Friday, June 03, 2011

Special ‘father moments’

I was taking an evening walk around my neighbourhood when I saw something quite interesting. A car stopped not far from me beside a maid walking a toddler. The kid went into the car, it drove off and the maid waved goodbye. A few houses down the road, the car into the driveway of their house. It reminded me of those times when my kids were young, and they - my son especially - too liked to do that.

Last Sunday I read a very meaningful article in Today on Sunday on the topic of Father-son relationship. Titled, A Love Measured in Memories, it was written by Jason Wong as part of the Dads for Life Movement. He tried to recall scenes of moments he had spent with his dad. I really like this saying which he quoted; “If you want to be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today”. I would encourage all parents; especially fathers of young children to read this article.

I am also reminded of something I saw at the Gunung Ledang Resort, also last Sunday. I was on a visit to Tangkak and decided to check out the nearby Gunung Ledang (formerly Mount Ophir) Resort. The owner told us that they had a group consisting mainly father-and-son teams from ACS (Anglo-Chinese Primary School). As part of the activity, father and son had to camp outdoors on the first night. How meaningful.

In this blog, I and my fellow guest bloggers have shared with you many of our special ‘father moments’ with our dads. But here’s one that I had been too embarrassed to tell you about.

The year was 1959. My father wanted to enroll me in Anglo-Chinese Junior School in Barker Road. We were in the principal’s office and he (maybe she) wanted to test my vocabulary of English words. Would you believe I couldn’t even say chicken and duck in English, and in the end I answered in Cantonese - kai, arp ….. My father must have felt terribly embarrassed.

Ahem ..… I should direct your attention to Row 3 of my report card.

It’s been only slightly more than ten years, and my children do not remember their car-hopping thing. But one thing they do remember is how we used to play shadow games outside our neighbour’s house. Our neighbour’s corner terrace has a huge white wall, and it is just next to a lamp post. Sometimes, after dinner I would take the kids for a stroll and we would stop by this wall and make animal shadows with our hands. One game my children remember fondly is that I would pretend to hammer their head; and on the wall it would look as if with each blow of my fist on my daughter’s head, she would be hammered lower into the ground. Hope you get the picture.

Below is a photo taken with my first digital camera. The brand was Epson but I cannot remember the model name. I think the year was 2000. It was taken at a fish farm called Hausman at Neo Tiew Crescent.

And here’s a song all fathers of young children should listen to.

Related post:


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you Chun See for the write-up and song. I remember the lyrics and music and realise that as long as we have family our days are not over as parents or grandparents.

Zen said...

Chun See shouldn't feel being embarassed by his ACS oral english test encounter. Frankly speaking kampong folks those days never send their kids to kindergarten - hence deficiency in oral english was quite understandable. Worst at the tender age of 5, my father enrolled, or rather arranged with a chinese boon) principal to slot him into a pr.1 -mandarin speaking class. Poor chun see I was told by my mother sometimes fell asleep in the class - in fact he was too young to attend a pr. 1 class. When he was suddenly 'thrusted' into a distinguished english school (ACS at coleman street) which far away in town from lorong chuan, he was like a fish out of water, a rude shock for an innocent kampong kid.

Lam Chun See said...

My Pr 1 was spent in ACS Barker Rd, not Coleman St.

Zen said...

I am not surprised of my muddling up of your early years of education, shuttling from chinese school to ACS Barker Rd/coleman str to brs...I myself faced this dilema. When our parents resided at lorong 14 Geylang, I studied a year in a chinese named happy saluting to a national chinese flag every morning singing a patriotic song which went like this: "ko chi ko chi...", literarly meaning beautiful flag you are really beautiful etc, but ended up very unhappy. So my father enrolled me to a far-away english school called Serangoon English School at Simon Road, upper Serangoon Rd. By then, after 2 yrs, our family had moved to my grandma kampong house at lorong kinchir and again I was relocated to a nearer brs Well that was the reality of life, nothing to complain about. Until now, after many yrs, this story resurfaces in gmy.

peter said...

