Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ramadan Now

A few weeks ago I had a very lovely dinner with my family in Bogor. Like always we had coffee and tea in the living room afterwards. As I was resting my head on my sister’s lap, she asked me about how my Ramadan was so far and what have I been doing differently this time. I didn’t expect that kind of question and I needed a minute or two to answer. Finally I said “I don’t know...

Her question kept repeating itself in my head for days. I was thinking “She’s right. Looks like I’ve been doing the same things every Ramadan. Fasting, praying, reciting the Al Quran, asking (read: begging) for this and that and such. You know, the normal stuff. But what if the things that I’ve done so far is not enough? Or worse, what if I’ve been doing it wrong?”

In 2 days Ramadan will be over. Sadness is creeping in. Will this be my last Ramadan? Will I have the chance to experience that distinctive strange, beautiful and exciting feeling again? Will I get the chance to collect the rewards of Ramadan next year? And again, my sister’s question came to mind. Suddenly I remember... 

I was staring at a blank blog page on my birthday last month. I was thinking about what I should write on my 38th. I got nothing. At all. I kept wondering why. I usually had so many wishes. But no, not on that day. I got nothing because I wish for nothing. Nothing for myself, at least. What I did wish was for my daughter's best health and happiness. I wished for her humility and braveness. I wished for her intelligence and strength. I wished for her sincerity and compassion. 

The same thing is happening now. The difference about this year's Ramadan is that I’m not begging for anything for myself except for His forgiveness. Because I'm thinking that I'm not worthy enough to ask for anything else. That's why I've been focusing on others like a certain family member or a dear friend. Most particularly on my daughter. It's quite strange what age does to me. Or life for that matter. Life as in a child. A daughter. She changes me in the most unexpected way. Suddenly nothing else matters. No one else matters. Myself the very least. The feeling I've been having lately, like the one I wrote here, is still there. It's a bit scary. But thank God, the scare hit me. Just now. On the last days of Ramadan. 

If I didn’t wish myself well, then who would take care of my daughter? If I were sick, then who would wake her up in the morning and take her to school? If I were weak, who could protect my girl? If I were scared, who would teach her to be strong and brave? If I didn't consider myself worthy, then how could my precious Godsend value herself? 

So, dear ALLAH, on this Ramadan, 
Please let me do the same thing again, and hopefully better, with a twist. 

Please bless me with Your forgiveness and the ability to forgive others.
So that I can show my daughter how to be a humble person.

Please bless me with an abundance of patience. 
So I can teach my daughter one of the most difficult things to do in life.  

Please bless me with a hunger of knowledge about anything. 
So I can satisfy my daughter’s curiosity of everything. 

Please bless me with the best of health, body and soul.
So I can take care of my daughter's well being and nurture her mind.

Please bless me with the highest level of peace and happiness.
So I can give my daughter a full and happy life. 

Wow... It turns out that as my life is getting shorter, my prayers are getting longer. 


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dear Kukka: Happy 6th Birthday!

Sometimes I wonder, how can this be happening
How can I be this fortunate
How can I be this lucky

I have an angel by my side
One that I can hold
One that I can kiss so lavishly

The kindest, the sweetest
With the prettiest heart above all

She shines like a star
She brightens my days
She's bursting with love
For me, unconditionally

Loved by so many 
And of course, so crazily by me 
She spreads her wings of joy and laughter 
To us all so effortlessly 

Baby, you're it 
You're the one 
The only one for me

You are my inspiration 
You are my definition of love

Happy 6th birthday, my Precious Godsend
My angel of hope, my gift from God

You are the closest to a constant reminder
That I should be grateful to ALLAH SWT
In every breath I take

Remember what ALLAH has blessed you with
Keep counting and nourishing His blessings 
And ALLAH willing, He will only give you more

So much more

My unconditional love and never ending prayers are with you
Forever and always

Sunday, June 22, 2014


To us.
To health and happiness.
To you and I, love.

ALLAH willing.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dear Kukka: Congratulations!

Throw your graduation caps in the air!! You are now officially a first-grader!!

My SiBaiyi! 
My baby girl! 
My chubby cheeks! 
My love, my life, my love of my life!

Oh, my, it's sooo surreal! I knew you would grow up but not this fast! It seems like it was just yesterday when I took you to your first day of preschool. And now you're graduating from Kindergarten already! Next month I'll be taking you to the "big kids" class. That's how you are referring to the Primary kids. The "kaka" or the "big kids". Well, what do you know... You are a kaka now yourself, kiddo :) No, not high school yet. I don't understand why you are so eager to get to high school. Almost everyday you asked me "Am I going to high school after the holiday??" ELEMENTARY, Kukka. And then you still have to go to junior high first (THANK GOD!). 

I have so many prayers for you. Too many to write actually. So I will just keep it to myself for now and tell ALLAH all about it later :) But I do want to say something to you. Nothing new, really. You probably are bored hearing about it already. But.... Here goes...

I'm so proud of you, my darling girl. 
So so proud. I feel sooooo much pride it feels like my chest is about to explode. I'm proud of what you have achieved and what you have become. 

I love you, my precious godsend. 
So so much. I love you sooooo much it feels like I need to invent a new word for love. Because what I feel for you is so much more. 

And I am ready. I'm ready to take you to your new adventure. I'm ready to guide you whenever you need me to. I'm ready to give you hints about how to handle different types of people you're going to meet. I'm ready to show you more about life. Just don't ask me about Math. Ever. Other than that, bring it on! 

