You turned 5 with a pop and a bang last week.
We invited some of your friends over and you had a blast with them. Your daddy was the perfect game-master. We created a few games that went quite well with the theme – first the new “recruits” had to get through a “laser” obstacle course, made with raffia string, not real laser of course.
In the next challenge, they had to throw sand-bag “grenades” into the designated denotation area, cordoned by a hoola-hoop. Then they had to throw spider-darts onto a web-board (a nifty toy we got from IKEA recently). Finally, it was shooting time, and everyone had to shoot the target (designed by daddy) with a nerf gun.
The games were simple and doable for all the kids who were above toddler age, and we’re glad for two things. 1) That everyone had fun. And 2) That the games didn’t cost us very much at all as we just used whatever we found in our toy boxes and storeroom. All you need is some imagination and a very fun game-master to execute the plan. (Kudos to the daddy!)
We’re also thankful that you had grandma around to feed you your dinner (it’s terribly hard to get you to focus on eating with so many friends and toys around you!) and your favourite aunties around to play with you and help you with fixing your new Lego blocks. (Yes you couldn’t wait to fix/play with all your new toys.)
You are so loved, JJ. And though it may not seem like it in those moments when you’re upset with us or we’re upset with you, we would not trade you for anything else in the world.
Over the past year, I’ve seen you grow in confidence, in social skills, and in godly wisdom.
You’re becoming more expressive with words. Over the last year, you’ve sprouted so many funny but true things from your mouth. Like this one…
JJ: Mummy can you guess whose “sayang” I like most?
Me: Nai Nai (granny)? Ah gong (grandpa)?
JJ: No, no, no. Okay, you guess whether it is mummy or papa?
Me: Oh! Me??
JJ: Yes, it’s mummy!
Me: (grinning ear to ear) But why do you like my sayang the most?
JJ: Because it’s very nice. It’s very…kind.
Me: (Laughing so hard I could cry) Ok, that’s good to know. I sayang you more ok?
JJ: (also grinning) Yes I would like that.
It strikes me that somewhere within you lies a sensitive and compassionate young man. So I take this conversation as a hint that I need to “sayang” (love) you more.
You’re growing in artistic expression.
You did this painting out of the blue one day and said, “This is Jesus on the cross (pointing to the cross in the middle.) He died for our sins because He loves us. When I asked you where is the ‘e’ in “Love” you explained that you ran out of space for it. (Haha!)
Watching you grow in faith and the expression of faith really makes me glad.
We see your caring and sensitive side more often now. Occasionally I see you taking your brother’s hand and helping him with something, or lending him one of your toys. Granted, the rivalry runs high most days and you’re often squabbling with him over something or other. These, we accept, are things we will need to work on, perhaps for the rest of your growing up years…
Being highly sensitive also means that you have your fair share of bad days where you morph into the Incredible Hulk. When it happens, we have to stay by your side and work with you to return back to normal again.
Do you know your Chinese name means “joy?” Some days, I think God has a sense of humour when he gave me that prompting to incorporate joy into your name. Don’t get me wrong, you do have your joyful days and moments, but…I still believe the best of it is still to come.
One important thing I’ve learnt from parenting you is to Keep It Simple Silly. (KISS for short)
That means to take the time to listen to you, play with you, explore places with you, and deal lots of hugs and kisses and prayers (not so much lectures and consequences, though we must of course have a few of those.)
You don’t need complex and over-planned schedules. You just need our pure and simple presence — our just being there.
We love you, our dearest JJ.
And I repeat, we will never ever trade you for anything else in the world. God has a beautiful and special plan for your life. I can’t wait to see it unfold, and I pray you will stick by Him, and let Him lead you each step of the way.