I dare say I gave up a 1/4 of my life on parenting. Was it worth it? Sure.

Now my time to do the things that I could not when I was parenting. This is fair deal.

Thimbuktu said...

Thank you Chun See.

A great blog on 'special father moments' which will inspire every father to share with us.

A few years ago, I posted a similar topic on "Loving Moments with My Kids" here .

The lyrics of "Cats in the cradle" by Harry Chaplin below:

"Cats In The Cradle"

My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin' 'fore I knew it, and as he grew
He'd say "I'm gonna be like you dad
You know I'm gonna be like you"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home dad?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then son
You know we'll have a good time then

My son turned ten just the other day
He said, "Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let's play
Can you teach me to throw", I said "Not today
I got a lot to do", he said, "That's ok"
And he walked away but his smile never dimmed
And said, "I'm gonna be like him, yeah
You know I'm gonna be like him"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home son?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then son
You know we'll have a good time then

Well, he came home from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say
"Son, I'm proud of you, can you sit for a while?"
He shook his head and said with a smile
"What I'd really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later, can I have them please?"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home son?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then son
You know we'll have a good time then

I've long since retired, my son's moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind"
He said, "I'd love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job's a hassle and kids have the flu
But it's sure nice talking to you, Dad
It's been sure nice talking to you"

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He'd grown up just like me
My boy was just like me

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home son?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then son
You know we'll have a good time then.

Lam Chun See said...

My youngest daughter remembers that whilst they happily climb into my car before I drive into the house, she would like to sit on my lap and pretend to operate the steering wheel.

How time flies. Now 2 of the three already have their own driving license.

Thimbuktu said...

Wonderful. Learning to drive at an early age on Dad's lap. Cheers!

sim hui hwang said...

Dear Mr Lam
Mr James Seah encouraged me to post my comments here, so here I am. Thanks lots for his introduction to a wonderful piece written about fathers. I am sure both you and James have been very good fathers. I like the examples or moments you have shared. I am going to use this topic to teach my composition lesson when term starts in a week's time. Cats in the cradle is a very good song for use as a trigger to introduce this topic to my students.

Thank you so much. I must thank James for the ability to source for good stories to share with us readers. I shall also use this song for my SGS School Library Facebook page today in honour of our dear fathers. I started this page for my school library in order to reach out to more students who are reluctant readers. This gives me ideas to start a Father's Day topic for the students and to allow me to look for books related to fathers and children.

Many thanks, Mr Lam, for the fine resources that are very relevant for use as authentic teaching materials. Thanks, James for including me in your circle whenever there are useful learning points to share and make.

With warmest regards
Hui Hwang

Lam Chun See said...

Thanks Hui Hwang for your thoughtful remarks. Your students are blessed to have such a dedicated teacher. All the best for you endeavours. My daugter incidentally - the one who sat on my lap - has just been awarded an MOE scholarship. That would make her the second teacher in our family.

I did not know that yesterday was Father's Day. Otherwise, I would have delayed posting my article. Anyway, our family do not consciously celebrate Father's Day, or Mother's Day; and definitely not Valentine's Day. Just don't see the meaning or need actually.

peter said...

Like u Chun See I didnt know Sunday was Fathers Day until my sons proposed to makan.

I told them,a simple meal or drinks will do and if it's a bowl of wanton soup or a San Miguel in a less pleasant establishment, it's still a good thought.

Though I have sat and eaten in the some of the best restaurants and dine even at kopi-tiams, it takes more than a meal to bond family members.

The constant times one spends with one's parents over the years beats dining on an annual basis.

Lam Chun See said...

Last week I spent 5 full days with my family at the church camp in Msia (thank God no traffic jam). We had a great time and many meals together. After that, there was little need for a Father's Day celebration.