Let's have more fun, babycakes! :*

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Sometimes I wonder... 

If I stopped wishing for my dreams to come true, 
does it mean that I don’t want them anymore? 

If I stopped asking for certain things to change, 
does it mean that I don’t care if they remain the same?

If I stopped praying for better things to come, 
does it mean that I’m not scared by the bad ones?

If I stopped begging all together, 
does it mean that I’m giving up?

While my heart says, and I do think it's true...

I stop wishing because I realize that 
what I think is right for me, might not be the best for me after all. 

I stop asking because I realize that 
You know what I need, what I should have and what I should be doing.

I stop praying because I realize that 
whatever happens, it’s for my own good. 

I stop begging because I realize that 
You know I’m actually not giving up. 

I'm simply surrendering myself to You. 

Only You. 

Because it's Your love that matters
Because it's Your words that matter
Because it's Your blessing that matters

No one else's. 

Only Yours. 

Sunday, May 04, 2014

How To Break A Kid

I think the cruelest kind of people are the one who hurt children. They deserve the most terrible punishment the world has to offer. They are the most obvious cowards and they must be mentally disturbed. It’s easy to judge a person who hurt children and then leave the aftermath scars visible to the eyes. But how about people (read: parent) like me? 

A parent could never hurt her child, right? Keeping her child safe is what a mother does. Sure we can’t create a perfect world for our children and there’s no such thing as a perfect parent. But I keep telling myself “TRY. HARD.” It shouldn’t be...too hard... Should it? 

It made me thinking... About that time I yelled at my daughter just because she felt unlocking the door was hard. I accused her for not willing to try harder. And then there was a time when she saw me having a heated argument with somebody. She heard my loud and angry voice and it made her afraid. I also thought about that time when she saw me crying. I let her see the vulnerable side of me and therefore I made her really, really sad. She cried beside me. 

Because I have hurt her... 

And then there are overprotective parents, home wreckers who break up families, parents who always say yes, parents who always say no, cheaters who consciously damage their families and their children's souls, parents who give their kids everything they want, pregnant mothers who hate their unborn babies, grandmothers who say A is prettier than B, grandfathers who favor one grandchild to another, parents who push their kids and don’t accept if they’ve reached their limits. 

It’s tough being a kid. And it’s very easy to break one. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Is It Just Me?

Yesterday was my precious Godsend’s year end school performance. Like any other of her performances, it brought tears of pride in my eyes. But there was something sad about it too. 

This last month I’ve been feeling melancholy. Especially in the mornings and before bedtime. You see, since she was 3 years old, my morning routine always involves waking her up with kisses until she opens half of her eyes and then me carrying her to the bathroom and sat her down on the toilette. It was fine until I started having back pains and finally noticed that she already weighed 20 kilos :)) 

But it wasn’t her weight that made me sad. I distinctively remember that it was her legs that first stroked me. My baby’s legs are not chunky anymore. They’re getting longer and leaner. Sure her chubby cheeks and bottom are still there. But the juicy “meat” that used to hang around on her calves are gone and seem to be replaced by strong muscles. And Allah’s willing, this July she’ll be 6 years old. She’s growing fast. Simply too fast...

On good days I’m thrilled. I keep imagining how awesome my days will be having a big daughter by my side. We will go to the movies, sipping coffee, shopping, traveling, discussing about books and possibly debating about who and what is cool. I imagine my hands will be full, having to raise such a smart and witty girl. I’m preparing myself to be criticized by Kukka about many things like how I cut my hair or my choice of wardrobes. She might be embarrassed by my love for hunky movie stars and hard core music taste. I’m pretty sure Kukka will have mixed feelings when she reads my blog posts about her. And she’ll be probably extra annoyed by my obsession of taking-flaunting her pictures all over the place :D

But on “bad” days... Ah those days are dreadful... My eyes get teary and my heart achy. It seems that having spend 20h/day on school days and 24h/day on weekends together, is not enough. Not enough at all. To think that soon I will "lose" her to school trips or vacations with friends... Or college!! Is this how a mother has to feel for the rest of her life??? Huaaaaaaa ;((( 

And then the moment will come when I have to share, reveal and confess about things. Things that might upset her or break her gentle heart. About my life, hers and ours. About the people we know, knew, love and loved. The thought that she might be angry or judgmental about my decisions terrifies me. She might even love me less. When I think about these possibilities, I instantly wish that she could stay 6 forever...

But then usually my gloomy moments are abruptly distracted by a sudden scream, calling my name 10 times in a row. Or by a needy whine. Or a shocking question. Or a hilarious statement. And most of the time I’m simply slapped back to the present by adoring eyes and a loving hug. It’s like ALLAH SWT is reminding me to enjoy the present rather then worrying too much about the future. And most importantly I feel like He’s telling me to start noticing that I’m doing quite well and that my little girl is the living proof of it. 

Kukka loves to make me laugh and she enjoys to make me proud. She opens up to me and likes to share about her feelings. She apologizes for her mistakes and thank me for the little things I do for her. She's sad to see me sad and always comfort me with pats and hugs. And I'm sure in no time she'll be the one who protect and defend me :)

I guess instead of tormenting myself about the indefinite future, I should just keep doing what I already do best in raising Kukka. And with ALLAH SWT on my side I'm sure I can do it even better.