And Off They Grow…

You always think of your child as babies. I think that’s one undeniable thing about being a parent. That’s what my dad says when my sister was getting married. He says, “Are you sure you want to get married? Aren’t you a little young to be married?” Well dad, considering at that time she was over 25, she is most certainly not anymore ๐Ÿ˜‰

Baby no 1 saying hello to a plant

So now I have babies of my own. I have 2 little babies who are on their way not being a baby no more. But you know, you live with your kids, taking care of them day in-day out, manage their sibling fights and what nots, and somehow they stay babies in your mind. Until you take them to school.

Baby no 2 enjoying Granny time

Once your kids enter school… that’s it, no turning back. Every time you see their friends you’re reminded how fast they are growing. You may deny it at home, but at school it is harder. They get taller, chattier, more independent. Why can’t they just stay young forever?

Ah but they can’t though can they? Nor can you. Yes you ๐Ÿ˜‰ Not much you can do about it, I’m afraid. So you know, just enjoy the time you have with them. Enjoy being with them, reading them stories, dropping and picking them up from school. Enjoy mealtimes together. Take family trips, have birthdays or whatever it is that you want to celebrate together. Have fun, have memories.

One day they will be out of your hair, they’ll move on and have familyย of their own. Gasp! My baby having their own babies! Not anytime soon I hope. But as my dad has shown, no matter how old you get, you’re still their baby. You may be out of your parents hair, but not of their minds. Never.

So here’s to parents and babies! Have love, have faith in this one big unstoppable journey.

Tada! Baby 1 and baby 2 slowly easing out of babyhood.







Surgeon for a Day

In high school I toyed about going to medicine and becoming a surgeon. I took biology and one of the things we did was dissecting a fetal pig to learn about the organs. It was probably the coolest biology experiment ever! In high school that is. Some kids in my class were a bit squeamish about the prospect of cutting an animal, as for me, I was curious, I wonder what that would be…

And so the day came. We were each given a metal pan, a set of gloves, scalpel, and a worksheet. Our biology teacher, mr R. came round giving us a fetal pig. One on each pan. Now these pigs weren’t killed for the purpose of this experiment, they were stillborn pigs that got preserved for science. At least that’s what mr R said. He gave us some instruction, namely be careful when cutting the pig open, don’t press too hard or we’ll cut into the organ too; the pig is just babies, their skin are very thin. Another one, well this is more like a warning, the scalpel are sharp so no hurting oneself or the person next to us. Which of course prompts the boys to pretend poke their neighbour with the said scalpel.

Taking a deep breath, I turn the pig onto its back and start cutting. Very slowly… Somehow I manage to cut it open without harming the organs inside. Yay! Extra points! Then we push back the skin to take a better look at the organs and my… It was so neatly organised inside, it was simply amazing. It is just like a puzzle where everything has a place and it all fits together; the heart, the lungs, the intestine, the ribs. I was just amazed by it all.

That’s when I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to be a surgeon? You get to cut people up, fix whatever is wrong inside then patch them back up again. Yes it would be but before one gets to be a surgeon, one has to be a doctor first, and in order to do that one needs to learn more science, not just Biology and this is when this dream rapidly evaporated.

At the end of 9th grade, we can choose the subjects we want to study for our IGCSE. Initially I took combined science as I thought it was important to know all three and yet I don’t want to take them individually as I want to learn other things too. However, not enough kids took that subject so we had to take one science subject or drop 2 subjects to take all three. I happen to like my other subjects so first I took Physics. First class, the teacher (I forgot whom now) give us a rubber band, told us to take out a ruler and eraser then go figure out some Physics formula. Huh?

All I can think about was there’s no way I’d take Chemistry since I barely pass it. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to do the equations. All those letters and numbers… And that leaves me with… Biology! So for the remainder of high school, Biology it is then. No more flirting with Chemistry and or Physics.

So yeah, I once held a scalpel and dissect a formerly living being. For a brief moment I get a glimpse of what surgeons do for a living and though how cool would that be.. Then class is over, I landed back on the flatlands and promptly go back to my regular non-science classes ๐Ÿ˜€

*yes, I realised you can take extra classes should one wish to study medicine but no, I stayed firmly in the Social Science realm for my further education ๐Ÿ˜‰ *

Breaking up with Siti

Breaking up with a boyfriend is bad enough. Unless you’re truly unlucky, you’ll have your girlfriends to catch you, commiserate with you, tolerate your wailing over him, and more or less nurse you back to normal. But, what happened when you break up with your best pal? Who will be there to catch you?

