Monday, September 27, 2010

Even the mightiest of trees began life in a tiny little seed

That’s my son, Mikhail. I guess he would love to accompany me almost anywhere. So long as there is something in it for him. Once he said to me, “Papa, if you love someone, you would die for that someone!” Precocious, isn’t he? Anyhow, I was curious as to his new-found romantic sensibility and asked, “Well, Mika, who would you die for?” He was thoughtful for a second and replied, “Anyone, Papa. Anyone really.” I was just thinking how much we can learn from a mere child, but then he continued, “So long as they pay me!

I asked Mika why he doesn’t tidy up after himself in my house. Monetizing the issue, he replied, “You know, Papa, I would, if you pay me RM10 every day.” I counter-argued, “Mika, maybe you should be the one paying me. After all, I pay your teacher who teaches you twice a week in Kumon. But I teach you everyday to be a good boy.” Without batting an eyelid, my son replied, “Papa, you will get paid when you get to heaven.” I have apparently conceived a religious capitalist.

He is also a strong advocate of the gold standard. He once shared with his long-suffering grandmother his monetary views, “You know what, Nenek? I don’t like paper money anymore. Do you know they are worthless? I like gold now. Gold lasts forever.” Then he finally notices the gold pendant that his grandmother always wears and exclaimed, “Hey! Is that gold?

He suffers quite a bit, being my son. Again and again, I would question him, “Who is your boss, Mika?". And without fail his answer would be, “God and Nabi Muhammad”, Or sometimes, a little impatiently, “Nabi Muhammad and God, Papa!” I like to ask him simply because I love his answer, and he gives me the same reply because he knows I like it. He is thoughtful that way.

Mika is also a religious innovator. In the nursery game of scissors-paper-stones which he often plays with Heche, he would create alternative hand gestures, which includes a bazooka, ten thousand bazookas, or infinity times bazookas. Sometimes it can also be a universe-sized dinasour or robot. Heche can still win against him though, if she can think fast. But in the end, she inevitably loses when Mika brings out the biggest gun in his arsenal and cries out “God and Nabi Muhammad!”. He doesn’t like to lose, my son.

Mika has five cousins but I think he is most fond of the youngest boy, Rafael. He told me one day, “I love Rafael, Papa, even though he sometimes bites me.” I then asked him, “If Ralf likes to bite you, why do you love him?”. He replied, “Because. Papa, he’s the best bolster!

I do not think I will win Dad of the Year award. But Mika will always be Son of the Year to me. Often I would ask him, “Who’s my best boy?” To which he always replies, “Me.” Then I would ask him why. With a world-weary sigh he would give the same explanation, “Because I am your only son, Papa…

Kahlil Gibran, that old Lebanese lover-boy once wrote that our children are like arrows which we must ultimately shoot from our bows to take flight according to their whim and desires, to fly in the hands of God/Love that we must trust best. It is hard to let go, I know. But are we ever in control even of our own fate?

I look at my son and try not to worry too much. Because in all the children born from my generation, I discern a glimmer of promise more promising than their parents, wisdom beyond their years, and an inner grace incubating in a small and seemingly fragile figure. But even the mightiest of trees began life in a tiny little seed.

Thank you for reading my ramblings today.

Pax Taufica.

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