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When I read Masaru Emoto’s RICE EXPERIMENT not too long ago, I didn’t see any pictures on the internet. I didn’t look. As much as I believe in my ability to mentally picture a lot of things I read, I took the whole rice experiment with a grain of salt.

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But when I visited a friend whom I had not met for 20 years, who successfully runs an international school and who took me to her school lab not knowing if I was aware of Masaru Emoto’s experiment, what I saw humbled me to the core. I thought I had read it all. I thought I had seen it all.

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The rice in the jar with the ‘I Love You’ label looked good. The rice in the jar with the ‘I Hate You’ label looked horrible.  Yeah, it was almost a cliché. But there was another jar with worse than horrible looking rice in it. Unlabelled. And I learned from Zaliza that the rice was not given any attention at all. Not spoken to, not touched. Nothing. And strangely, all I could think of at that very point was the line from Agnes Monica’s song: “Tak dianggap sama sekali.”

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Rice Experiment

Credit to: smt.blog.com/mari_diary.

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Driving all the way home from the visit that day, the image of the worse-than-horrible-looking rice kept playing in my mind. And that image has kept me praying… that I shall keep speaking to my children for as long as I could talk. That I shall keep holding my children’s hands for as long as I could walk. That I shall keep embracing my children for as long as I could. That I shall never ever love them in silence.

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That I shall keep praying for Enida…

Teruskan lah, teruskan lah… kau begitu.

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The Theory of Forever

It didn’t ideally start with an excitement of driving Monchies to school this morning, to be honest. I had missed the kids despite knowing they had fun walking from Sofia’s house who lives just across the road from school the day before, when I was in Singapore. I wish I could keep them at home to make up for yesterday. But there was something about our supposedly-routine drive to school today that awakened me and had not put me back to bed.

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I was quietly cursing the driver in front of us for signalling but didn’t inch in to our lane by the ‘which-planet-did-you-get-your-license-from-Pluto-or-something’ curse, when Kitreena was scolding her brother for finishing his previous day’s lunch money on a snack. I thought she wasn’t paying attention to my Italian-driving skills on Jalan Tun Nazak.

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Kitreena: Ma, Pluto is not a planet anymore. It’s a dwarf planet.
Mommy: Yeah, I know. See? Nothing lasts forever. Not even a fact!
Kitreena: What do you mean? They just discovered it.
Mommy: Pluto was a planet for… like, forever. It was a known fact. I was born to that fact. And I thought I was going to die knowing that for a fact Pluto was going to be a planet forever. But even that fact could be changed on us, you see. Just like a person you trust to be honest forever. To you, that is a fact. Until… the next thing you know, they change.
Kitreena: Ya. True lah, Ma. If facts can change, what more people.
Mommy: Yup, and that’s the thing about forever. It has its ‘until’.
Edrick: Hmmm… that’s new.

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Monchies and I agreed today that there is no such thing as forever. And that is a fact. For now.

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Like usual, it is a long wait for Kitreena to be ready in the morning for breakfast. Today is our 4th attempt to go out for brekky. The three previous attempts, sad to report, have successfully failed.

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In Cucina Mesra this morning as I was working on the modules to be sent to IPDM, Edrick walked in, rubbing his tummy…

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Edrick: Mom, I’m hungry.IMG_5530
Mommy: Me too!
Edrick: Are we going somewhere for breakfast?
Mommy: We’re trying.
Edrick: What do you want to eat?
Mommy: I want to eat a HORSE!
Edrick: Yeah! I’ll have a horse too!
Mommy: I want the biggest one on the menu, okay!
Edrick: Okay Mom, I’ll have the second biggest one.

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I asked Edrick to have some MILO while waiting. He’s fine now and that mug of MILO has saved the second biggest horse on the menu.

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I Thought I Saw

We seldom go shopping for clothes, Monchies and I. Whatever we have that we can wear, we wear them ’til they wear out. And even when they are all worn out, some clothes that we really love are worn out ’til they are torn up. I’m still having a tough time trying to justify why I am in the clothing business, considering how much I do not like shopping for new clothes.

