Happy birthday to Me

When I went to my table this morning, this sight greeted me.

Parrot gift

The words say: “The world will certainly be a better place
if there are more people just like you.”

It was a birthday present from Elias. There is a personal message behind that. He wrote “Thank you for taking great care of me, Elkan, Samuel and Dad.” He wrote more and they touched my heart, but I am keeping that private.

This is the second lego toy he got for me.

The first one was a house, because I told him I like lego houses.

Lego House

Isn’t this just BEAUTIFUL?

I didn’t get to play with it much, because Samuel came to ask “Can I help?” as I was assembling it.

I suppose this time Elias gave up and decided that he might as well assemble it himself and give me the finished product.

I am alright with it… so long as he does not take this bird apart and use its parts for his other inventions. (I had to jealously guard my house, not really from him, but from his younger brother, who had followed his footsteps of NOT following lego instructions (unlike me), but mixing up all the lego sets and creating all sorts of things on his own. It is painful for me to watch.. oh well, that’s one of the many kinds of suffering a mother has to go through).

I have a photo of Elias and myself, taken on his 2nd birthday, at my work table.

Elias at 2 years old

He is a handsome boy.
But he does not really like to smile on demand, not even for photos….
..not since young, and not now either.
But if he is in a good mood, he will smile for you.

I put it there, because I often need to remind myself that he is a lovable boy, and that I love him. He drives me MAD sometimes…. I believe that God gave him to me to show me how much wickedness I have in me, to repent from and to sanctify… so I am thankful for him!

I am a typical emo woman. Sometimes I get discouraged looking at how the children are. I wonder why is it that they are so disobedient, rude, ungrateful and ill-disciplined. I would think that I am a terrible wife and mother and I would want to give up. And then I would think – what a terrible person I am to want to give up!

But I always remember something a friend once said “Because they are children”.

Wooden Stamp

This is a gift which one of them got me one of the years.
I told him, I will keep it for HIS kids…
Previously, this one gave me an Angpow.
He is not good at getting gifts, but I really don’t mind.
I appreciate it that he spends time thinking and agonising over what to get for me.
(Oh yeah, that is quite a cruel female trait..
Wanting men to suffer for their love for her).

Yes, I wish they all came to me as finished products. Or as something as easy to put together as a lego toy. So that after I have spent some time putting them together, I can just enjoy them. But no, they are much more complicated than a single lego toy… and I am constantly reminded that it is MY job to help them BECOME what I wish they would be from Day one.

Samuel making milo

Samuel wanted to make breakfast for me.
I told him he could make a cup of milo for me instead.
He protested and said he wanted to heat up the garlic bread for me,
despite me telling him that it is too difficult for him.
I told him sternly – can you just obey me?
He grudgingly said – OK, OK…

But the children DO grow up and they DO mature and they DO make me very proud. I just need to look at the positives, and not just the negatives.

This is my favourite birthday gift from them (a few years back). It is a bookmark.

Birthday Bookmark

He got the kids to form letters of the week.
So I have pictures of them in all sorts of interesting poses on one side.
On the other side, Edmund put a picture of me from the video “Singaporean for a day”.
Well, it is a little bit embarrassing…
But I appreciate that he did it.
I suppose he knows that it is important for me and for us all,
to make a difference in the world.

We went to MacRitchie for a walk yesterday and we had our first Brunch as a family.

Family photo

I prefer the colour of the top photo, but Elias had his eyes shut and Samuel’s smile looks funny. In the bottom photo, Edmund and Elkan’s smiles are not as good. So I needed TWO photos to bring out the best of everything and everyone.

Isn’t life just like that? It’s incomplete and imperfect in its individual parts. But there is some perfection in every part. We just need to take more pictures and see beauty and perfection in every one of them.

Happy birthday to you, my lovely self. You are lovely, because you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and made in the image of God. I love you, because God loves you. I will work on you, just like how I work on the children and whatever that God involves me in, so that you will become everything that God had always wanted you to be.

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