She knocked her chin against the armrest of the chair and wailed incessantly. The whole family awarded her with the many assurances of “It’s okay, it’s okay!” with laughter echoing around our living hall. My little niece began her first few baby steps just a few days ago, and was still very klutzy. The rule is this: when we laugh and applaud, our little girl then puffs up her chest with a cheeky beam on her face and continues to walk – clumsily or mightily – pushed by the cheers.
And of course I don’t remember myself being the little one in the limelight, but it will take several lifetimes for me to forget what my childhood was filled with – the Sony video camcorder which was held up high on every single family gathering, the gigantic table that was placed in the middle of the hall so that everyone could stand around it to sing Happy Birthday and blowing out candles, and how I would, exasperatedly, lose count of the pairs of shoes at the doorstep of my grandma’s apartment.
I came across a photo shared by the Humans of New York page on Facebook and it captured a girl whose age I suppose is younger than mine, and was captioned “I thought I lived in a happy family, until my grandma died without leaving a will.”
I have heard, and seen many films with plots lingering on the essence of money as the root of everything and would say that I’m frightened of it sometimes. Many of you would have experienced unpleasant encounters with money and of course it occurs to my own family too. Debts, gambling, unnecessary spending. I would lament about how others have parents who gave them mobile phones at the age of 9 while I had to wait 15 years of my life to ever own one. The first thing that ever came up in my mind when I stepped into high-end retail outlets was “I wish we had more money”.
But then I came to realise that we are never poor – just of a humble background. We don’t have ostentatious lifestyles, but at the same time, we don’t scrimp and save nor do we live frugally.
A few years back when I said I wanted an iPod Nano, I got it.
My wardrobe ran out of space. The shoe rack too.
I said that I want to pursue literature, and was then told to never give up on it.
Being a part of a huge and close-knitted family, I lived delightfully as a child (and also as of now), and only in the recent years I discovered that this is a rather rare blessing that one could have.
My parents gave me everything that they could, and I’m proud to say that I am their child.