Friday, 1 October 2010

Day 196-Happy Children's Day

TODAY, Singapore celebrates Children's Day. 

When I was a child, Children's Day merely meant a day away from school. I did not see it's significance. When I became an adult, Children's Day remained like any other Fridays, since I have no children of my own.  

THIS YEAR however, I decided that I should do it differently.

I asked myself, if I were a child again, how should I celebrate Children's Day? 

I think I'll start by remembering my childhood.  

My first memory of home was of a humble one. We did not have much but that did not stop mum and dad from making it beautiful. Mum's green fingers meant we always had plants in the house and she loves flowers so we had them too, especially the plastic ones.

Comfort noises included the constant humming of the sewing machine. That was Mum making her three daughters matching dresses after she saw a pattern she liked in a movie or her mending a torn uniform. These uniforms were passed down from me to SuZ, from SuZ to Shir until we could not wear them anymore. The matching dresses stopped when we became too embarrassed to be seen as triplets. 

Then there were vivid flashes of quiet evenings when we sat or laid on the floor with mum who would be telling us all sorts of stories. One in particular, I will never forget. It was of filial piety, about a son who had to crawl into a snake's stomach to retrieve parts of its gallbladder  for medicine to cure his ailing mother, And even when the mother got well, she wanted more . And so the son kept going into the snake until one day, the snake died and closed its mouth, trapping the son inside, never to be seen again.  Stories that we remember till today and stories my sister will pass on to her children.

Heaven was mealtimes. Home cooked, delicious dishes that would stay with us forever as all time favourites because they meant comfort and love. Food that would remind us of conversations as a family, fights with siblings at dinner tables and life changing decisions like which school, what subjects, boyfriends. My favourite moments were when we were woken up because dad had bought supper. Those were the days when you do not worry about eating before you sleep. They were good times..

Of course there were the times when we broke our parents' hearts. Me especially, being the eldest and the most rebellious. Evil moments too frequent to remember, there were the lies, the screaming and the running away for a whole half day until I was hungry. I went home of course, braving myself for an earful but Mum never said anything. She gave me my food and I ate in silence and she never told dad what I did. I know  I would always be forgiven. And they would pick me up, each and every time that I fell. 

For as long as I could remember, we were taught the meaning of affection. Back in those days, kisses were rare and I love yous even rarer amongst Chinese families but not so in mine. When dad came home from work, we greeted him with hugs and kisses. We bade our parents goodbyes and goodnights with kisses and I love yous. Until one day when a permanent goodbye shook our  perfect world and the dark days came. I am experiencing distorted memories of sleepless nights, silent sobs and many angry moments. It took the family a long long while before we healed but things were never the same again. A single event of  trauma in an otherwise perfect childhood but one that would shape who I am as an adult.  

I think I truly grew up the day I left home. It was year 1 university and I chose to stay in the hostel. I remembered running home when it got too tough during orientation. Things got better though and I learnt how to be neat, wash my own clothes, take care of my meals. Although I told mum since I was 12 that I would be leaving home when I turned 18, she was not prepared for it when it finally happened. I remembered nights when she made dad drove all the way to uni,  the weekends when she insisted that I must go home and the numerous times when I was chided for not calling.  

NOW, are you in the mood for something special?
I found this when I was searching for music for this post.
It is called the Turkish Lullaby.
(If it doesn't load properly, click through the video to the youtube site. It will be worth your while)

 So for all the children in the world, this one's for you:

According to Sufi mysticism, the soul of the child looks down at the world and sees every soul that resides in every woman. When he finds the one that will be able to help him fulfill his life's purpose, he makes his choice. The relationship between the mother and child is no accident. At times the child may reject his mother and wish he had a different one. Remember your soul made the choice for a reason. This woman can help you live your purpose.

