Friday, August 01, 2008

There's Always Hope

Wow! I have not been posting anything for some time now.

It has been hectic these past few weeks.

Other than dealing and posting recent deaths of our hamsters... they were born the same time, so they die about the same age which have been heart-breaking, I have an extra job covering for a colleague at work who is away until next week.

Apart from helping Sonny cope with his class arts and design projects during the weekdays, Wifey and I have become active again after a good rest of being members of Dedicated Support Parents' group or DSP in our son's Dunman Secondary School on the weekends.

Their upcoming Environment and Life Science Exhibition had us busy doing craft work using recycled materials for the exhibition aimed at promoting awareness of care for the environment to the young.

Just last Saturday, as DSPs we were invited to attend and witnessed other parents' proud moments when their children received their achievement awards. It was our first to attend the school's 45th Anniversary & Prize Giving Day.

Impressive results attained by these students who took their GCE "O" Level examinations last year. Prizes were given out to student who had attained 5 to 9 Distinctions in the subjects they had taken... and there were many of them!

I started thinking of the amount of efforts they had put in, coupled with their determination and their gift of good genes for brains. One by one each student came to the stage proudly receiving their much deserved awards from the Guest of Honor.

I could feel how proud they felt and how happy they had made their parents to be... all elongated necks peering out of the sea of seats, arms stretched out with flashing digital cameras capturing their moments for posterity.

I was secretly hoping... praying then, for my son to be just as good and determined to be as successful in his academics as those students.

I would imagine Wifey and I doing the same paparazzi-parent thingy too with Sonny in the years to come.

In retrospect, if I had a coin for every thought I had about turning back time, I would be such a rich person. If I could turn back time, I would study harder and most importantly smarter too.

Back then, being a shy and reclusive student were a terrible combination. It spelled hard and confusing times as a student. The reluctance to ask questions when I did not understand the lessons being taught meant disastrous test and exam results.

It took a toll on my overall self-confidence.

I was not proud of my academic achievements because I did not achieve that much. So when I did scored some "As" in my GCE, it was quite shocking. Then again, the aggregate qualified me to only a few options in Polytechnic.

Being as ignorant as I was back then, I was blown to the direction of the wind that blew most of my cohort to Electrical or Electronics Engineering... a time when the country was evolving itself to be a manufacturing hub in Asia.

All this was against my interest. This kampong boy has always wanted to become a botanist. Yes, lame I know, but plants and trees are my interests. Animals too. Nature is my nature.

All these years, I had always wished to quit and went back to school for botany, but did not. I would be landscaping public gardens and parks with NEA! Then again, Engineer's pay has been very good and the opportunities to progress upwards were abundant. I sway with the flow.

At times, when I was in the low, I would look out the window and see my path that I did not take. I know the grass is always greener on the other side, but boy, do I want to see it for myself. I like grass!

Yes, I was a coward then when times were simpler. Being single, any decision I made in err would have been my own mistake or glory. How little money I would make would be mine, but nowadays, making that jump will mean affecting my family too.

Financially, I do not think I can take that risk. This body is too old, this mind too rusty. The enthusiasm in me has all been spent. What is left is the focus in my present job.

So here I am. Heading my test engineering group. I had come a long way though... persevered most of the time, but I believe I did a good and honest job all the while or my conscience would have killed me.

So here I am, providing Sonny, one of the best students I know and a great son, as best an education and constructive exposures as much as possible for him to excel in his studies and support him all the way to pursue and achieve his goals and dreams.

I have another chance because my son is my hope.


  1. I'm sure you're son will go far bro. How can he not, with such devoted and loving parents. And with being blessed with so many prayers.

    Heck, he even got ppl praying for he's sucess from all over the world, even from Sweden ya know :D

    I'm sure he'll make you very proud bro. May he always be happy, and may whatever be the right thing for him happen.

  2. Hello Crashy,

    Thank you for the kind words. An only child makes him all the more precious.

    Like all parents, we hope to provide the best for him so that he can grow to be the best a person he can be to his family, friends, country and beyond.


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