At 9pm last night, I sat in my car with the engine off, looking idly at the other cars driving in through the school gate. Around me, other parents were waiting patiently for their son to walk out the school foyer.
This week, YK is attending a training programme specially designed to equip them with the most powerful attitudes, principles and strategies they need to excel in both their school and personal lives. I appreciate his school for organising activities like this to teach them life skills unlike many schools which focus only on academia.
Last year, YK went on a camping trip in Malaysia where they stayed with the Orang Asli natives, went white water rafting and roughed it out in the rainforest. Two years ago, they spent several days in a scout camp, climbing ropes, scaling walls and trekking through the countryside. The year before, they attended a team building camp in school.
I could see the parents' face light up when a sea of teenage boys in white uniform started streaming out of the school. I almost didn't see YK walk towards my car but the moment he did, he hugged me tightly and said "Mummy, I love you."
Huh, what was that all about? Apparently, that afternoon, the trainers taught them about building bonds with the parents. It started with provocative questions like "Don't you hate it when your parents nag at you?" "Do you find your parents a nuisance sometimes?" The trainers then told them about the pain mothers go through during delivery, the unconditional love parents have for the kids etc.
By the time a trainer shared his personal story of how it became too late for him to tell his mum he loved her at her deathbed, tears were streaming down everyone's face. At that point, all they wanted to do was to rush home and hug their parents.
I would imagine there were many happy and tearful parents last night. YK asked me if a parent's love for their kid is indeed unconditional and if I would be always be there for him. I said, "Of course. I'm going to be around for so long, you'll get tired of me."
Being a mum can be so rewarding.
A funny thing happened yesterday afternoon. Ting came home from school and rushed into my room, whining about something frivolous. I looked her in the eye and said in a very stern voice, "Ting, I heard from grandma that you have been whining and crying again all morning. That's not very nice. If you continue throwing tandrums, everyone, including grandma and grandpa, is going to ignore you. How? Who's going to love you if you keep behaving like this?
Staring straight at me with her big, bright eyes, she said softly "Koo Koo is going to love me."
My heart melted instantly. Being a Koo Koo (aunt) can be so rewarding too.