Mother to Child Poems

And to the parents who are experiencing heartbreaks because their children are leaving home, I found this poem for you:  

Children Gather Round by Diane Sibold 

Children come and gather round
Be very still, don't make a sound
This is what I have to say
Keep it with you every day

I wish I had the magic touch
For each of you I love so much
I'd protect you day and night
I'd keep you safe within my sight

But oh so soon this will be
One by one you'll say to me
That you must go, to find your way
Within my sight you cannot stay

That is why I'll make it clear
If you need me I'll be here
Into this world you came through me
So till the day no more I see
Remember here you have a home
Never do you have to roam

Yes, I think I shall go home to celebrate Children's Day with mum and dad.


I was experiencing another low in motivations when I saw this picture on Flor's blog. I was immediately inspired. I remembered too how I used to love using repeats in my interiors but had somehow stopped doing that. So I made some rusty cans of flowers for a friend and took photographs of them reminiscence of this picture.  Then yesterday, I read this post on Flor's blog and found out the significance of this dollhouse for her.  That post gave me the impetus to make this one especially as it is Children's Day today.   I made some more rusty cans of flowers , this time for my tribal house and they appeared in all the pictures in this post.

So  this post is for  all the wonderful  mothers I have come to know on blogland and for those of you whom I yet to meet. I dedicate this to you in celebration of your journeys with your children.


Susanne said...

Thank you for sharing your childhood memories with us, Sans. And thanks also for adding those beautiful pictures of your house.Both talk to our feelings.
Love, Susanne

Sans! said...

I am glad to see you here, Suzanne . I am in a wistful mood tonight :).

That Turkish lullaby is a real gem :). It is part of an animation series called Lullabies of the World. If you click through to youtube, you can see the other lullabies :).

Ascension said...

Es una oreciosa cancion de cuna, me encanta.
Gracias por compartir tus recuerdos de infancia.
Tu casita esta preciosa, me encantan los colores que eliges.
Feliz fin de semana.
besitos ascension

Sans! said...

Gracias, Ascensión:). Como siempre usted está aquí:) Este es un post largo. la traducción no debe ser fácil:) jeje

Debbie said...

Thank you for sharing your Childhood with us Sans.
I am one of the Mother's that has just moved her eldest to University. It's quite strange not having him about. I think we are all missing him.
I loved the poem, Children Gather Round, although I admit, it did bring a tear to my eye..xxxx

Patricia Torres said...

What a lovely lovely post... So nice to live your childhood memories.. Your mums just like mine.. with her green fingers.. Im so not in the green mode!!

Loved each one of your pics as usual.. simply awesome!

Sans! said...

I have read about Ben, Debbie and believe it or not, you were on my mind too when I did this post:). So I am really glad that you are here to read this :):).

I love that poem too. It's so simple and yet poignant. Often, it is the simple words that are the most moving.

Sans! said...

Hi Hi Patricia :):). I think Green Thumb or Fingers skip one generation. I don't think my granny had green fingers either. She had very pointy ones though. Always pointing at me when she's scolding ..haha!

TreeFeathers said...

Wonderful post, Sans, very touching stories.

That green thumb skipped me, too, but my mom can make things grow just by looking at them!

- Grace

The Old Maid said...

Happy Children's Day to you Sans! Thanks for sharing your good and less good memories! Love the photos and these cans with flowers:)

GB said...

Sans, that was beautiful--thank you for sharing. i think we're kindered souls---I was the (youngest) rebellious one. I left home for hostel (made sure I got into the university farthest away from my poor mom!)yet, here I am, continents away, yearning to give her a hug.

What you wrote about the child selecting his/her mother sent chills down my spine. I hope I can live to be a good mom to my son. I'll always remember these words.

Papillon Bleu said...

YES!Yes!YES!Yes!!!! You are right Sans!!! I absolutely love this video! It is a pure little marvel,an absolute joy, a delight...a Turkish Delight!!!!
Thank you so much!
Oh yes! I hope you can be part of my bithday, don't worry, there will be nothing complicated to prepare.

This post is so full of tenderness. It almost brings tears in my eyes.

Liberty Biberty said...

Beautiful post Sans!
Gorgeous pics, your flower pots are great!
As the mother of a teenager I'd quite like to leave home myself these days, lol!

