For the past week or so, a few blogger-friends have posted interesting and amusing stories about the conversations with their young children. The witty responses that come from the mouth of our young ones sometimes catch us off-guard, but they never fail to raise a smile or a chuckle from us.
Recording such beautiful dialogue in blog posts is a wonderful way of preserving the memories. Pretty soon, our children grow up... and we long for the days when we could cuddle them and listen to their innocent banter.
My days of cuddling the boys are already over. As you can gather from my earlier posts, my sons have all grown up into young men. The youngest one is already a teenager. So stories about funny and witty replies are all but just memories. A few of these stand up in mind but maybe I'll post them on another day.
Father-son conversations are not as common as mother-son conversations. The reasons are quite obvious. In general, sons are closer to their mother than their father. There are things that a son can only tell his mother... especially things that relate to emotions and feelings. It is somewhat not a `manly' thing to do to be talking to your dad about stuff like that. Moms understand these things better. Often, the father is the last person in the house to know. Fathers only get consulted on really formal stuff and in particular, any decision that has a financial impact.
My sons have always been closer to their mother... and it is fine by me. Because I can say the same for myself too. So don't ask me if I know the names of my sons' girlfriends... or if they actually do have girlfriends already. My wife would know.
When the eldest boy got the opportunity to study overseas about 2 years back, I had Streamyx broadband installed at home. The main purpose of which was to allow the mother to be in contact with the son on Yahoo Messenger. And when I fitted the webcam on our home desktop a bit later, she can see the image of her son in real-time, all those 8,000 km away. And then she starts worrying if her son is eating well because he looks so thin...
The technology of today has made the old form of communication near obsolete. I am of course, referring to the art of letter-writing between a son and his parent. I don't think my son has ever written a letter to his mother, not even when he was in boarding school. He would feel hard-pressed to write one now, especially in decent, if not classic, Bahasa Melayu. His YM chats with his mother are in standard everyday informal prose.
I remember as a student, writing letters to my mother in classic writing style... the one that starts : Kehadapan ibunda ku yang dikasihi, semuga ibunda dan ayahanda yang berada jauh di tanahair sentiasa dalam keadaan sihat hendaknya...
My mother was a schoolteacher once, hence my letters to her need to be tip-top. It wasn't too much of a trouble for me because I loved writing. Letters to my mother could be four or five pages long. Comparatively, one to my father would be 2 pages at most :-)
I wonder if my mom still keeps my letters. It would be real interesting to re-read them after all these years. I wonder now, what was it that I actually wrote about. Surely personal and emotional stuff mostly, and probably ridiculously embarassing on hindsight. But one thing I can assure you is that the language is gracefully classic.