Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Father-Son Time

Unlike my Dad who has 8 children, I do not have that many children, I just have a son. Yet, I consider myself very fortunate that Sonny is entrusted by The Almighty to Wifey and I.

Like my Dad, Mom being a housewife and all those children to feed, clothe and provide a roof under our heads, he still found time enough to spend them with me.

I remember the early wake-up calls and those shivering cold showers I had to take before the sun rose to get ready for our morning jogs. I was barely a teenager then.

We would jog as far as our legs would take us and back. Bedok North was just developed then, into a thriving a residential estate it is today.

Imagine my awe when I saw the tall buildings and sculptured landscapes of city life, coming out from the jungle of an area we called our kampong or village.

Dad would chat with me about the goings-on in the area as we passed it. Talks about grown-up stuff... somehow preparing me for the real world ahead of me. Precious things that the school did not teach... the sweet and hard facts of live, about the experiences in his life.

In retrospect, I treasure our time together, in younger and healthier yesteryear. I remember hating to be the "chosen one." to wake up in the wee hours of the morning while it was still very dark out there. I mean really dark where there were no street lights.

Preparing myself while the rest of my siblings were still fast asleep on the weekends! Saw them in good slumber, all cuddled-up under their blankets, warm and oblivious on their thin and flattened sponge mattresses... laid in rows on the living room floor.

Believe it of not, those weekend routines made me good at cross-country running at school. Sprint challenges amongst my village play friends were a breeze.

Those days together made me also realize how important spending father and son time can be, even before I started to have my own family.

Having the only child with Wifey, I am glad I was able to give Sonny my full attention he needed since he was a small.

I still give him my full attention when he needs it today... though lesser as he grows, still I tell myself not to be complacent about spending time with him... the situation may have changed, but the bond remains and even strengthened amid the many distractions between us.

The TV, the computer, the Xbox, his friends, my friends, his school, my work... the list goes on, but I make it a point to make time for a father-and-son time. Just us boys.

So while Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve celebrated its 15th anniversary, we celebrated our father-and-son time there together.

"I have so much chores to do... you guys go ahead and enjoy yourselves." Wifey's graceful withdrawal to let just us both to spend time together.

Though he is not as keen a nature lover as I am, the long walks along its path and in between spotting the elusive inhabitants there, one thing kept us in common ground. We both like photography. Yes, the techno gadget is the key.

A passion I developed when I owned my first camera after I started working, I now know that Sonny likes photography and his excitement tweaking the camera settings to get the best desired outcome while we were there... experimenting in quick time before our subjects disappeared into the mangroves.

It is a new interest I know about him on Saturday, unlike the obvious addiction to the PC games and his flair for computer programming, website design and hosting management.

I am pretty sure in time, he will love nature outings as much as I do.

Knowingly, I was born in the village with nature surrounding me and grew up amongst the flora and fauna the secondary forest had to offer. Sonny was born in an air-conditioned hospital, grew-up in the concrete jungle we call our flat for a home, where the environment is clean, sculptured and manicured... everything is conveniently available and affordable.

Though there are so many man-made distractions out there in our daily lives, there will always be this father who will bring him to get in touch with nature with our outings.

He will appreciate it when he has to serve the army when he reaches 18 or 20 years old.

For now, nothing extreme. Nothing rugged to prove our manhood, just time together as father and son, outdoors in God's creation that is nature.

I told him that the camera will be his when I get my new one that has interchangeable lenses with greater zoom power. Probably a dSLR?

He was excited upon hearing that. We will have more time to spend together while we sharpen our skills at recreational photography.

And yes, Happy 15th Anniversay SBWR!

Thank you for the best nature talks we had. The friendly park rangers. I must mention the newly improved Visitors Centre by leaps and bounds... for once I thought we were at a nature resort. The toilets were modern, beautiful and wow, spotless!

We enjoyed the outdoors so much and even won ourselves 2 tickets to Pink Dolpin Show and Underwater World at Sentosa Resort Island right after the talks. Another outing opportunity.

Wonderful time. Priceless forever.


  1. It was interesting to see a word-picture of your growing-up years! Very interesting indeed, and so different from my own.

  2. Father son time is very special.


  3. awww that is just to precious. But u know what, I have a feeling that you spoil Sonny as much as someone else would 8 sons combined ;)


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