I became an expatriate in 8th grade. We moved to Jeddah and somehow my English was deemed good enough to go to an international school there. So there I was, the only Indonesian kid there, not knowing a single soul nor understanding anything. New and confused, I was so happy when I met Siti during recess. Here’s someone who looked like me, came from a neighbouring country, shared some Malay language and voila, I found a friend. It’s not that my classmates were horrible, just the opposite, is just that in Siti I felt I found someone with the same wavelength. Soon we start spending most recess time together, yakking on the phone, she even invited me for sleep overs at her house.

As Siti is a diplomat’s child, this was not the first time she lived abroad. Unlike me, she’s lived in Bonn and some other countries, can’t remember where now. She helped me practice my English, introduced me to Anne of Green Gables, and checking out the cute guys in school. Along with my classmates, she was quite influential in making my schooldays a happy, pleasant experience. Or so I thought.

Summer came and went. This was not the era of emails so we basically lost touch during the holidays. I wasn’t a great letter writer nor was she. Wasn’t really looking forward to returning to Jeddah, but the thoughts of seeing my friends again cheered me up considerably. So of course on the first day we shrieked and hugs the way only teenage girls do. Better and more confident in my English, 9th grade is going to be a blast!

And it was at first. We decided to auditioned for the school plays. We both ended up in the chorus but it doesn’t matter. Siti and I had much fun learning the songs and dance routine. Even though we’re just the chorus, performing was great fun. I was really enjoying my days and felt really lucky to have Siti to share it with me.

Then school breaks for New Year. When we came back, I noticed Siti wasn’t as excited to see me. But she still hangs out with me so I thought she must be just tired or something. Slowly I noticed she kinda withdrew from me. She still sit at our table but she just seem distracted. Then she start spending time with other people, not really returning my calls, until she finally said well, it’s been nice knowing you but I think I’m going to hang out with other people now. Or something to that effect.

I was stunned. What did I do?

I wrote her a note. Years before I read Cosmo, she gave me this overrated line,”It’s no you, it’s me. I think you’re great!” If I’m so great then why? I was in denial about her breaking up with me. We’ve been sitting together in Business class until one day she was summoned by her new friends and move to sit with her making it crystal clear where her loyalty lies now.

Yes folks. She moved with the in-crowd and I’m not so out I go. I think I actually cried at school after that business class. It stung like hell to be dropped just like that. It really is worse than breaking up with a boyfriend. How do you manage to bounce back from that?

Luckily I do have other friends. It was a rather big school after all. The girls from my home room were my lifesaver. They were the ones that catch me and picked me up. They knew me, watched me grow from this quiet kid to somewhat chatty person as I get more fluent, accept me as I am, embraced me and lend me their shoulders. They were on my side, was just as outraged at what they see as ‘betrayal’. See, it wasn’t just me she shunned, it was practically the whole group. She had to. She can’t be seen with us ‘losers’ if she wants to be invited to parties.

Eventually I get over it. So I’m not with the in-crowd. So what? At least I’m nobody’s lapdog. But, after Siti, I don’t trust people as easily. Scarred for life, I build my wall of protection. I became a sort of pessimist, taking things with a pinch of salt. Which is funny because years later, in uni a friend of mine says I’m an open book who wears her heart on her sleeves. (Well, maybe to you Conde cuz you’re one of my bestmate ๐Ÿ˜‰

I still find it hard to make friends especially now I’m out of school and in the real world. It doesn’t help that the few bestfriends that I do have are spread all over, none are close to me. But I have faith and hope that one day I will have a best friend again, someone I can call and talk to in good times and bad times.
As for Siti, well I lost touch after we graduated. Wasn’t exactly keen to send her postcards. No idea what she’s up to now.

So there you have it. Breaking up with a girl friend is just awful. It’s not like you can burn her love letters to feel cathartic; friends don’t write each other love notes. But if you just ride it out, with the help of other friends, you’ll get over it. Life really does go on.

*to Z, A, Z, M, you guys are the best. I’m eternally grateful. Kisses. Miss you lots!*

Het Lijn 5

You are my best pal
every morning and
every afternoon

You’d be there
every day
without fail
whether I’m late
or early

Schooldays or weekends
whenever I need you
you’re there

Sometimes you make me wait
Sometimes, despite my best effort,
you left without me but,
you’ll always come back for me

Very rarely you disappoint me.
I’d truly be lost without you

I wish I can pack you up
and take you home
But alas!
That’s just wishful thinking

And so my dear lijn 5
here I am
stuck in traffic jam

Wish you’re here
so we can play that silly game
that Luci and Jou invented
the highly amusing
highly entertaining
Tram Surfing!

To your wellbeing and prosperity
May we ride again one day.

Until then.

*Jkt morning traffic 140311*