Call me old fashioned or whatever ... you see, I don’t quite like to say the three magic words ... not even to those close to me. It is not that I have not said it before but I am not like those embracing the open gesture of expressing their love candidly and frequently. In short, I don’t like to say “I love you” as much as people want me to. I am not used to it. Somehow I feel kind of awkward saying it ... I don’t know why.
So, people have never heard me say the magic words but I have said what I needed to say in many other words. And before I go further ... let me say that I am writing this with thoughts of my kids.
Look, every morning I get up before the kids and then I would wake them up. I don’t know what to say to get them out of the bed agreeably, so I just say ... “Good morning darling, time to get up ya” or “Good morning son, it is 8 o’ clock already”. I must admit that maybe it is not in those exact words every morning but it is always in the same tone and manner. Why? Because it is definitely better than waking up to that irritating alarm clock (or phone)... which is exactly how I am waking up to.
And then I will send them to school ... during the short drive we always make conversation and on the journey we joked, argued, debated and sometimes even disagreed. When we reached school, just before they got out of the car, I said to them ... “Bye and be careful ya”. In the whole course, there were no magic words spoken but we talked ... a fair bit actually.
School days are long days ... quite often the kids have to stay back (after school) for other assignments ... so, most of the days they will come home quite exhausted. Seeing them bushed, I don’t have any good words of comfort to offer except to ask them ... “Have you eaten?” or “Are you still hungry?”... always eager to whip up something for them. Many times they were just too tired to eat, then I will say ... “Go take a rest” ... well, no need to say more, that was all they needed for the rest of the day.
Exams are challenging for my kids ... well, they are not the studious type ... at times it takes a toll on them. I don’t know what to say to make it easier for them, so I will tell them ... “Just try your best” and I really mean it. That is all they need to do ... regardless of the outcome.
We eat most meals at home but we do go out on weekends ... looking for good food places. The kids want to know where to go and what to eat but instead I asked them ... “What do you like to eat?” So, more often than not we will end up having “sweet and sour pork” (daughter’s favourite) or “salted fish with pork belly” (son’s favourite) among other dishes. That is absolutely OK for me ... no need for words to express the delight of them enjoying their favourite dishes and going for extra helping.
Teenagers being teenagers, sometimes they stay up late going online covertly ... I am sure parents with kids like mine knows what I am talking about. Of course I know about it ... maybe I should shut down the WIFI but then that is forcing. Though I can stop them by authority but sometimes I just cut them some slack but not without sending an online message with words of caution ... “Try to sleep early ya” ... just telling them I am aware and hoping that they will knock out soon knowing that I won’t sleep before them.
I tell my kids to be prudent on their spending but (being carefree teenagers) at times they will over indulged on their whims and fancies ... depleting their allowances before the next is due. I can understand and allows it (if it is not getting out of hand). Then I would just hand them another 50 and tell them ... “Don’t simply spend ya” ... simple words that make them smile with appreciation and relieve.
The kids grow up too fast, too soon ... seems like time has come to let go the leash and get used to not having them around so often. “Have fun and enjoy yourself” ... I tell them every time they go out on their own ... trusting them and letting them learn to handle things on themselves.
Apart from what I have mentioned above ... there were many other instances and situations where I did not use the words that express openly and candidly but I definitely tried to offer other words earnestly and wholeheartedly.
So, to my children ... I did not say “I love you” but what I have said, I said it with all sincerity to express love, care, encouragement, attention and affection. I will continue to say it the same way ... with simple words, with true words, with sincere words ... in my very own way.