Happiness is... cherishing family time while it lasts

Posted by ~Summer~ on March 26, 2024
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I learnt this saying recently and when I read about the meaning, tears welled up in my eyes uncontrollably. Yup, I've been having quite an emotional struggle recently as a mum and it's been a rough patch in this parenting journey. The saying literally means that the tree wishes to be quiet but the wind will not cease, the child wants to show filial piety but the parents are already gone. It is a reminder that things don't always go our way in life and there are many things that are out of our control. What we can do is hold on tightly to our loved ones and make sure we cherish them while we still can. 

It's something that I reiterate to my kids every so often, to 珍惜眼前人, to make the most of every moment and not live to regret it when we lose the opportunity. I know it's easier to be said than done, especially when every day seems like a mad rush to complete the never-ending tasks on our to-do list. But, it IS very important to spend time with the people who matter to us, especially our loved ones who are growing older day by day.

In this post of "Happiness is...", it's about cherishing family time while it lasts. 


Every mid-autumn, I will bring the kids out to a park and have fun with lanterns, sparklers and at the playground. We will bring along mooncakes and some tea too, and it's something I look forward to year after year.

I'm not sure how long this will last because from the way I see it, the elder children are growing up fast and will outgrow many 'kiddy' things very soon. It is my hope that they will not be consumed by screens but will always have a child in them. In any case, we are never too old for some fun and spending time to bond as a family is not something you should grow out of, no matter how many years pass us by.

This year, we had a minor accident when Ansel went to touch the hot part of the sparkler right after it burnt out. He suffered a burn which swelled up to become this huge blister so I had to bring him to the doctor after that. He was really good in letting me apply the medication daily and didn't cry when the blister accidentally burst. So I guess we all learn from mistakes like this, both parent and child. Trust me, after 15 years of being a mum and with 4 kids under my care, I still make mistakes every single day. 

We were supposed to go for the Mandai Wildlife Run and the kids and I were looking forward to this mum-and-kids bonding day. Alas, the weather was not kind to us that day and after waiting for nearly an hour, we were regrettably informed that the run was cancelled. The good news was we were allowed to enter River Wonders earlier than the public and we could also hop over to the zoo for some sightseeing too.

So we might not have run 5km as we had planned to (we would have probably walked more than half of that), but we spent the entire morning and afternoon admiring wildlife and marine creatures and it was still a day well spent. I simply love taking the kids out on my own and it's something I cherish very much before they all grow up and lead their own separate lives.

My Dad turned a year older this month and we had a yummy Japanese meal with him. The ironic thing was we had actually planned to treat him to dim sum or some chinese delight but the restaurants were under renovation so this was totally an impromptu decision. I expected it to be an average meal or less, especially when the menu seemed limited. It turned out to be so much more delicious that what we thought and even my parents gave it the thumbs up too.

After dinner, we went to my parent's home for the cake cutting ceremony and my Dad was happy to receive this huge collage from the kids and I, which included photos and handwritten messages. You know, it's really not the food, but the company that matters and I am glad that my kids spend plenty of time bonding with their grandparents month after month.

Hello, Skechers Friendship Walk! We might not have done the Zoo Run but we did complete a 5km walk in our comfy Skechers kicks. I always look forward to such family events and it's such a good, healthy way to wake everyone early on a weekend and spend time together. The hubby was feeling sick that day so he actually dropped out of the walk very early in the race and the kids were left with me.

With a toddler who wanted to be carried for a good part of the journey and a mum who stopped to take photos here and there, we didn't realise that eventually, we were the last to complete the walk and last to receive our medals. Haha, better late than never! It was already an achievement, to me, that we finished the entire walk and I was so grateful that we crossed the finishing line together.

We've been going to less movies these days but this was one that couldn't be missed - Paw Patrol The Mighty Movie! The eldest had to skip it due to CCA but I also think that she was happy to spend time running with friends instead of watching an animated film with us, even if it was one that she used to love as a small kid. For now, the other kids still love watching such shows so I'm gonna treasure these opportunities as much as I can. I personally thought the story about Skye was such an inspiring one!

Family meals are still a big part of our life and even though I don't cook on a daily basis, we still eat together every day. I might not like the washing up but I love listening to the kids' stories - bickers are part and parcel too - and it's a way for me to understand more about what goes on in their lives.

These are the memories that I believe they will hold dear when they grow up and move on one day, and hopefully they will have homecooked food with their kids and relish in the joy of family meals.

I seldom go for gatherings with my friends because I'm usually so preoccupied with the kids - yup, and I wouldn't say that is healthy but neither is it wrong. It's just ultimately a personal choice. However, I do make it a point to meet up with my bunch of jie meis on their birthdays especially since 2023 is the year when we all hit the big 4.

My bestie chose to have a karaoke party to celebrate her special night and it was a crazy girls' night out complete with an overwhelming amount of food, lots of booze, high-pitched singing and nostalgic oldies. I do miss those days when we would party till dawn and go for 'supper' which seems more like breakfast, and those memories will always stay in my heart.

Last but not least, the highlight of the month had to be our Legoland trip where we brought my Dad and Mum there. It was my Dad's first visit and I had brought my Mum here when the park just opened, which was over a decade ago already. So this trip was one that we highly anticipated and to save on cost, we stayed in a nearby apartment together instead of the costly Legoland Hotel.

I simply love seeing how my parents were spontaneous to go on the rides with the kids, including trains, boats and even roller coasters - my Mum did it with the elder three as Ansel was stuck with me. My Dad said their hearts wouldn't be able to take it much longer and he already opted out of the more thrilling rides, which made me cherish each and every such opportunity to bring them out even more. 

The only regret was most of us were feeling sick on this trip, especially Ansel who was having a cough and fever, so the kids were whiny and Ansel was basically my superglue from the start to end. My parents also saw and heard the kids bickering from time to time and they must have wondered how I can tolerate it day in day out. Oh well, welcome to my life, Papa Mama. But, trust that I will try my best to raise and nurture your grandkids well because it's the only thing I do every day in my life now.

So we made a promise to visit the parks again next year in 2024 (guess what, by the time of writing this in March, we already did!) as an extended family and I also made a resolution to do it as many times as possible as long as the kids and my parents are willing to come along. I know the kids will all outgrow this wonderland one day but when that day comes, we would have made an invaluable treasure trove of memories that will be deeply etched in our hearts.

That marks the end of a memorable September for us which included lots of happy family time that we are greatly thankful for. 懂得感恩,不忘珍惜

Till the next post!


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