Flora said...

Sans ... I feel like an idiot, and I thank you for that.
Sometimes you need someone to stir the sleeping consciences and call you back to Life!
The day I realized that my father was dying, only three years ago, I was a child again, but with the understanding that he would no longer have been to make me feel safe.
So I wrote him a long letter, which was unable to read, telling him I loved him, because I had never said before...
That letter, he took in his jacket pocket when he died, and now, if God wanted to, he knows the contents.
Although we do not become parents, we remain, however, still children.
Children's Day is for all of us.

Flor said...

Bueno Sans, por conocer personas tan únicas e increíbles como tu ¡estoy muy agradecida!!! y tienes una magia y una sensibilidad maravillosa...
Que lindo recorrer contigo tu recuerdo de infancia!! Mí hija no tarda en llegar de la escuela, y lo primero que hare sera mostrarle ese vídeo tan , pero tan bonito ¡Gracias!!
Yo creo que a los niños los tenemos que disfrutar y amar a cada instante, y aprender mucho de ellos , y saber escucharlos y se sientan escuchados y amados...El día del niño aquí en México es el 30 de abril... Pero créeme que bueno que hoy lo vamos a festejar nosotros ( ; junto contigo.
Sans, desde que me has dando el primer comentario , te has metido a mí corazón ♥
y con cada palabra ya sea en mí blog , en mí email y ahora en este lugar tan fantástico ... ¡Woooaaaoo!!! que te puedo decir...Un millón de gracias con todo mí cariño ¡Gracias Sans , por ser como eres!!!

Flor said...

Sans ¡Le gusto mucho a Fátima!! ya me hizo ponerlo 3 veces seguidas !! Jejeje ¡Gracias también por eso!!!
Un beso

Lorraine Escapita said...

Sans, the entire post is simply beautiful.

rosanna said...

Dearie, thank you. Ti voglio bene.

Eva said...

Thanks for sharing a part of your life with us.
My childhood memories are absolutely great and I am still very close to my parents. They are on their 80's and I know that they are always there.
My son is a very happy boy.
We are very lucky, right? to have all these memories. Now I can not stop thinking on those days...:)
I was touched by Flor's post too.
Susan, you are a really beautful woman.
Un beso my dear

Daydreamer said...

Sans!, thank you for such a beautiful tribute... spanning the generations and the world with your loving touch! I am sorry to hear of your tragic loss, and so glad that you are here in mini-blogland! Your tribal house is so beautiful and full of the love you felt in your childhood and still feel for your family.... we all have to leave our parents to find our own strengths in the world, and sometimes it is such a difficult thing to do because we love anyway! And the same for parents! The love NEVER stops! So thank you for sharing such a heartfelt piece of yourself!

Lataina said...

Such a beautiful post. Thank you. =)

Sans! said...

OMG Grace, your mum has the "Green Eyes"!!! :):) hehe maybe she really does. Can you imagine if you can make plants grow just by looking at them?? All the dead gardens will want you!

Sans! said...

Ewa, Happy Children's Day. It is so nice that I get to spend time today with 2 mums, mine and Shir, the only mum of my siblings :). Just us girls.

And tomorrow, with Win and Xander, my brother and his kid. He, who hardly ever volunteer to meet us :):) -(mum must scold him sometime :):) but we are close and he will always be my kid brother -we are 12 years apart), called and asked to have lunch :). Maybe he read my post? :):) hehe.

Sans! said...


You know, I have always thought the youngest got it the easiest :):) (Of course, now I know it's not true and I don't envy you or my brother anymore). Back in those days, I was the one fighting for "everyone's rights" to stay with a friend for the 1st time, go watch a movie, camping, then boyfriends, then part time job :). LOL. I remembered telling my sisters: what have you got to fight for, I have paved the way for you guys already!

I feel your pain of being so far away from mum :(.

Sans! said...

Patricia !!!!!!!!!! :):)

I really wanted you to watch the clip. Such a sweet sweet one and the bi about the musicians floating really reminded me of some of your work. You both share the same whimsical , magical take on the important things in life :).

