Open Letter to My Son – My Decorated Bag
A couple of days ago I was extra tired and you were extra.. how shall I put it… active! And vocal. I scolded you. And pinched you. Several times. It made you very sad and you don’t know how much it was killing me inside.
That night after both you and Rafa was asleep, I hugged you tight and kiss you many-many times hoping that the guilt will go away. Yesterday, I came back late from work and of course Rafa demanded the most attention. As I held Rafa in my arms and embracing him, you said “Kenapa Mummy tak sayang anak? Sayang Rafa ajer…” I managed to coax you a lil bit but a couple of hours later you did something naughty again and tickled my angry bone, I raised my voice again.
I know I shouldn’t but the antics of a 5 year old was really testing me. We continued with our activities and then you took a small notebook you called your Handy Dandy Notebook just like in Blue’s Clues. You drew several pictures and wrote several words.
And then you showed me a picture of two people. One adult and one child. It was a beautiful doodle, childish, wibbly wobbly but perfect! I love it.
“Mummy tengok ni!”
“Cantiknya, pandai Miki lukis..”
“Do you know what it means?”
“No, what does it mean?”
“Ini maksudnya ada anak yang sedih…” you said and the cheerfulness in your fine face was suddenly gone, and the twinkle in your eyes were now dark gloom of sadness. Your sentence was hanging and again very childish but I know what’s going on inside. That’s not a picture of some random stranger, you drew us and the sad anak was you and the bad mama was me. You didn’t realize that you were still hurt until you drew a picture of us, and suddenly it reminded you of our conflict.
You thought I did not love you.
It is not very easy fixing a broken heart. When the bits and pieces are hidden and glimpse of them can be traced through doodles and shadows in yours eyes. I don’t want you to remember me as a bad mom. I am not but neither am I perfect.
Later that night, I let you play “Artzooka” with a scissors and a paper bag. We hardly let you use a scissors without close supervision but that night I gave it a green light. You had a great time making a mess out of the bag. You cut it open and pretended it was a book. You wrote “Mama likes apple”, “Daddy and Rafa like swimming” and “Miki likes running”.How cute is that?
Your cut around the string holders of the bag and came running to me in the kitchen. Your eyes were so wide and twinkling again and there was cheerfulness in your voice that was once missing. “Mummy! Miki buat decorations!” And you described to me, one by one, what it was all about, you were so smart and imaginative. My 30 year old eyes and mind couldn’t see the magic in the roughly cut bits of paper, but they were indeed so super special!
“Mummy suka tak? Miki buat untuk Mummy!”
“Suka!! Pergi bubuh dekat handbag Mummy…” You knew my bag is important to me and so you ran happily upstairs and brought back my bag looking like this.
“Miki decorate bag Mummy!” you said proudly with that twinkle in your eyes again.
Today I came to work with my bag decorated. I had lunch at a cafe in Shaftbury carrying my bag proudly decorated. By my handsome son with twinkling eyes.
I love you, Miki!
So guys, if you see a woman with Barbie stickers on her designer bag, a man with a Power Ranger badge on his expensive tie, there is no need for you to ask why. There may be a child back at their home. Feeling very proud that Mama and Papa is at work today wearing their present. Just as proud as I am today.