“That you for a happy one year” she said, while her eyes are brimming with tears. I nodded, as a sign of gratefully accepting her gratitude giving me a chance to make her happy upon our small accomplishment.
One thing I learned from marriage is that, you do not need to marry a perfect person, as you are also flawed. What you need is the effort to be perfect, to be better than you are, to put those you care for before you. That is what marriage is all about.
Looking into her eyes, a year’s memory began to rewind to the day where it all began.
I looked at my watch, it was already 2pm but my beautiful bride was not around. It was supposed to be the time for “kehadiran pengantin”.
I went to the house of my in-laws, a 5-minute walk from the “tapak kenduri”. I guessed she might still be in the bridal room preparing.
My guess was right, my sister in law was there in the living room, she said I have to wait a bit as the bride is not ready yet. Not long after that, there was my bride, so beautiful that day, I felt like I was struck by lightning.
As we walked to make an entrance, that was the first time our eyes met, I can feel her cold hands as my arms wrapped hers.
“Kasut ni tak selesalah” her face changed, troubled by the inconvenienced caused by her shoes. The first time I heard her grumble and the first chance for me to show-off my macho-skills of soothing her
“It’s okay, everything will be okay”.
A Year Ago
1st of February 2015 we found love.
Prior to that, my wife and I didn’t know each other that well. Our media of contacting were only through long emails and Whatsapps, never once we spoke over the phone.
Since that day, I learned so much about women.
It has helped understood why women have a strong attachment to anything made up of pink. I have learned to accept that it is not a sign of weakness for husbands to allow his bed-sheets and pillow-sheets to be in pink color.
All the fights we’ve been through resulted from my insensitivity that even though my wife is my best friend, she is still a woman and I cannot tease her like I tease my male friends.
Even the slightest of utterances can shatter her heart and it takes time for her to recover. After learning how sensitive women can be, I cannot imagine my mother’s feelings each time I made her sad.
A year is not the proof of love or proof of loyalty yet. Growing old together, having kids, having grandkids, having white hair, having weak hands and feet, and still holding hands after decades of marriage, these are proofs of loyalty.
We have a long way to go. A one-year marriage is not a walk in a park but it’s a start right?
An Anniversary Gift
Looking back in time, it has been a year. A year that seems so short.
And in a year, I am bestowed a son two days after our anniversary, 3rd of February 2016. The month of February is an important month for me I guess.
In the 20 days of being a father, I have experienced, having to go through what all fathers in the world went through that is lack of sleep. You are awakened by wild cries every one to two hours in a day.
Of course you hardly get any sleep and rest even though you have to go to work the next morning. This is parental sacrifice right?
Your responsibilities are quadrupled on top of your already abundant duties. You are pushed to a corner where the only way to survive this new life is by managing your life well. When you have to arrange everything in order so that it doesn’t affect your performance.
Having a child is not an excuse to underperform in your work, in your life carrier, in your duties but it is supposed to make you better, stronger and more matured.
Only now you really understand the meaning of “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. And having a child is already handful, what happens if you have multiple small humans – children – running around the house?
Have I changed?
I am basically the same person, yes I haven’t gained weight, maybe not yet. It was practically the same as before I got married.
I noticed that the obvious change after having a son is my reading materials. Previously I prefer reading critical and philosophical stuff like questioning my existence, questioning my society, questioning my faith.
Books like “Intelektual Masyarakat Membangun” or “The Closing of The Muslim Minds” or others are my normal reading preference.
There is one particular line in Outlandish’s song “Eyes Never Dry” where Waqas rapped this “Any fool can make a baby only a man can raise one” which reflects the myriad numbers of parents in the world.
They aspire to make babies for the sake of having babies.
What is lost in their ideological stance is that they don’t aspire to breed and nurture babies to become powerful individuals. And I do not want to fall in the category of parents who never takes heed of their children’s education from birth.
I want to be the father who will teach my son the ABC.
I want to teach my son how to beautifully recite the Quran.
I want my child to have encyclopaedic knowledge while having a physically fit body.
I want to bring my child on camping trips and hike hills and mountains together.
And all of this requires great preparation on my part, on my wife’s part.
Now, my reading materials have changed to subjects related to maximizing your child’s potentials, how smart is your child and I have spent almost a thousand on the books for me to understand the psyche of a child.
The books I am currently immersing are books by Glenn Doman. My mom applied the Glenn Doman Method to my siblings over 25 years ago. Now I shall return the favour to my child. I have spent nearly a thousand ringgit to buy all these books:
“How Smart is Your Baby?” Develop and Nurture your Newborn’s Full Potential
How To Teach Your Baby To Read
How to Teach Your Baby Math
How to Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence
Fit Baby, Smart Baby, Your Baby!
How to Teach Your Baby To Swim
But buying books is one thing, the other thing which is far more difficult is reading and understanding the methods taught in the book and applying them whilst busy changing his diapers! That’s the real challenge!