I am glad you like the post. It started out as a celebration of my childhood which is the significance of Children's Day :) but somehow, it became more of a Mother's Day post. LOL

Sans! said...

Mercedes, just wanted to let you know that you are definitely one of the mothers I wanted to dedicate this post to :):). I did this after I read your email :):):) and thought of allllllll the things you have done for your kids :):):).

You are a great mum :). There are too many , way too many days when my mum was pulling her hair out because of us. There were 5, now 4 of us. So can you imagine the number of times she had to go through this???? And now the grandkids!!!

christine said...

dear sans, that was a very special post... special to me as i know that i am here to care for my children and theirs.. and our eldest grandaughter will have our great grandchild in about 7 happy childrens day xx

Marta said...

Hola Sans,
Preciosa música y preciosa canción, es un detalla muy bonito por tu parte compartir tan dulce recuerdo que transmite mucha sensibilidad y sentimiento hacia esos seres maravillosos e inocentes que son los niños.
Mi hija no cesa de ver el video, y yo también.
Besos. Marta

Clara said...

¡Gracias al traductor! Si, primero las gracias al traductor, porque sin él no hubiera entendido nunca tus comentarios.
Hoy especialmente lo agradezco porque no sé si será el principio del otoño, pero los sentimientos están más en la piel.
Los niños dan muchas alegrias. Las madres estamos felices de conseguir su sonrisa.
Besos Clara

cockerina said...

oh! Sans, I'm so sorry that you can not participate in the swap!! but are you sure? there is still a lot of time for Christmas! if you think back, write again, my blog is like my house: the door is always open for friends! I'll wait, then!
kisses and thanks very much for the nice words!

wonderful post!!! thanks!!!!

Sans! said...

Flora, you have never failed to move me with your words. Sometimes, we just find it so hard to say to a person face to face all our remorse, misgivings and regrets. I did this post in about 2-3 hours and this is one where the words come out easier, maybe because they are real.

But these same words, I find parts of it hard to utter for the past 30 over years :).

I am watching a programme titled: PS I am sorry. It is a documentary programme on the lives of 6 Singaporeans where they find it very difficult to say sorry to someone they love. This particular episode is about a son and his father. The son felt that his father has never loved him and his dad felt that the son has never "done any good". The son got kicked out of the house and actually turned over a new leaf. The host in this show helped them reconcile.

So at what point does a parent know what and how to do the right thing? This question continues to perplex me. :)

So yes, I am definitely still my parent's child :).

Sans! said...

Flor, thank you for the inspiration that you have given me when you posted the window of that beautiful, beautiful house you were building for your girls :):). Then thank you for the courage of making the post about Fey.

I am so glad I made this post although it was more personal than I would normally have "allowed" LOL! After 1 over year on the blog however, I feel so close to some of you that I just thought -ahhh what the heck! :):).

It is strange but for a person who is so into dollhouses, I hardly visit my childhood this way. And when I did, I was talking mostly about what I did with my parents, especially Mum :).

I always say the kind of people I respect the most in the world is Mothers. You guys should be celebrated in many many ways :).

Sans! said...

*waves at Fatimah !!!! Helloooooo baby :):). How was your school yesterday? :)

Tell mummy that Auntie Susan has watched that video 5 times! ",)

Sans! said...

Lorraine, thank you *hand to heart :)

Sans! said...

Rosanna , anche a me!

Sei nei miei pensieri:)

dora said...

Añoraba tus relatos, que bien explicada tu infancia, y que poesia tan preciosa.
La puesta en escena una maravilla, como siempre.
Besitos Carmen

Sans! said...

Eva, I think people like us are just about the luckiest :):).

There is a Chinese saying that goes like this: If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house. If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.

The Chinese version is in less words ..LOL! (the shortest version is 4 !!)

I also like this one :A truly great man never puts away the simplicity of a child.

It's good that you are embracing your childhood, dear Eva. :) I haven't done it for so long , I really felt good after I wrote this :).

Sans! said...

