Posted in Books, Langit Senja, Maternité, Thoughts

The Joy of Motherhood

As we finished isya and she folded her mukena, she came to me and looked at me, then whispered in tiny voice,
“Are you binung (bingung)?” since she caught me staring blankly.

“I am not feeling well,”

“Can I help you with anything? Do you want some tea?”

“Ya, i’ll make some tea later,”

“I’ll help you with it. With sugar or honey? Or without sugar?”

“Without sugar. Do you know which glass to use?”

“The green glass,”.

Then I just watched her doing it step by step in her own way.

While mine is put the tea bag on the glass, then fill it with hot water while hers is fill the glass with hot water then put the tea bag.

As her hand went up and down with the tea bag, she asked,

“Enough?”

“Yes,”.

The glass didn’t have any handles on it, when she touched it she knew she couldn’t bring it to me.

I thought she would ask me to just go to the table and drink it there (i still sat on the sajadah), but instead she said,
“Wait, I need a tray to bring this, but where is it?”

(there’s usually a little tray for drinking glass on the table)

“In the drying rack, I washed it. Is it dried enough already?”

She took it and answered,
“Not really, but it’s fine”.

She put the tea on the tray and put it on the carpet.
One sip, it filled the whole body with warmth.

Little cup with enormous effect

Listened to the empathetic tone. Listened to her offering help, even asked with some details. Watched her doing the task systematically and solved the problem well.

It was a joy that no kind of tangible achievement could give.

I once wrote last year, I have three qualities that become my compass in raising her. At the same time, Edward de Bono’s book become one of the on-going readings on the shelf.

Being shown that she displayed one of the qualities properly and showed that she knew how to think accordingly.

This is the kind of learning and training result that matters the most for me.

This might be just a simple thing for others, but this is the kind of event that could wipe all my worries tremendously for a while.

It was one of the moments that I could assure myself that she would be ok.

Posted in Books, Favorite things

My Kind of Leisure and Pleasure

Always been a polygamous reader since many years ago. Couldn’t stuck with one reading at one time. Belows are the past few months that currently entertain the mind.

Reading is my leisure.

Beautiful lightning, day and night, is my pleasure.

The reading corner in natural morning light
Barefeet reading during afternoon golden hours
Beauty
Car-wash reading in natural morning light
Peach tea is the element
Classic reading about the city
The city tour guide by the tube

Feels like listening to life advices from the old man

Posted in Books, Favorite things

Life on Piano Updates

After 1,5 years practising with nice keyboard we bought in London (P-32), we finally upgraded the instrument to piano digital CL-745 after a thorough researches from the doctor.

It was such a dilemma buying new instrument while we have my big old made-in-japan upright at my parent’s house. But, the urge to upgrade is quite strong because the little girl’s current situation needs more improved instrument so she could play better.

The option for the little girl to play better was between change our instrument or move to a bigger place. Although the choice was pretty clear that we should go with the less headache one, but it still took months until I finally said yes to a new instrument.

The first repclass was the turning point moment. When I saw she played nicely in front of small audience, I finally realized that new instrument was no longer an option. More, with her first exams coming in few months, it gave us more valid reasons to provide proper instrument for her.

So, right after the first repclass ended, off we went to piano store, paid, and they sent it right away to our place. We wrapped the keyboard inside its cover and placed it on the cupboard, set up new arrangement so the new piano could fit in the room.

Thank you for your services, beautiful.
Hello, new friend!

The highlight of having new instrument for the little girl is I am getting a new reading corner for myself. So, everyone is happy, I guess. Hope the new instrument will bring more blessings and stay longer than the old one. Amin.

Reading corner in natural morning light

Posted in Books, Favorite things, Places

Le Petit Pique-Nique

Weeks being trapped with tens of online meet and greet,
It made me want to vomit.

Not kind of things I would like to commit, yet, nor the things I would like to cheat.

The tension is on the peak
Donc, peut-on avoir
un petit pique-nique
at the end of the week?
Doing little things the girls seek

Going barefeet
Calming the heartbeat
Having proper space to breathe
Reading on orange seat
Enjoying few plates of little treats

Tasting some sweet under the heat!

Posted in Books, Favorite things, Thoughts

Morning Arts

Other than Breakfast before subuh, one of my most enjoyable morning routines : admiring one of the highest level of arts.

Watching this regularly, some thoughts came to mind. The fajr skies feel so similar to a growing baby. Few minutes differences brought us to many different colors. They change a lot and fast, and there’s no way to return to the same colors anymore.

Maybe that’s why they call it the golden period.

Meanwhile, the sad news of the passing of Eric Carle, the legend who wrote A Very Hungry Caterpillar got some space in mind too. Thinking of him as the eyes watched today’s sunrise.

“One Sunday morning the warm sun came up and – pop! – out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar”.

“Simplify, slow down, be kind. And don’t forget to have art in your life – music, paintings, theater, dance, and sunsets”.

Eric Carle.

Posted in Books, Favorite things

What Eid Cleaning Brings

1. Reading corners around the house.

2.Happy feeling of having tidy and sparkling house.

