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Human Relationship 101: Letting Our Loved Children Go


(There will be time when parents will need to allow their children to stand on their own and make decisions that will determine their own future)

I had 2 phone calls from my dad yesterday…

One call was during lunch time informing me that he had cooked something at home and asked whether I had time to drop by the house for lunch. Given the traffic situation, it was an impossible mission to achieve.

Another was late at night when I was still in the office, asking me to drop by his workplace to pick up something. My dad, these days, works as a night shift security guard to pass his free time (he got so bored sitting in the house) and earn some cash (a far cry from those days when he was young and was driving a 10 tires truck)

It was almost 9.15 pm when I pulled in front of my dad’s workplace. He was waiting for me. He said he heard the “sound” of my car from afar. My dad opened the side gate and asked me to take a seat at the guardhouse. He had packed some fruits and food for my son. He asked me to deliver it.

He then took a long look at me and told me that he was very concerned about me. He knew that I have been working hard last few months. He was concerned about my health. He was worried about the little time I spend with my son on daily basis. He was worried about my son not taking up swimming classes (at age of 5!).

He was worried about this, he was worried about that.

I quietly listened and when he had stopped talking, I put my hands on his shoulder and told him not to worry. I told him that there comes a time for every father to one day, let go their children and allow them to learn the hardship of life for themselves.

There is no way for my dad to be with me all the time. And I am very sure, I need to let go my son one day and let him learn the finer points of life. Besides if my son does not learn for himself, how then he will teach his kids one day, right? I told this to my father who by now looked more relaxed. I think he got my point.

On his worry that my son is not going for swimming classes, I told him to relax first. My son is still young and there are plenty of things for him to do in the many years to come. Swimming classes, guitar classes, aikido classes, etc.

I have “major” plans for him but not now – I do not want to rush in and overwhelm him. Let him enjoy his kiddie years, worrying at times, nothing more than which cartoon channel to see.

My dad took a deep breathe – he was confident that I was still in control. He changed the topic. (this was a  good sign). We started to talk about going down to Morib for picnic. In between, my dad asked whether I intend to change my old beaten up Proton – the engine sound was very loud. We laughed – my “dream car” is still far from my financial reach. Besides I must have changed a lot of things inside the car, it worth driving for several more years.

It was getting late and I was dire need of a cold shower and hot food. I stood up and walked to my car. My dad was in a better mood by now. I was looking forward to meet my son at home and I guess when I get old as my dad, probably I too might worry “unnecessarily” about my son but I need to remember to let him go.

It is for his own benefit, I pretty sure.

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