i was quite a klutz who was always getting into trouble or into injury. one time, i had a bad fall and sprained my left knee in a terrible way. the terrible knee had to be put in a cast. i don't remember for how long, but i remember riding on father's shoulder on the way home. i could touch the ceiling of the lift.
another time, i slammed my head into my bedroom wall while trying to throw myself back onto my springy bed. i'd forgotten to turn lengthwise. :p so i was a stupid kid. it didn't hurt, but the 'thunk' was pretty loud. father rushed into the room to see if i'd cracked my head open. i must have had a block of wood as a head.
i have more stupid childhood stories but those days were saved by mother, so i shall leave that for another time. because now i want to talk about father...
over the years, father never spoke much to us kids. he was a stern, stern man - disciplinary master of whichever school he happened to be teaching in, the one who canes little boys at the morning assembly, and the reason why i had so many people trying to be my best friend when i was a wee 7-year-old. the question of true friendship came to me at a very young age.
father would only speak to us when we were being punished. and that was how it was, from childhood to teenage years to young adult life. mother was the one we would communicate with. even then, there was little communication. i was a rebel without a cause.
during my years in australia when i was a young adult, i grew to miss mother very much and started chatting on the phone with her. we became friends. :) but father was still not in my life very much... not at all.
when i returned to singapore to live, my family was almost the way i left them - except that i was much closer to mother. i was also starting to get along with my brother, bryce. father was still the same stern person who didn't speak much.
then something strange happened. my brother brought the 'oven' spa home last year, and our whole family has been using it daily. father has mellowed over the years, which is a totally natural progression - but after months of baking in it, his temper seems to have changed. he jokes around with mother, and laughs a lot more now. in the months before i left for my present holiday, we could actually carry out short conversations!
my friends have pointed out that i've calmed down a lot as well. i guess that helps. :) not many fathers can hold conversations with an angsty kid. all that zen music must be doing something to us.
so, fast forward to present day:
father has been sms-ing me. :) in chinese, no less. haha! he has been sms-ing me every few days just to check on me and see how i'm doing. it's a cold summernight in melbourne, but my little heart is warm.
maybe it's not too late to be daddy's little girl.