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Monday, March 31, 2008

The Day that True Love Died

I recently came across a movie scene that I could not take my heart or soul out of it. I find myself wanting to watch it over and over again in search for a hope to numb my senses. Cold and snowy imageries fill this 33 minutes length story on screen. A father plays with his son in the snow filled cover fields as they converse in smiles and laughthers. Ultimately this is a story about of a father's decision. The film is called "Most" which means bridge in Czech. A simple but beautiful and profound story, MOST quietly stuns my heart. Indeed, this 2003, short film earned an Academy award nomination for best short film and went on to win top prizes at three other film festival. Watch the clip below and let the music inspire you and let the scenes transforms you...

The film depicts a father and son loving each other very much. Stargazing or enjoying tea together, the two are nearly inseparable until...

MOST also lets the viewer see the depravity of some of the train passengers. And, it also depicts new life and new hope to one of the train's most desperate passengers. This beautiful and poignant piece of work evokes questions that no one wants to answer or make because it reaches the very core of a human's heart. As I watched this film, I couldn't help projecting myself in the father's role of enjoying the many moments with my own son and perhaps that's why I try very hard to numb myself.

Search your heart with the extended scene below in it's original sound and ask yourself what would your decision be if you were the father. Observe carefully the faces of the passengers and I can honestly tell you that I will do the exact opposite of what this father did in this scene and I believe that's why I am a fallen being.

What would you do? Would you pull the lever?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Rain Drops - (1000 excuses to sleep with you part II)

It's been only two months since our last trip back home to Asia and our son is still sleeping with us almost every night. It's almost methodical like an alarm clock going off at 2.00am and 5.00am that our son would just sleep-walk wonder in to our bed at those times. I try staying up from time to time to take him back to his own room and only to find that he is in our bed again in the morning. He is a very determined child. I suppose many things that happened to him the last few months may have contributed to him feeling a little bit insecure. Since we moved after we traveled back home, he is once again in a new living environment, which comes with a brand new room, new friends in the neighborhood and a new bat-man bike.

On the other hand, he also lost a few childhood friends whom he grew up with and found out just weeks back that his grandfather is sick.
Perhaps that is quite a bit of stress for an 4.5 year old boy who also begins noticing the difference in his own skin color everytime when he goes to the park and play. He was recently called "that little Chinese boy" by an adorable little blond at the park. --> (Stay tuned for Next post)

It has been a tough few weeks since he learned one of his best friends was moving away to California. At first he didn't really know what that meant or even how far his best friend was moving. He would ask us to just drop him off in California when we headed out to work in the morning. He knew it was further away but not realizing it was about 1700 miles away. He found out later on when he was studying maps with Mommy just how far California is, and to him anywhere that needs flying in order to get to is considered very far. He now no longer wants us to drop him at his friend’s place but has switched to "Daddy, can you find a job in California so that we can move to California...please pleaseeee….”

Finally, Mommy found a great way to smooth his transition through these “traumatic” childhood times by re-channeling his longing with simply pen and paper. Mommy told him if he misses someone, he should write to them. Our little boy finally found the motivation to really put his pencils to work, and when asked what he wanted to write to his friend, without blinking, he quickly said, "I love you," with which Mommy’s response was “errr…..” and a smile (he is writing to another little boy). After a brief awkward moment, Mommy swiftly asked, “you mean ‘I MISS you’ right?” Considering the trend of the educational philosophy in California being so free-minded, it may be good to stick with "I miss you" to avoid future complications. Nonetheless, this is the innocence of a 4.5 old which in nowadays is a real blessing.

Following the lost of his precious friends, our little son found out that his grandpa is sick whom he had grown very close to during his Asia trip. He was diagnosed with cancer. They found tumors in his brain and his chest area. Being a 4.5 year old, he didn't know what that is and didn't really comprehend the severity of it until we told him that grandpa needs to be hospitalized and have surgery. He knew what that means since he's been through it himself just a short eight months ago. He remember all the needle poking, being strapped down to the hospital beds, IV's needles all over his body, around the clock blood work and etc. He would ask us, “is grandpa going to get poked?” And we had to answer him yes. “Where is grandpa sick?” We had to tell him that grandpa has tumor or little rocks in his head that the doctor would need to operate and take it out. His immediate response is “that would hurt grandpa!” and his face would turn from smiles to frown as if he remembers his own ordeal. On the night of the operation, as family we couldn't do much but to pray for the procedure to go well since we are half way around the world apart. As we knelt down by our bedside to pray, our little boy saw us and he approached us and asked, “can I pray too Daddy Mommy?” We told him, “of course son,” and he knelt down between and uttered words that instantly brought tears in our eyes. Here is what he said,

“Dear God, please don't make grandpa hurt. Please make him feel better soon so I can play with him. Please comfort grandma. Please don't make her sad. Please give her peace. In Jesus’ name Amen.”

