"Our house is full of love. The corn tied up
in the cellars, rice in the storage, and woods.
There is no chimney, but the kitchen is in abundance
non stop. The water that is stored in the claypot
a remedy when hearts are so yearning to meet...."
"Our house is full of love - hasta indriyana"
I fight to my oldest son recently - more than I normally do. See, with me - most of time I walk away, I couldn’t be bother to use my energy to argue, except to some people that I care so much I couldn’t walk away from. With my oldest son, well, its those unusual arguments with tones that are too loud for me. We, my oldest son and I just two hearts that love each other so much that feel so much hurt after. At least after the arguments I understand what otherwise he wouldn’t say, while thinking and trying to explained things and situations I couldn’t and wouldn’t change, but at the same time offering solutions on how can we make it better from that very moment.
Our family had a very drastic changes recently - and being an early step of preteen - I understand perhaps he also experiencing a biological changes in his physiological and psychological development. Without any other complications, a decision of a family separation is a big one to make, let alone if we add other factors in the equations.
My oldest was a quiet one in the playground when he was much younger. He step back in the playground to assessed which part of the playground he can do with least risks, and he could tell his friends the safest and quickest way to get on top, without himself have to be on the top, and asking his friend what he wanted to know from where he was standing. He watched other children mixing colours and tell them when his friends get confused which colours to mix to make certain colours. He when get bored to play, sat with me (in the age of 3), talk to me about his friends he was playing with as if he was 2 years older. As I looked into his eyes, I can see a part of me playing in that mind, questionings his questions. Just recently he said that time is a conceptual thing that doesn’t exist in the universe and just a man-made concept to stop people being crazy in running their life. It doesn’t exist! so why we have to make and follow a schedule, he asked me. In joking way.
His younger brother, the tough one from the outside but very soft in the inside, whose jumped into readiness to attack as soon as he felt threatened. Whose understanding about life in his simplicity take me into these zone that I wonder whether I would ever understand if I have never had them. How he said that he can see in his mind some memory of the past that had not happened anymore playing in his head and he could still see it. “like I was there but I was not there anymore, I am here and its only in my mind”. Who asked whether the thing he sees the same one as I see, like colours or shapes - which made me smile because I did asked the same to my mum when I was in his age. Whether I believe if there is any god that create everything or whether there is not. If there is a god then why there are sometime bad things happened, like people hurt or flooding. Whose honesty and bravery in some occasions had taken me to have a deep breath, a true fiery little boy with cuteness that I have privilege to see and experience and cuddle with.
And here is me, a mum whose living in a country that is not where I am from and now I call home while my extended family are living across the globe. Living in the best place I could possibly think of in this big place call the world in this particular and peculiar changing time with my limitation for raising my children and give them best possible start I could think of without shaking their roots too much, despite other circumstances.
As our little family fell apart - my children and I had journey a great distance in our own circumstances. A distance that is not measured by miles, but by progress how we see and behaves toward the world. We still fell and stumble sometime but we learned each step of the way. At some point for months in early days I saw my oldest went very quiet and did not share anything about school at all. He stopped mostly his physical activities, clubs. I encouraged him as much as I could. He tho came home, took his books from library, many of them, and sat very close to me to read it, sometime put his head on me. He was lost in the journey of these books, and he read a lot! Once, I thought that was too much for his little mind. I came to realised he just needed an escape, a focused directions for his mind, and books are good craving if that is what he needed - so I let him lost in his book quests. He was 9 then.
My youngest went the opposite way, he became so physically active, refused to sit down, refused to listen nor chat - its boring he said - and continue behaving just like a whirlwind. He climbed the lamp pole in the middle of town, handstanding by the mailbox, climbing trees, wires and fences, running through balancing poles, running through city benches. We went through great distance of not talking much and doing our own activities side by side and just enjoying each other companies nearby -into questioning each other, arguments, raised voices, tears and cuddles. We always seems like having some winds in our sail here and there to keep us going, and keeping life colourfull, and I learnt that in our arguments at least we are able to speak up our minds without worry that anyone would be hurt by it or get punished for speaking up.
Once, I carried my youngest, 7 years old, as he was in raged saying how he hated his brother. As he sat on my back having a piggyback ride, I explained how and why he felt that way. I remember how it helped me to understand my emotions to get pass the turbulence of emotions. That he wanted his brother to say or approve what he wanted but instead the big brother said the opposite. For him, his brother means a lot, and i believe the brother feel the same too, but they express it different way. I said to them - “at least we have someone we can argue with and say so much things and might get hurt or hurt each other but we can still forgive and get together again as if nothing happened. We don’t do that to many people you know? Only to some very special people. We have to be grateful to have someone we can fight with that no matter what we do it would not change the way we love them, or the way they love us, don’t you think?” I said again “When you are not with me, I missed that arguments like ones I had with your brother that kept me awake all night after we fought. I love you two very much you know. I wish later even when you are bigger, that you would still fight with me saying what you think is wrong with us rather than talk to other people first. I want to be the first person you speak to when you have problem with me. Or if you have problem with anyone else, it would be nice if you speak to me too.”
Although the arguments is one of the hard ones and the one I felt other people or ‘observers’ nearby easily judge or comments, the hardest one is not that. The hardest one is those quiet conversations before they fell asleep, or in the bath with my little one as I washed him, about their real worries and questions -like “i love you very much mummy, sorry for the arguments today” or “was that my fault mummy” or “i wish we are still a big family and we all still living together” (although the knew that time its not possible - life simply just had been moving forward) or “why you didn’t want to be with papa anymore?” or when they met their dad's partner “do i have to call that person mum too? it would be weird to have two mums” (I smiled) “do that person’s children would be my sister?” (i said - just be friends for now, don’t worry about anything) “can people with children getting married?” “is papa going to live with her and her children?” and the last ones - “will you still love me the same if you have someone else too?” I said to them - I will always love you the same. No one else in this world would have my love more than the way i love you two.
In this changing time - the entire world is in transformation and my world had been changing in the last two years - as well as these little hearts. If there is any words I could explained to you how I feel, I would but i don’t have that word. I understand now that building life after so much changes - despite what equations is putted in the reason why the changes must and had happened, is a journey that need a perseverance to stay focus in little things despite how insignificant it might feel sometime. There is no reward of being a mum, you don’t get payment for being it, sometime not even a thank you or sorry, often - its the words "i hate you" because you stomp to things you think its right for them - "i love the other more, i want to be with dad" "you dont care about me, you just care about someone else" and so and so and so. If a heart is something you can slice each time this things happened, perhaps I would not have anything left anymore. Its also involved covered yourself with sickness or poo or wee, wake up in the middle of the nights of night feeds - breast or bottle, of nightmares, or anything. You become any profession you can think of for your children, a teacher, a cook, a cleaner, a clown, a nurse and if you have time for yourself when they are around, thats a great gift from them. Adding this changing time where what the children need just a safe space to release anything that bothering them in any way they know of, to be accepted as the way they are even in their worst state, I understand if it could be hard sometime for the adults who has their own needs too. I understand how it could be possibly challenging for everyone, and we turn to find our needs fulfilled. But for me right now, I love every minutes of their companies and what I cherished most of all is that precious little moment when the say quietly - "I love you". Then and there, all the hurt, pain and bruises I ever had in my life - all faded away. Only then - the world seems okay and I can walk in ease - fulfilling my own needs in my own way.