Stealing Time to Love
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - February 13, 2007 Posted: 5:04:27 PM EDT

'When you coming home, dad? I don't know when,
But we'll get together then. You know we'll have a good time then.'
~ Cats in the Cradle, Harry Chapin.

I have a daughter who's 11 going 21.

I see her growing up right in front of my eyes. She was my baby only yesterday. Now the signs of my daughter transforming from a little girl into a young lady is too clear to be missed. And as her father, I am making mental notes for the coming of rebellious 13. I am worried about the messy crushes of 17.  I might be heart-broken when she's 21 and leaves home to seek her own life. 

Other than the weekend trips to MPH Subang Parade, reading in a little corner together or sending her to her dance classes on Saturday afternoon, I really don't see enough of her. She goes to sleep at 9.00pm so that she can wake-up at 6.00am to go to school.

I often get home only at 9.30pm.  

Most days, I miss my daughter badly. At least that's how I felt last night. 

The night before she went to bed, she reminded me to buy her mandarin oranges. She love mandarin oranges and she said I should get her 10 for Chinese New Year. When I got home about 9.30pm, and as I watched the auto-gate open slowly, I realised I did not have the mandarin oranges I promised her. So I shut the gate again and drove off to USJ 4 for a box of mandarin oranges. I bought it from the roadside stall in front of Apollo Restaurant.

When I got home, I passed the box to Saoda, my domestic helper and told her to let my little girl know that I bought her mandarin-oranges when she wakes up in the morning.

I then went for a shower.

Before I sleep, I walked over to her bed and kissed her goodnight. Looking at her sleeping, I wanted to let her know how much I love her and missed her. How often do you need to tell an 11 year old girl you love her? How much is enough for a little girl growing up to be a little lady? I'm not sure. Sometimes when I do get to see her at night, she's tired after a long day at school and cranky at best. And I am often not my best after a long, long day.

I stood there for a moment, thinking.

Then I got an idea.

I went downstairs into the kitchen and took 1 plastic bag from under the sink. I then opened the fridge and took out 2 mandarin oranges. I felt the coolness of the oranges in my palm and then put them into the plastic bag. I then search for a piece of paper inside one of those crayons/color-pencils-filled, and masterpieces-stuffed drawers and wrote a note to my daughter.

I chose my words with care. 

Then I put the little note into the plastic bag with the mandarin-oranges. I tied the plastic bag with the 2 mandarin oranges and the little note. Then I unzipped her school bag and placed the plastic bag inside, on top of her exercise books. I then zipped her school bag and patted the oranges and little note over the rough canvass before I went to sleep.

I imagine she would open her bag at school at 7.15am today. For that brief moment, I hope my girl knows how much I love her.


3 Comment(s) Link to this blog

rijac said...

i read this shortly after yelling at my kids who were particularly difficult to manage today, causing me to have to cancel several meetings at the office (no way in hell i would make the meetings considering the kids were still half naked with only 20 minutes to meeting time)...

then i sat down, in anger, and couldn't focus on work.  i distracted myself catching up on reading.  and read this. 

now, in the mental state i am in, it will be a miracle if i get any work done for the rest of the day...

thank you.  i wish i hadn't yelled at them now.


Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin said...

Rijac, we all know our kids aren't angels. I am sure you blew it for good reasons. I had my days of verbal misfirings too. Maybe make it up later with a walk along the beach and an ice-cream treat under the trees. 



sm said...

wow, that's so wonderful.



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Wiley Chin
Chief Alchemist
XiMnet Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.

An alchemist of the Internet and marketing strategies, leading the charge to put our creative and software talents into serving companies who are out to slay the global giants. Also known as Chief of Caffeine Consumption and hallucinates between projects. Yes, that accounts for his “giant slaying” stuff.

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