They say parenting makes us appreciate our parents more. But how often do we show it?
Now that I’ve experienced the gruelling hours, sleeplessness and irrational anxieties that come with raising a baby, I have heaps of respect and awe for what my own parents must have gone through.
And yet, come to think of it, I’ve never actually expressed any of those feelings openly. Our weekly lunch dates with Julian’s Gong Gong and Ma Ma are typically a whirlind of eating while cooing, feeding, carrying, entertaining, chastising, rocking and playing with the grandson.
Only sometimes, if things are more leisurely, do I remember to ask about my Dad’s health. Or my mum’s week at work.
More often than not, it’s my parents who will be the ones asking, brows furrowed: “Are you getting more sleep?”; “Any new projects at work?”; “Have you been eating well?”; “Must you wear that?”
Which makes me realise, parenting is a life’s work. Your kids may come of age, graduate, leave the nest, marry, and eventually have kids of their own. But they’ll always be that walking, talking extension of your heart. You’ll never be done caring for them.
So while I feel wonderfully blessed that my parents are still parenting me today, I am wrecked with guilt too. Because I have been so wrapped up in my own life and responsibilities, that I’ve neglected to thank and appreciate the ones who lived their lives around me for a good chunk of their years.
To Mummy and Pa, thank you and I love you. Probably the only thing better than having you as my parents is that Julian has you as his grandparents. And not forgetting, Ju’s doting Nay Nay and Dar Dar, who do such a wonderful job in caring for him daily. We don’t say this enough, but we’re truly blessed to have you.