Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sending our babies into the big (bad) world called life

Just as I hugged my 8yo after school one day, he whispered in my ears, "Mum, I have something to tell you but let's wait until we are far away from school."

I knew something serious was up. Kai only says this when he is upset with something that happened in school. I put my arms around his shoulders and we walked out of the school gate in silence. When we were far away enough and when he made sure no one was around, he told me this story he had heard during assembly that morning.

A man had abandoned his dog and the dog, instead of wandering off, sat there and waited for its master. It thought his master would come back for him. But his master never did. The dog waited and waited and eventually died of starvation and a broken heart. "I really wanted to cry, mum, when I heard the story," Kai told me. It must have taken a lot on his part to hold back the tears then; I know my son.

Kai was tearing as he told me the story. When he reached home, he finally burst out in tears. It took him a long time to calm down.

Kai is a sensitive soul. He has always been a gentle boy who is upset by sad endings and possible bad outcomes. I felt sad and scared for my little man who is growing up and is realising that bad things can happen. How do you tell a child not to be afraid of the real-world when sometimes as adults, we feel lost too?

As usual, I could only hold him as he cried and told him we'll never abandon our pets. Ever.

At night, I told him I am going to play him a song and he is to listen to the lyrics carefully. I told him that yes, there'd be times where he'd be disappointed, hurt, betrayed, or sad. I told him that I don't have all the answers and I wish, with all my might, that I can stop all bad things from happening. But I can't. The one thing I know I can do is to love him with all my heart and soul and I hope, that'd give him strength to tackle any curveballs that life has thrown at him.

And I played him this:

When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love
When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love
I know you haven’t made your mind up yet
But I would never do you wrong
I’ve known it from the moment that we met
No doubt in my mind where you belong
I’d go hungry, I’d go black and blue
I’d go crawling down the avenue
There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do
To make you feel my love
The storms are raging on the rollin’ sea
And on the highway of regret
The winds of change are blowing wild and free
You ain’t seen nothing like me yet
I could make you happy, make your dreams come true
Nothing that I wouldn’t do
Go to the ends of the earth for you
To make you feel my love
- Bob Dylan, "Make You Feel My Love"

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