Dear Betsy :) I have received your email :):). I am going to take a while :) now that I am thinking of putting some more in that parcel :).

Mu mum always tell me I can only fully appreciate what it means to love when I have my own kids. LOL . Children, unlike GOOD parents, can often be selfish :). This relationship is so complex. Because of course, in turn, we are always seeking our parents' approval, love and understanding in what we do. So it is not just one way from parent to child.

I think you are absolutely right, Betsy, as long as we never stop loving, everything will turn out right. :)

Sans! said...

So lovely to see you here Iris :). If you have a blog, be sure to drop me an email :):) I will be interested in what you do or share :):)

Sans! said...

WOW! Christine! Congratz!!!! A great grandmother ???! You know for us, to be a great grandparent is one of the biggest fortune enjoyed by humankind :):). There are big and elaborate celebration parties and it means you have done many good deeds for such a privilege! :):) If you ask me if I really believe that, I will tell you in a heartbeat, I most certainly do!

CONGRATULATIONS again, my dear Christine! And a most happy children's day.

Do you know today is World Animal Day ? :):)

Tallulah Belle said...

Thanks for sharing memories so dear to you ((((( )))))

Being a mother is both hardest and most rewarding thing I've ever done. And seeing him grown up and making his own way in the world is terrifying yet I am so proud of him.

You bought tears to my eyes with this post but worth every one of them xxx

Sans! said...

Hola Marta :):).

Gracias por hacer su 1er comentario en mi blog:). Estoy muy feliz de verte!

Me es en el amor con Turquía Canción de cuna, el vídeo y que tu amor niña. Su nombre es Carla?

Estoy tan feliz de haber encontrado tu blog. No fue incluido en tu perfil). Me he registrado como su seguidor. Creo que voy a disfrutar de la lectura de todo sobre su trabajo:).

Sans! said...

Clara:) La función que estoy feliz con el traductor es así. He hecho tantos amigos extranjeros, especialmente españoles, con la ayuda del traductor :):).

Yo vivo en un país tropical, pero esta es también la temporada de frío con mucha lluvia:). Me encanta la lluvia sobre todo en las tardes:). Por la noche, si llueve, el clima realmente se siente como el otoño ... muy frío:).

Como siempre, estoy muy feliz de verte aquí.

beso y abrazo

Sans! said...

Caterina, you are just the sweetest :).Thank you for your kind words. I will definitely let you know if I can make the swap :):).

Sans! said...

Ustedes han traído los regalos maravillosos, como de costumbre, Carmen, como siempre atentamente tipo y dulces palabras que me ha llevado sonrisas:).

Gracias, mi querido:)

beso y abrazo

Sans! said...

Jayne :), I am still not used to your profile pic. You looked so sweet and docile ...hehehe. My mental pic of you is this girl with a head of wild hair, rather small and petite but with a fiery and feisty personality , what we will call a "chilli padi" -very small chilli but fiery hot :), compliment of course :).

Anyway, I think you have summed it up very nicely on the meaning of Motherhood. Both the most difficult and the most rewarding. :) :)

Thank you, Jayne, for being here :)

Tallulah Belle said...

I am glad to be here xxx

Sweet and docile...lmao...wait till I tell mick that :-)

Yes I am small...5'2". I used to be petite but have packed on the pounds since moving here. Wild hair...indeed. 90% of it was pinned back in that photo otherwise it would have filled the pic lol.

Feisty....very much so but I've calmed down a lot since i moved here. Rowdy might be another word my freinds might use :-)

I have changed a lot since moving over here but you aren't far wrong.

Did I ever put my wedding pics on my blog...I don't remember but one of those is an absolute perfect capture of the 'real' me...and nothing like the pic I have up now :-)

Sans! said...

Ok Jayne, I am going to insist you show us those pics :). I am glad also to know I am not wrong about you! hehe :):) Cos I am fond of that Jayne :).

Meli said...

Sans, I believe that his has been the most tender post I have read i your blog!
Thanks for sharing it with us!!
Warm regards,

Sans! said...

