Friday, May 28, 2010

In the blink of an eye / 一瞬間


About two months ago, Von and I read J’attends written by Serge Bloch. The book deals with the big issue of death in the end. I forgot that this would be a brand-new and difficult topic for him, so I just told him bluntly that everyone will eventually die. He was too young to take the lesson. At the thought that everyone around him would leave him and that even he himself would disappear in this world one day, tears welled up in his eyes. He wept and asked me to give him a hug. I then promised him not to touch the book for a while. Despite so, the idea of death has obsessed him since then.


A few days ago, while we were hanging out in the living room, the questions suddenly popped out of his mouth, “Everyone dies right? So how do we look when we die? How does it feel? Where will we go afterwards?” He talked in a very calm tone. It amazed me that he had digested the information about death within, and that he is going to face it. Many adults never figure it out in their lifetime, but this child took only two months. His fear was transformed into curiosity, which prompts him to find out more about death.


Recently many signs have indicated that Von is growing up, at the speed of light. Children’s change often takes place in the blink of an eye. If parents are not there to witness it, they certainly miss out on MUCH. Those who get to see it experience the mystery of life. However, the transient moments we hold onto so tightly can only serve as mental solace after children are gone. After all, some day they’ll all go away from us.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Big Sis & Angry Little Lion / 姊姊‧生氣的小獅子


With the approach of summer, everyone seems to get a little bit more cranky.


I’ve been practicing writing picture books over the past one month. Von is my one and only reader. He takes a great liking to the plots because they are all related to people around us. Thus, it has become one of our routines to read my stories together on weekends.


However, this weekend he kind of went too far. Carried away by excitement, he dragged the handmade book bought from India on the floor as if it were his toy car. I felt the need to give him a lecture, so I said calmly, “You should take good care of this book because it’s the only one in the world.” I knew how much he loves it, but he talked back, “I don’t care. I have a lot of books. I am as angry as you!” Since he turned two, we had hardly staged such a fierce fight. I thought that we should cool down first, so I went back to the desk without saying anything.


Over the first 30 years of my life, silent treatment had always been my expertise. It took me so many years and efforts to get rid of this habit, which I hate as well. That noon, when I sat at the desk, I was surprised by my past self for being able to bear with the suffocating air when I gave others silent treatment. Even though I only intended to calm Von down, I didn’t feel comfortable. Meanwhile, Von went to my mom, trying to win some support. Later, he came to the living room, putting away his toys and murmuring to himself about not liking me anymore. In the end, he stood beside me and asked, “What are you drawing?”


Persuaded by my dad, Von finally apologized, with both hands behind his back. I looked at him trying to put the whole story into words, “Why do you laugh when you apologize?” “Grandpa said I should apologize with smiles.” I was rather amused by the answer despite my anger.


No one taught me to give silent treatment after a fight, but it took me a whole life to shake it off and learn to communicate efficiently. Obviously, Von will have to spend the rest of his life casting his strong ego aside. Well, that gives each of us a life lesson to focus on, or our life would be really dull.


When the fight was going on, Kai was running around calling “Big Sis” in Taiwanese. Since this is one of the few words he knows, everyone of us, whether man or woman, young or old, is Big Sis for him…

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Best Team / 最佳團隊


One morning when I was having breakfast, I was so fatigued that I couldn’t think. I stared at the back of the credit card bill on which I found the ads of several resort hotels. At that moment I felt the urge to call and book a room. I have been longing to take a few days off and do nothing. Yet I am not really loaded with more work than I can take. Maybe I have accumulated enough pressure along the way, and now it’s time to let it all out.


However, I don’t want to run away. Instead, I desire more than anything else to find a balance right here and now. I hope that when I get up every morning, I have forgotten yesterday’s problems. I notice that the more stressed I am, the more considerate people are to me. For example, Mr. Season said to me, “I am glad you are my partner.” I was touched beyond the description of words when I heard it, especially when one of our journeys is about to end. Besides, I have to admit to myself again and again that I have the best team in the world. I work with such great kids that I have nothing to complain about. I can only thank God for my damned good luck.


Maybe we are neither the smartest nor the best, but we are no doubt the most hard-working people with the same goal. And I truly hope that others get to see how much effort lies behind everyone’s ten-minute presentation on the stage next week!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Family day / 家庭日


We usually do nothing and go nowhere on Sunday morning. The living room is our territory. We read, imagine, and draw by turns, and it’s not hard to imagine time slips by when we are engaged in these seemingly-trivial activities. However, as an adult, only when I am in peace with myself can I really enjoy the moments.