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But the kids are tired of wearing Airwings Merchandise tops, I can tell. So, after Christmas I took them shopping. Kitreena was in dire needs for some ‘girls’ stuff. It was the best time to shop for clothes when everybody else had already spent their mulah prior to Christmas. Malls were quiet and everything was on sale sale sale!

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We had a great time shopping, Monchies and I. So great and so rare, that we were still talking about it a week after. When I picked them up at school one sunny afternoon, Kitreena wished we could go do it again.

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Mommy: But you got everything you wanted, didn’t you?
Kitreena: Not everything.
Mommy: What else did you want?
Kitreena: I wanted Daddy.
Mommy: Huh? Uh… sorry sayang, I can’t help you.
Kitreena: Hehehe…
Mommy: Not for sale. Not on sale.
Edrick: But wait, Mom! I thought I saw him on the shelves.
Mommy: Saw what?
Edrick: Daddy! At RM58.99.
Kitreena: *silent*
Mommy: *silent*
Edrick: *all smiles*

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When I finally got the joke, I broke out in a ROAR of laughter that made Edrick laugh…

Edrick: I haven’t made you laugh this big for a long time, Mom!
Mommy: I know! I just didn’t see it coming!
Kitreena: *tries not to laugh*
Mommy: But why RM58.99 and not RM60.00.
Edrick: That’s after discount.
Mommy: *roars some more*

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Kitreena went quiet in the back seat, and I let her take it easy and take what Edrick said as a joke to lighten up our day. But I did tell her that sunny afternoon, no matter how much we had, some things were just unattainable by money. Some things that were supposedly easy and ready… were the very same things that were not meant to be.

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Eventually…

I was ready to go for a nap when Captain Ana and I took Monchies out to see ‘Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Road Chip’ at TGV Sunway Putra a couple weeks ago. It is obvious I am not a fan of Alvin, although it was playing on repeat for many many months in my house when the first Alvin movie came out. I almost thought the kids have grown out of Alvin. Boy! I was wrong.

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And then I was wrong about another thing…
That was when I started to tear up hearing a line from Miles, “Dads are overrated. You’ll get over him leaving, eventually.”

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I found myself looking for a reaction from Kitreena. She looked at me, puckered her lips, shrugged her shoulders, smiled, looked away and then continued watching. It was then that my tears started rolling. And it was then that I knew for sure, I was raising a strong little lady.

Abang Shadow

He was determined to finish his homework by nightfall. Got himself a piece of sugar paper from Mommy’s office downstairs after fighting his own fear to be down there alone. It has been quiet on the ground floor since Teddy’s passing.

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“I’m learning about shadow, Mom. I need to cut out a figure of any shape. And I need two of them.”

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I helped him with the cat shape, of course, and assumed that the M was for Me, the Mommy. I wasn’t ready to hear, “No Mom, M is for Meow.” It was safer to assume, as rejection, even in a small matter like this, matters to mothers.

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It wasn’t long after that that he felt nauseous and had to run for the sink. He lost everything that he had taken today; lunch, the sandwich, the cucumber, the tomatoes, the apple snack, the lot. It all pickled down the drain. Oh my dear Little Big Man.

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I am sleeping in the living room tonight, with my eyes wide open, guarding my little Abang Sado, closer than his own shadow… one hand holding a barf bag, the other a roll of paper towels. Charcoal pills, check. Tiger balm, check. Love, check. Tenderness, check. Patience, check check!

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It has been a while since he last got ill. It was almost nostalgic tonight putting a diaper on Edrick, hosing down his soiled undies and mopping the floor after a projectile muntah. But he will be well soon. I know for sure.

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I am here.

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Se-Mentara

Kalau nak sangat sedih,
biar sedih betul-betul.
Sedih habis-habis.
Sebab sedih itu,
dalam sakit dan perih-payahnya,
sementara.

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Kalau nak sangat menangis,
biar menangis betul-betul.
Menangis habis-habis.
Sebab menangis itu,
dalam pedih dan bengkak-bengkilnya,
membasuh jiwa.

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Sedih lah. Menangis lah.
Penat sedih, penat menangis nanti, kita berhenti.
Letih sedih, letih menangis nanti, kita berdiri.

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Tak mati.IMG_5194
Ada masa lagi.

 

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*Enida
Mesra Terrace
15 Disember 2015

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