Hey Meli :):) Good to see you here :). Once in a blue moon, I get into this mood. This post in particular, was mainly inspired by blog friends :):) and what they are going through or went through. PLUS I thought celebrating childhood is almost like a rite of passage for a blog about dollhouses :):). It's probably a matter of time that I have to travel down this road here :).

Norma said...

A beautiful post Sans, in every way. I'm adding it to the 'reward' reading list to revisit when I'm done with all my work.

On the subject of motherhood I read somewhere some time ago that to have a child is to cut out your heart, put arms and legs on it, and let it go out into the world. I think it pretty much sums it up.

When you have time drop by this blog - you'll be glad you did!

Sans! said...

Hey Norma :)! Did you read the post on Leftcoastmini where Collette and Daphne were talking ? It was so funny when they mentioned you. I am still smiling :) thinking about that conversation.

I think the person you quoted for the description of motherhood has found the best possible allegory for what it means to be a mum :).

By the way, I have read that post :). I am a follower of An Indian Summer :). THANK YOU for thinking of me. My palaces will definitely be of that look :). With the building of this house, I am becoming more confident with eventually tackling the more difficult and elaborate houses later on.

After I made this post however, I suddenly could not continue with the living room. I was halfway done but rearranged everything for this post. Now I am waiting for the inspiration to come back :):).

Norma said...

I hope you'll feel like coming back to it soon. These colours are just awesome. I'm finding I'm moving a bit from the pales of shabby chic to the richer colours of Bohemian chic so turquiose and golds particularly attracted my attention. Gypsy Purple blog features lovely Indian inspired things from time to time but I think this Tobias Harvey is the most amazing I've seen.

This is the point where I should say 'back to the books' but I think I'm going to take another nap so it's 'back to bed ' instead ;)

BTW thanks for the 'heads up' on the conversation cos I hadn't noticed the ref to me altho I had quickly scanned the post.

Sans! said...

Morning Norma, it may have slipped your mind but I think you were the one who referred me to Gypsy Rose earlier :):) . I think it is the same Tobias Harvey post :). I even went to the designer website and was awestruck,

And did you say Bohemian? Go to this page Don't go if you need to hit the books because it is breathtakingly hard to leave. :):)

Time for breakfast :)

Norma said...

Yeah, my second comment was meant simply as further 'chat' relating to Gypsy Rose and Tobias Harvey :) I'm having a study free afternoon, but I'm doing (almost overdue) tax return chores - I think I'd rather be studying!! I'm so hopeless at keeping all the bits of paper in the right place (no matter how hard I try I always seem to lose something!) so it's an annual chore I just dread - and it's kinda complicated when we have financial dealings in NZ as well as Oz and they are all inter-related for tax.

I am going to check out the specific Tobias Harvey page you refer to, I had a quick quick look at his site y'day but didn't linger. I think after all the tax papers I've shuffled so far I deserve a short 'cuppa and eye candy break' :)

Sans! said...

Oh Norma, I don't mean your comment on this post. You made one when I posted about my 3 windows and a door on Day 138 where you have asked me to visit gypsy rose :). But its good that you reminded me again . After so many months, it's fun to go back there to read what I didn't see the last time especially his photography site.

My Friday evening is almost gone and soon it will be too dark to do anything :). Went running this morning at 10am and I didn't get back until now, ie 6pm..haha! Sidetracked and went shopping!!!Yes, in my sweaty stinky running gear. Arghhhh...since my latest passion, I seem to have thrown fashion out of the window. Not good :)

Norma said...

I forgot about that earlier ref to Gysy Rose, and as you can see my brain clearly fried by too much tax! ;)

Go out running and end up shopping! You're a funny girl :)
Maybe you need to go shopping for sexy running gear so you're ready for anything!

Have a good weekend!

Sans! said...

Norma, I need to run a lot lot more than I shop if I ever want to be sexy! hehe

There's absolutely no need for such clothes at the moment! :)

chandra said...

Maharaja should have a sword, where is it? any idea..hay this was real special..appreciated!!
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