My son has been reluctant when it comes to praying most of the times, and he often rushes through his prayer with gibberish mumbles. But this was one of the few times he uttered each word clearly and sincerely. He understood that grandpa was hurting and this little guy wanted his grandpa to not experience what he had experience just a short few months back. We were so proud of him and got tears in our eyes. He later turned to mommy and said "Mommy your rain drops are on me…" My son calls tear drops “rain drops.”

We went to sleep very late that night since we were staying up late to wait for the phone call from abroad regarding the result of the operation. Mommy was wandering down the hall and stumbled upon our little boy's room and she found our little boy in bed holding on to a picture frame of grandma and grandpa which was originally put right next to his bed. I immediately issued a flash flood warning……..

Monday, March 3, 2008

1000 EXCuses to SLEEP with you

It's 10.30pm at night and the rumblings have begun in our bedrooms. Almost everynight, we go through the same routine since we took our 2.5 months vacation in Asia. We enjoyed paradise, quietness, tranquility, fun and traveling adventure. We slept and ate like pigs. I already miss those days. Settling back to normacy after such a long vacation is always challenging especially for a four-year-old imaginative young boy since he expects nowdays to mirror the 2.5 month vacation days.

Our battle usually begins like this:

"Time for bed YOUNG man! mommy and daddy need to sleep soon and you need to be on your bed with your eyes close."

Son: I want to play
Dad: It's late and it's dark outside.
Mom: We have a lot of things to do tomorrow and you need to get up early so go to sleep.
Son: ok mom and dad. (After 10 mins Son walks in to our room)
Son: Can you please turn on the CD for me?
Dad: Ok, I will be there son.
Son: (After another 5 minutes or so, he walks in to the room again) Dad, can you turn on the fan for me please.
Dad: Hmmm...OK son..get back to BED!
Son: (Walks in again in to our room after several minutes) Mom would you help me change to a different CD?
Mom: Ok son..mom will be there
Dad: This is it son, you need to sleep now!

After about another 10 minutes or so, mom and dad hear a little sobbing in little son's room. What's going on son?

Son: Daddy, can you read me a book please?
Dad: It's LATE! and you need to sleep soon..but still gives in and reads him a book.

Son seems to be happy now and is almost asleep. Dad leaves room to go back to his room. Ten minutes later the "miniature dad torturer" follows right behind and says, "Dad! It's too dark outside, can you make it brighter?" "Son! it's night time! and you need to go back to your room and sleep."

Son: But dad, I am scared!
Dad: All your friends are asleep now and you need to be too as well.
Son: O...K....(Finally agrees reluctantly after mommy tucks him in)

At 2.30am, our little boy walks in to our room once again and sleeps with us through the morning. I have to say this has been happening every night since we got back from our vacation. One morning, I decided to have a more serious Daddy and little son talk about his recent behavior of not wanting to sleep alone and coming over to sleep with us every night.

Dad: Son, you have your own room and you need to sleep in your own room at night. Only babies still sleep with mom and dads, Are you still a baby? Do you want daddy to put diapers on you?

Son: No. I am not a BABY. I am a boy but I like sleeping with you all.

Dad: You need to sleep earlier and sleep in your own bed son. All your friends sleep earlier than you and in their own room.

Son: Dad, I am scared, it's too dark outside, I am not tall enough to change the CD's in the CD player, my room smells funny, My room is hot (It's 32 degress outside and we keep our rooms at 64 degrees), Elmo is looking at me funny, I didn't brush my teeth, my pillow is too big for my head, my butt itches and my bed it too big..and my......... (on and on he goes)

Dad: Son, you are growing up and you need to learn to sleep in your own room.

Son: When we were in Malaysia and Hong Kong, we all slept together dad...WHY?

Dad: Because we were on vacation!

Son: What is vacation?

Dad: SON...enough...you need to try to sleep in your own room.

Son: Can we go back to vacation?

This is a conversation that my little son is determined not to end it by keeping up with more questions.

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