To my 5 year old prince
Dear Zaid Aldebaranefa Lubis,
(yes I know you are going to complain in the future about your super long middle name – but I like it so bear with it, ok?)
It still feels like only weeks ago that I knew that I was pregnant with you. It was a hard first trimester with me attending my Master class and working full time at the same time. But you were strong – we survived the dreaded first trimester and sailed through our second. The third one was challenging because we were in the midst of moving house and I was attending lots of classes for the sake of graduating on time. But again, we made it.
My labor with you was…long. It was 14 hours after I was admitted to the hospital and even then, you still had to be vacuumed and I had to take epidural. It was tough. And the adventure didn’t stop there. I barely knew about breastfeeding back then and no one was around to let me know the basic of latching. Well, your grandmother was with me but breastfeeding was natural for her while for me it was really, really foreign. You had jaundice for the first three weeks of your life and I kept blaming myself for not learning enough
and buying too many cute baby stuff instead about this whole breastfeeding thing.
When I got back to work, I kept pumping on the clock because you were a milk monster. I was still pumping when I had to travel to Tokyo and Seoul for my business trips. But alhamdulillah, it was worth it. I managed to breastfeed you for full 2 years and I am so proud of us.
Fast forward to now, you grew up to be a boy who loves reading and trains. You are not so much of a sporty boy that I thought you were. You love outdoor stuff, yes – but it’s more about playing in the playground and not so much of playing soccer, for example. That’s fine. As long as you enjoy what you are doing, I can’t complain.
One thing that I am so proud of you is how you love books. Whenever I give you a new book, your eyes light up. You will snatch the book away from me and spent hours in your room reading it. You can’t sleep before you read a book and it reminds me so much of myself when I was a kid. I am a book worm myself so to have my son inherits it was a joy for me.
Of course, I wasn’t only observing your good traits. Your other sides of personality are starting to shape as well. You are pretty much a textbook follower. You know the rules and you follow them. And you act harshly to people who don’t obey them to the extent that you scold those people. I will need to teach you on how to tell people on that in private but honestly, I am proud that you dare to stand on your principles. I am biased so sue me – which parents aren’t?
It’s been more than 2 years ever since your little brother came along and you are trying really hard to be the kind of big brother we always tell you to be. It is not always smooth sailing and I could tell that sometimes you got frustrated. I could feel that sometimes you are confused about why your little brother is getting gentler treatment than you when he makes a mistake – but you will understand someday, sweetheart. And we will try to be as fair as we can be to both of you.
One more thing that I am really glad about you – that you are a very social boy. You mingle easily with other kids and it was easy for us to drop you off at your childcare. Other parents may feel the separation anxiety when they drop their kids off, but it wasn’t happening with us. Not because we don’t love you, but because as a parent, we need to do this for you. We will not always be there for you so we need to do our best to prepare you for the world without us. It’s tough love, sweetheart. Just like when we encouraged you to keep coming to your childcare even when you whined that no one there (except for one of the teachers) can communicate with you. We know that learning an extra language will be beneficial for you in the future, so we pushed you for it. And look at you now. One year later, you are much more fluent in German than us and your accent is so close to the native.
Next year, you will be six. And another adventure will begin. You will be entering primary school. We are still not sure where you will be going, but rest assured, we will do our best for you.
For now, enjoy your new age. Enjoy your friends, your school, and their experiences. Enjoy your toddlerhood to the fullest.