I was curious about how he knew of the rearing and killing of chickens. I didn't teach it to him so I figured he must have learnt it at school.

Osh Osh looked at me and said matter-of-factly, "God told me". Now, I am really curious so I went on to ask him a series of questions.

"How did God tell you?"

"God speak to me in my heart."

"How did you hear God?"

"I hear God in my heart. Not in my ears."

"How does God speak to you in your heart?"

"If you want to hear God, your heart will hear Him. If you don't want to hear God, your heart won't hear Him. God don't speak to your ears. God speak to your heart."

"Do you hear God all the time?"

"Yes, God speak to me all the time… in my heart, not my ears."

"What does God say?"

"God tell me things"

"What things?"

"God loves me. In my heart, not my ears."

DH and I were really impressed. It was as though Osh Osh was preaching a little sermon to us. It was clear and straight to the point. What's more important, we know that it was genuine because our little preacher has practically applied it in his life. His message was also biblically accurate! God speaks to the heart and He will only speak to you if your heart is open and willing to accept Him.

Well, that's the gospel truth from a "babe's mouth"! Amen!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Soft Toy Boy

I've given Osh Osh a new nickname. He's my "Soft Toy Boy". He loves it. Whenever he has the need for extra affection and longer hugs, he will come up to me and say in a soft babyish voice, "Mummy, am I your Soft Toy Boy?" I would reply, "Yes" and give him a hug. He would then repeat the question and I would give him another hug. He can repeat the question up to 5 or 6 times. Our hugs would get bigger, tighter and longer and if we were in his room, we would end up rolling on the mattress and laughing.

Why "Soft Toy Boy"? Osh Osh has 3 small soft toys that he brings to bed with him every night. There's Baby Lion, about 4 inches in length, which we got as a free gift together with one of the children's meals from a restaurant. Then, there's Tigger which he received as a Christmas present 2 years ago and Me Too, a soft rabbit shaped pencil case which was given to him by one of his teachers on Children's Day. Baby Lion is his favourite and he loves to pretend that Baby Lion is him and I am Tigger. So, he would always give me Tigger and we would make the 2 soft toys have conversations together with Tigger as Baby Lion's mother.

Every night, after we've finished playing, he would give Tigger to me to bring to my room. He said Tigger belongs to me. It's very kind of him to share Tigger with me. I would always take Tigger away but when Osh Osh is asleep, I would put Tigger beside him again. I love watching him sleep. He would put Baby Lion in his pajama top because he doesn't want Baby Lion to be cold. He would then lie on his side and hug Me Too.

About 2 weeks ago, when we were having this conversation, I told him that he doesn't need to give me Tigger anymore because I know how much he loves Tigger too. He can keep Tigger along with Baby Lion and Me Too. Then he looked long and hard at me and asked, "Who will be your soft toy?"

He looked so adorable so the answer automatically came to me. I hugged him and said, "You are my Soft Toy Boy". I can see that the name pleased him as his eyes gleamed and he smiled widely. So, the name stuck. He said he won't use the name at school but only at home with me. Sometimes, when we are sitting on the sofa, he would climb onto my lap and stroke my hair and ask, "Am I your Soft Toy Boy?" My heart melts each time.

I cherish these moments with him because I can see that he's growing up so quickly. He's learning to do new things each day and becoming more independent. There are times when I am very melancholy especially when I look at him sleep. Thoughts like "He is the only baby I will ever have" and "One day, he won't need as many hugs from me anymore" would engulf me. I guess these are normal feelings that a mother goes through. They are just that…feelings! What really matters is that the Soft Toy Boy loves his Mummy and his Mummy is overwhelmed with gratitude to be his mother.