I was reading a link that one of my facebook friends posted : "Freedom can wait, I'm staying put for dad", by Maryam Mokhtar.
I don't know if I want my kids to think and feel the same way as Maryam. I don't think so. Now itself I always tell my 3 goons to keep their sights outside the box, I tell them there's so much of the world to see and they must strive to look for opportunities outside Malaysia, not coz Malaysia's no good, but coz I want them to see the rest of the world. I also tell them that it's ok if they had to leave me to spread their wings and find their dreams, and that however far they are from me they must know that they will always have my love and support, that I will always be there for them should they ever need my guidance or advice, and that I will always have their backs, provided that they're doing things that are not illegal or harmful to anyone, of course. Not just coz they're boys that I don't have to worry about them as much as if they were girls, but coz they were born free individuals and they have the right to have a chance at life at its most. And they must have the courage to fly free.
Hey, I worry about them stepping out of the gate to go ride bicycle around this taman, I follow them on my bike! I don't worry about them falling and hurting themselves, I'm worried about all those crazy people out there. But, there will be a point when I'll just have to let them go out on their own.
From my own experience, I know very well that we experience things differently at different points of our lives. It's different when we travel the world as a child holidaying with parents, as a happy go lucky fresh grad, as a striving corporate executive, as a married person with a family, and as a golden citizen enjoying the rest of her life. I was blessed to have had the opportunity to travel when I did, and during all these times my parents gave me their full support and blessing. I don't doubt that deep in their hearts they may have been scared out of their wit to let me go, but coz they saw how important it was to me, they found the courage to let me go and they supported me.
I try my best to live well and healthy, InsyaAllah, not just for myself but so that I wouldn't have to trouble people to take care of me. Should I fall ill, God forbids, I wouldn't ask my kids to put their plans on hold just to care for me. I always tell them, "InsyaAllah, I hope to have enough coverage or/and money just in case I need to hire a home nurse to help care for me in my old age. Or, hook up in a cool retirement home with other fab golden folks!" I know my kids love me and they will want to take care of me, but I'm pretty sure they will also know me well enough by then. They can love me and care for me from wherever they are, they can skype, facebook, tweet and whatever else people do these days, and God knows what they'll be able to do 5-10 years from now! :)
I remember my friend telling me about how she had to travel overseas for work when her mom was ill, she didn't want to go but her mom told her it was okay, that she should go, and that she must have faith to do what she needs to do, InsyaAllah; her mom also told her that should she (mom) pass while she was away, she must know that it's all in God's will, and she should never regret anything. My friend eventually did spend time with her mom before she finally passed some years later.
The time I spent raising and caring for my kids is surely not a freedom that I had to sacrifice, it is my responsibility as a parent, and nobody put a gun to my head and forced me to be a mom. In fact, it is the greatest joy I've had in my life, Alhamdulillah... Yes, I scream and shout and nag a lot raising them, and my kids could help with my bills later on if necessary, but they surely need not pay me back with their freedom.
My kids may choose to stay put and let their freedom wait, but only IF I approve their full proof SWOT analysis! Hehehe... Seriously, I hope they find the coruage to fly free. Besides, darling husband and I can hardly wait for them to leave this nest, coz we're gonna go on horse riding tours around the world!