Days after Eid Cleaning are those days when I wish everyone could just sleep on the floor or on the carpet. Using kitchen is prohibited. Toys are all locked. Everything should stay clean, clear, and perfectly neat as they are until Eid day.

Mais, bien sur, c’est impossible.

Posted in Books, Favorite things, Places

Bookhive and The Small Park

An idea popped up yesterday. As always, the impulsive plan often works better than the detailed one.

A newly open mini library drawed my attention to visit it. It is located near one of the parks, so we could have two spots in one visit.

It was only 20 minutes drive from home. The mini library is actually a mini cupboard with books. People can donate or borrow, or just have a quick reading on the bench next to the it.

We came around 9 am and it was quite empty. We spent around 20 minutes there and read a children book together. The collections are not that varied, I didn’t find something that interest me to be brought home. But, it is indeed a good idea.

The Little Reader

Done with the library, we went to the park. We were required to fill in the book and we had the whole park for ourselves. The little girl was quite fascinated with the geese. I reminded her that the geese here were unlike those in London. So, I told her to keep distance from them. She kept going near and at certain distance, the geese started approaching her. Yesterday’s checked experience : chased by the geese.

We walked around the park, stopped in some bench, took off our shoes in therapeutic stones, the playground was still sealed, sat down and watched the small pond while having some talks. Since not many things we could do, after 30 minutes, we decided to return.

Although it was short and small, it felt nice to enjoy the outdoor park properly once again. We should have brought the skateboard and book for next visit.

Cheers for more easily accessible libraries and good park and playground around the town!

Posted in Books, Thoughts

The Hidden Victim

(Currently on a period of releasing the rantings that have been sitting nicely on the draft folder for some time. Waiting for their turn to be moved to the ‘published’ section).

For someone who consistently read many stuffs (which caused constantly overthink many things), there are certain times that feel the amount of worry seems piling up to the ceiling. As the result, it brings me to the state of being unhappy.

The biggest one is surely comes from the one(s) that matters the most. Few months of lockdown in this city, it’s not only makes me exhausted mentally, but also frustrated since no single clear plans ahead, especially about the education.

The most forgotten ones during this pandemic in this country is indeed the children.

It’s been a year since the school closure but this SUBH government seems doing nothing significant and clear to (try hard) to reopen the school.

Opening school has been a long discussion without any real actions to really make it happen. Children can go roaming in the mall, restaurants, holiday attractions, but not school, or even park.

It’s quite heart-breaking whenever the little girl keeps saying that she has prepared everything for her first day of school in July. Been asking continously how long it will take until July.

The school here has been closed for too long. The lost of learning is huge. Some parents said they’d rather wait until it’s safe. I agree, if it’s just only 3-6 months.

But, it’s been almost 1,5 years!!

No other countries totally closed the school for such long period.

Other countries have been opening their school since last year with careful measurement and precautions, in between lockdowns, hybrid between online and offline, doing whatever way that works to make the children return to the school.

Some of them like Australia and New Zealand, doing it without vaccine, without making mask compulsory for the children. They’re just using their brain, their heart, and their money carefully to prevent deaths and to protect everyone.

While here,what we have is the leaders who are busy doing any trivial things. Attending the youtuber wedding is more preferable than checking and helping the preparations of the school to re-open the door for the kids or any other disasters happened in this country.

School closure might be unavoidable for some time, but what even worse here, the absence of the basic children rights :

Lack of green space.

Unfriendly pedestrian walk.

No proper outdoor playground around the city.

Isn’t it too frustrating?😭😭😭

This pandemic not only brings more inequalities between the haves and the lowers economically, but also the gap between the children’s education. I am not talking about Jakarta only.

It’s nothing about the lost of tangible skills, like reading or counting, but the lost of love for learning, socializing, being with the children at their age, playing outdoor, not trapped 24 hours with their parents.

It costs so much too for the parents. Surely we love our children, but even lovers need holiday, far away from each other said The Chicago.

It’s true that handling this pandemic is far from easy. But, it doesn’t mean it can’t be done. But just like John Ewing wrote in the article :

“Balancing livelihoods against lives can be agonizingly complicated. It requires clear, precise thinking”.

Clear and precise thinking, things that are totally absence from those people up there from the very beginning of this pandemic.

The price of such absence is fully paid by its people. Worse, the finish line is nowhere to be seen.

We’re currently heading to the second wave of the pandemic while out there, most people think we have done with this pandemic.

Stay safe and stay sane are still the only best thing that we can do for now.

-A long rant from a frustrated parent and citizen-.

Here’s one podcast which explains about how this pandemic takes a huge toll on the children’s education in this country.

Posted in Books, Maternité, Thoughts

It’s Not About You

It takes almost seven years with all the ups and downs until I realized something about raising a child : It’s absolutely not about us, the parents.

The more time I spend with this little girl and saw several total differences between us, I reminded myself often, she’s not me. She loves something that I am 100% not into like make up, art and white milk. She is pretty good at something that I wasn’t at her age like playing piano and math.

