Making Light of Things

June 2008 Archives

Forever Bind Them

“Engagement ring, wedding ring, suffering.” - The punchline of a joke too often used by priests, ministers, aspiring emcees at weddings.

Our lives as parents seem like a long chain of chores, and any free time between planned chores is quickly consumed by the immediate needs of the present. This weekend has been especially hectic with Anne succumbing to a minor flu and Caleb learning that being carried is preferable to lying in his cot.

I toil endlessly, strengthened every now and then by moments where our children are angels and the universe is in harmony, in order to deal with the illogical and unreasonable demands of same-said children. But what buoys my spirits the most is seeing Faith by my side. We exchange silent “I love you”s like members of a boy band lip-syncing to a pre-recorded track.

The premise is simple - there is solidarity in mutual suffering.

But it also goes against the very human trait to be averse to suffering.

We currently face the decision of whether to hire a domestic helper.

Continue reading Forever Bind Them »


Anne (pointing to her heart): Jesus is in my heart.

Anne (pointing to Faith): Jesus is in your heart.


Anne: Why so many Jesus?

Of Courses

I’ve been on course the last 2 weeks, and it’s sad that friends made over this time will be out of sight as the routine of real life is set in.

The time spent there has revealed quite a bit and raised a number of questions as to my role in the civil service, which for the most part has been on the technical aspect. There is a need for me to pray - to know the direction God intends and for the courage to pursue it.


Dearest Faith,

The dreams of the young are not tainted with the bittersweet compromise of the real and tangible. Yet you’ve far surpassed the dreams, hopes and expectations of the 11 year old boy who fell in love with you on that Desaru beach so many moons ago.

The reality of being married to you could not possibly be any sweeter. Every day and every moment so rich, living the dreams of my youth.

Thank you so much for marrying me.


In all seriousness, what are Singapore’s core values?


For it’s in dying that we are born… - Prayer of St. Francis

I spent the afternoon visiting the Singapore Cheshire Home, a non-profit that cares for the disabled.

It never fails. Everytime I visit the less fortunate, whether it is someone who is hospitalised, or a halfway-house for ex-junkies, I come out with more than I brought in. And so far it has been without fail, that before going to one of these places I’d muse over what I could do to cheer them up or make them feel better. And everytime I’m ashamed to find myself the one receiving cheer, despite having all my limbs and not facing the inevitable consequence of terminal illness.

The disabled residents of the Singapore Cheshire Home are an extremely happy bunch. Their smiles were so authentic and effusive that there was no need for me to put on a false smile. They would wave their hands - some of them stumps - in acknowledgment of our presence. One of them was surfing Youtube with her one normal arm while behind her sat a man clicking on links in Yahoo using a stick attached to his forehead.

They did not ask for our sympathy, nor did they need it. It became clear to me that it was us able-bodied people who needed sympathy, for we were blind. Blind to the amazing power these people possessed despite not having bodies that conformed to our standards of physical normalcy. We, able-bodied ones are blind for not creating adaptive environments to harness the ingenuity - the sheer force of life - in these unique individuals. It is our blindness that has created unnecessary obstacles in the way of them having a fulfilling life. We have stopped them from enriching ours simply because they are unlike us, and we do not take well to the idea of physical diversity.

I would like to enable my children to see beyond the prejudices of my generation. I’ve spoken to Joanne, the person in charge of volunteers, if we could help out as a family. Enough complaining that Singapore doesn’t have enough for us to do. There’s plenty for everyone.


Though many describe parenting as instinctive, Faith and I discovered how important it is to be conscious about the reactions we exhibit to our kiddos behaviour.

Two days ago Faith fell asleep. Anne continued her doodling, or so she thought. When Faith woke she discovered a lock of her hair on the floor. Anne had decided to play hairdresser on her sleeping mother.

What Faith told me that night was an important lesson. She had decided to be angry at Anne’s actions, hoping to prevent any further snipping exercises, but in retrospect realised that being angry was the wrong course of action to take. Anne wasn’t defiant as she sometimes is when in the wrong, but confused. After all, her grandmother cuts her hair on a regular basis, and she was just mimicking what adults do with a pair of scissors.

This evening Anne wanted a piece of buttered toast. After toasting and buttering it, I put it on her plate, and she took the plate out to the living room. On the way she fumbled and the bread fell unto the the floor. Buttered-side up, thank goodness.

My initial reaction was a groan of frustration - it was a fair amount of work getting that slice of bread toasting to perfection. Anne immediately looked down and whispered “I’m sorry”. It would have easily been out of earshot if I were going through the typical parental tirade of how hard life is…but I heard it because I was at the crossroads of making a decision on how to deal with this.

I squatted down, opened my arms and asked her to hug me. You should have seen the smile on that face. As we embraced I told her that it was ok, and that accidents happen. I brushed the piece of toast, which she duly consumed, butter smeared over her face and all.

I was too lazy to toast another piece of bread. :)


Anne just told me a minute ago:

When I grow up, I’ll have a baby.

Time to take that shotgun out of the storeroom.


Would like you readers to help me out a bit as I try to craft a new design for this blog.

What adjectives would you use to describe Tribolum?


It’s time to move things around. I’m currently using a wonderful template designed by Mena Trott.

Time to customise.

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