I was told that as a young, growing up child, I got an electric shot but my cousin Aie managed to save me. When I tell this to people now, people would tell me that it’s no wonder I have some brains. It’s easy to joke about this now because I’m alive.
I was told that when I started walking, I once disappeared from home. As my parents were frantically looking high and low for me, guess where I was? I was sleeping in the drain in front of our house, then, in Ampangan, Seremban.
As a kid, I loved to touch things I shouldn’t have touched. I tried to bounce a Christmas decorative ball, made out of glass and my mom had to pay for it with her already little pay. I loved to try on perfumes and once got some in my eyes and I made my mom convince me I wasn’t blind.
I also loved toys I couldn’t have and made a scene at Toys r’ Us because my parents couldn’t afford to buy me the playhouse with the kitchen.
As a kid, I was never spoilt with niceties of all kinds but I had oh so much love. Our first home was a single story house, in Ampangan which had rented furniture in it. They had a TV, a radio, me and themselves. After all, my parents were really young when they got me and they were just building their careers then.
Post high school, I became a much easier person to handle because my parents had no choice but to let me live my life on my own. I was left to make my own decisions and organise my own life. Those were the best times of my life. I managed to study and make friends and also celebrate life as it came every day, in a way I liked. I felt so alive. Best times of my life.
Post varsity brought me home again and I had to go through a massive culture shock although I never left the country for my tertiary education. Massive adaptations had to be made to my carefree life. And by carefree I don’t mean wild, don’t get me wrong. I was so used to handling my own life that when people looked into every little thing I did, I became riled. But like it or not, you can’t choose who your family is and so, you learn to live and love.
If it were not for this wedding, I think I would not be thinking of why my parents are the way they are with me. The road to my wedding has so far been a very bittersweet journey. There are things I don’t reveal, not even to Mister sometimes, because to me, some dirty laundry should be left in the laundry basket and not be hung out to dry until they are thoroughly cleaned.
And with everything going on in my life, of course there are arguments of varying degrees. Of course there are misunderstandings and miscommunications. Kecil hati, terasa dan sewaktu dengannya itu biasa. Confrontations and small talks as well.
It’s easy to blame our parents for wanting the best they could ever want to do for their kid. It becomes suffocating when they love you too much and it gets really difficult to love them back sometimes because of the things they utter. But in the end, you love them anyway because you cannot imagine a life in which they are not in.
Sometimes, it’s not so much of what was said, but how it was said. But how could you possibly change them, if they’ve lived for around half a century and have always been that way?
I always feel like my parents are sometimes not thankful enough to have me as a daughter. I always felt this way when I brought home my exam results and they started asking me how other people faired. Because to me, if your daughter manages to get a DL for every single semester, there’s no point in asking her how other people faired. It would only be fair to reward her instead.
But I’m not Adik. And that’s what they’ll only do with her, that I have come to learn. Trust me, I am not bitter about it at all because though there are some things which Adik has more, she lacks in some other money-can’t-buy things which I was privileged enough to get.
Getting back to not being thankful part, it’s easy to feel like our parents are not thankful for having us as a daughter because it’s the things that happen now, which are those we tend to remember. Sometimes, I wish I could remember those times when I cried so much ‘til my mom couldn’t sleep. Or those times when I caused them heartaches for “disappearing” in the drain or the massive scare I gave them when I got an electric shock. I also wish I could remember those times when I threw a tantrum at Toys r’ Us just because they couldn’t afford to buy me a playhouse complete with the kitchen and the works. I wished I remembered them, instead of being told of them. I wish I remembered how difficult I was as a kid.
Why do I want to remember?
So that, I too, can learn to be thankful. I can’t keep on remembering the things I have done for them now and keep on thinking that they are the ones who should be thankful. I should go back to those times in which my memory escapes me, so that I will remember how difficult it was to bring me up to become this person that I am now.
And that without my parents’ hard work, I would never be where I am and who I have become.
It’s time to stop thinking that I could do it all on my own, because clearly, even the thought of it haunts me and scares me to my bone. I can't do it on my own.
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