The return to the bulk of readings after years of absence, moving to London, and become almost a total stay at home mother, all since last year, change so many point of views.

I thought knowing lots of things about children, in theory and some practices, were enough to make everything run smoothly.

In reality, how little did I know and how much that I still have to learn. The more I read, the smaller I feel. Even in certain parts, I felt like being cornered and pushed to throw my previous view and replaced it with something which I have zero knowledge about it.

I felt like halfly dragged out of my ‘bubble’ and shown a complete different sea about children and their development.

One of the best things London brings is the chance to see and live with so many different people, yet, it feels like we are all the same. Unlike me, who had grown up in almost similar environment from elementary to high school, even college, I loved how diverse the little girl’s school there.

She played with so many different kids from different cultures. The British, African, Chinese, Spanish, French, Finnish, Arabic, Italian, and so were the teachers. She was the only Indonesian there. Nobody really cared about where one came from. They just played together.

In her school also, I was able to witness how disabilities, whether it is visible or invisible got equal treatment. No one really cared if you have disability or not, in a good way. I remembered a girl in a wheel chair at her school. The most noticeable thing that I remembered from her was nothing about her disability, but…

her confidence.

She looked so bright and nice. The way she talked to others, it was so pleasant to see. The other important thing to notice was how the school community treated her. I didn’t witness any pity looks either from her friends or the teachers.

Once, I saw her when she wanted to pass through the door and a teacher and a student were there. What did they do? They hold the door until she went through, but nothing about ‘helping’ her so she could do it faster.

They waited.

I really thought that was just the right amount of help. They knew she could do it by herself, so they didnt came to her to push the wheel chair, instead they chose to hold the door.

She wasn’t the only one. I saw several others kids with visible disabilities and saw similar vibe from them. For someone with learning difficulties like her, the amount of help received was beyond our expectation.

That was one eye opening experience for me, until we (I) decided that she might need a different school than what I had already had in my mind before. About the school, maybe a separate post would be good.

I looked back often in raising her. Previously, it was because I wanted to do as what my mom did, but then, I realized, not all of it was applicable. The more I realized I wasn’t my mom and my little girl wasn’t me, the more I feel better in raising her differently.

I followed the basics which I considered universal and important like sleeping and eating, but became quite relaxed in other things.

I did totally different thing in things that I considered important but not really happened in the time I grew up, like apologizing. Showing that we, the parents, can make mistake and we will apologize if we do that.

Days are not always rainbow, but when we are angry to her, we try our best to avoid silence treatment. We talked about it right away and explained why.

I didn’t say that my parents were doing things wrong. Just like me, I think, we just did what we thought the best within our power and knowledge, at that time.

This is why I said in one of my previous posts, it’s the parents who have lots of homeworks to do, not the kids.

It’s not an easy job to change the mindset. To become more mindful about how everything we do, even the simplest one, will have certain impact to the child, bad or good.

Currently reading a book called ‘Special’ where some pages pinched me a little but quite hurt inside, like this :

Every birthday, I always write two wishes, for her to be always healthy and happy. But, yes, I write that with certain scenario inside my head. How kind of healthy and happy I imagune for her, based on my experience and thinking. Years before motherhood, I really thought parenting is about repeating the cycle. Your child will just have to follow what the parents choose for them,then, it’s done. Until the next cycle begins.

But, for the last few years the game has changed a lot. My daughter has been going through lots of things that I didn’t, AT ALL. In good and challenging ways. Before seven, she has been to many places, meeting and playing with lots of different kids, exposed to kind of weather and cultures, talk and think in totally different language than mine.

There’s no way raising her with the same mindset like my parents would work.

It reminds me of Kahlil Gibran’s famous poem The Prophet :

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might.

His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable

I feel like needing constant reminder whenever it feels frustrating because I keep pushing something only from my point of view.

But, there’s one thing that should be remembered : we’re not only raising a child, but also a future adult.

Tricky bussiness indeed.

Lastly, a closing page, still from ‘Special’ summed it well :

Bear these in mind, you.

It’s her who has been doing a good job so far, and you ride along.

So, take credits, but not too much.

Feel guilty, but never too much too.

Posted in Books, Thoughts

My Best Friend

The best thing about having books as your best friend is there’s always the right one on the right time.

Certain books will find you in a specific situation, right when you need them the most.

The way they ‘talked’ without any noise or annoying voice is comforting.

The way they ‘listened’ to your situation without any interruption is soothing.

The way you can relate to the characters situation makes you able to reflect deeply.

The way they provide new insight to your real life problems scientifically is enlighting.

Zero percent possibility of judgement, drama, lie, or shame that instead of feeling better, would make you feel worse after sharing your problems.

A book is the kindest best friend you can give to yourself.

Reading by no means is the best habit one could do to both your brain and heart that will give long last, safe and secure protection that no one could take from you.

Good food, good sleep, and regular exercise will keep you physically healthy.

Good book will help you to be mentally healthy.

Definitely what we need to stay sane in this crazy world.