最近多了隻小企鵝在客廳裡晃來晃去,處處尋找可以作怪的地方下手,在他犯案之前我對他唱「Oh oh you are in trouble」,他會回過頭來咧嘴笑,露出兩顆新發的白牙齒。

We’ve had one new little penguin strolling in the living room. He is constantly looking for fun such as shelves to open and close repeatedly. Before he commits the crime, I will sing to him, “Oh oh you are in trouble.” Not able to resist the rhythm, he will turn back and grin, revealing his two newly-grown white teeth…

Monday, May 17, 2010

You made my day / 你的光芒


I’ve undergone some change mentally speaking. Maybe it’s physical fatigue that makes me begin to question what I used to take for granted. However, instead of interpreting my change from a negative point of view, I get to have more dialogues with my inner self. I am willing to find out what it wants and adjust my ways of living.


At times like this, I am more likely to see the glow of some people around me and feel their power. Last Saturday was the school anniversary, which is probably one of the last events that the faculty feels like celebrating. I thought of it in a different manner because I invited Von to come along. The decision kept me tossing and turning the previous night because of excitement. For me, there isn’t anything special about taking public means of transportation. In fact, I figured it would be much more convenient to take a taxi with a kid by my side. It surprised me when Von insisted on taking a bus because he would like to see the views outside the windows. Besides, that day I slipped into the circle of mothers in the office with such ease. This reminds me that role-playing is rather essential if I am seeking for a different standpoint.


Moreover, I want to thank Che-fen for her lovely exhibition, which marks this school anniversary from the former ones. Forty minutes didn’t count as a long period of time, but I will not forget how the light and warmth moved me. We sat in a small space, surrounded by the simple illustrations. Meanwhile, Yen-drew’s youthful singing filled the air. Even Von enjoyed being there. I never remember what I’ve given, but from these children with beaming glow, I’ve retrieved the reasons why I should do my best.


It’s you that make ordinary daily life extraordinary.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

a postcard a day 6 / 每日明信片 6


On late autumn and winter nights, I mean, after 11 pm, I can smell fresh leaves in the cool and dry air. If I happen to go out to the balcony for cleaning my brush pens, I can’t help thinking, “This is perfect weather for dating. Lovers must feel like the flying angels in Chagall’s paintings.”


Despite the absence of dates in my life, it doesn’t stop me from saying to myself “life is beautiful!” when I go to bed…

Sunday, May 09, 2010

a postcard a day 5 / 每日明信片 5


Pleasant Sunday morning—Von woke up with a brand-new hairstyle. I asked him, “Did you go to the barber and have a perm in your dream?”

Friday, May 07, 2010

a postcard a day 4 / 每日明信片 4


The air in early summer feels cool thanks to the heavy rain. I seize the moments between classes to do some sketches of an amazing scene on the campus I have recently discovered. As I draw, I float on steady sound waves formed by the teacher’s reassuring voice and students’ soft murmurs.


I planned to do a bird’s-eye view from the second floor, but it’s obviously not so in the picture. Well, I’ll take another try.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

a postcard a day 3 / 每日明信片 3


I come across various kinds of people on the MRT every day. That day it was a little boy. I can’t forget the way he stared into the distance, where the cars were about to sail into.


Despite the chaos of the world, I still hope what he sees is the possibility to live and a promising future.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

a postcard a day 2 / 每日明信片 2

You think you are the only one that feels like running away?

Your bookbag wants to escape too!

Monday, May 03, 2010

a postcard a day / 每日明信片


I finally realized why most of us want kids that badly.


When I felt that there weren’t many active brain cells left in my head a few weeks ago, I turned to Von—this is a kid who loves reading and receiving postcards. He hardly dismisses a book as boring while most adults can tell if they are interested in a subject within three seconds. Or he sees sparks of creativity in what adults consider silly. Thus, it occurred to me to brainstorm as many crazy ideas as possible because I know he’ll embrace whatever I say.


Out of creativity? I make it a rule to squeeze out a very special idea after I get up every morning. I’ll have to draw a quick picture and send it to Von before leaving for work. Little by little, I am not that dull as I thought I was.


Yesterday on my way to the library, the image of our picnicking together in the park flitted before my eyes. Well, what about having afternoon tea one day on an airplane? With the windows open! Also, welcome our new member Kai!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Duality of Life / 人生的二元性


We should wake up every morning with a heart full of gratitude that our life still goes on, and we should live every day as if it’s our last day.