Friday February 9, 2018

Dear son,

It’s deflating being a parent. One day when you have kids of your own you will understand. As your dad, I don’t do the thing that makes you happy, but I do the things that I need to keep you safe and make sure you grow. But for those things that I do to nurture you, you think I’m the bad guy and don’t want to spend time with me, you just want to spend time with mom. It’s quite deflating.

I spend all day at work working hard, rushing to get home to spend time with you but when the reception I receive is that, it’s quite depressing. Makes me sigh a lot. I know you don’t know how deflating this is, but one day you will. It’s a phase I know, but sometimes after a long day at work, all I want is a little affection from you. But all you want is mom and always push me away. There is nothing I can do about that.

One day I hope how much we suffer for you,

Love always,

Dad

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Wednesday January 30, 2018

Dear son,

We returned from Hong Kong. It was supposed to be an amazing trip, where we will go and see a place where I grew up in as well as a place I love. It was a chance to meet your “tai pot” your “cuo gun” Benson and “cuo por” and your two “biu Yee ma.” It was a chance where you would meet your dad’s best friend and spend time with their kids and since your age is so close together, I know you would of had a blast. They have tons of cars to play with which I know you love. It was a chance for Yea YEa to show you all the buses, taxied, trains, cars and all the automobiles in Hong Kong. Show you how Hong Kong is a commuter country but at the same time is jammed with cars. It was a chance for you to go to the peak take the peak tram and just experience something you never experienced before. The trip was also a chance for you to take the boat, a boat to Macau and see the Las Vegas of Asia. And more importantly it was a chance for you to see a different world, a world where everyone spoke your language, Cantonese.

Travelling is stressful for your old man, I don’t like to jump out of comfort zone, especially when there is a 14 hour flight and a time change involved. But I love watching you explore and the curious eyes of yours widened as your horizons are expanded to see more than just Toronto. I love when you are full of excitement as you experience new things and I love how you are so happy that you would giggle and laugh in your sleep just dreaming about all the adventures you went on during the day. Knowing that makes the long flight time change a little more bearable. To you, it’s all one big adventure, but it is your mom and I who suffer through the flight and the time change. But knowing how you love travelling it is a small price to pay to see you joyous.

But this trip was not meant to be. Hong Kong and Macau air quality is horrible, plus the fact that we are going during flu season. Being inexperience parents with time change we figure you would just adapt if we hanged your sleeping times. What resulted was that you didn’t sleep at all and was weak. Your weakened system resulted in you having an asthmatic reaction to the poor air quality and had fevers which resulted you to be bed ridden and stuck inside the hotel. We went to macau and only got to see the sights from the bus which took us from the port to the hotel, after that you were down for the count. Your mom and I rushed you back to Hong Kong and planned to leave back to Canada that night. Having learned from our mistakes we decided to stay the night to let you rest. When you were in Hong Kong, things seem to be a little better. You love watching YouTube with Maa Maa Yea Yea and they love entertaining you this way as well and so you enjoyed yourself. We thought maybe we can salvage the trip. Y taking you to the doctor Andy’s whom prescribe some medicine for you. Big mistake, doctors in Hong Kong are too aggressive with the dosage, which led you to vomit and get feverish again. We were worried again and wanted to evacuate Hong Kong immediately. Never has your mom and I cried so much together on a trip and never have we been so miserable. You were miserable too, being couped up inside you wanted to go out but weren’t allow to. When we finally left for Canada it was bittersweet. Bitter since the trip was miserable, but sweet because you would be safe.

I wanted to capture the moment you could go out and just so I remember the joy you felt being on trains and busses and trans, so I made sure to take pictures and videos of it.

I wish there were more. Look at how happy you were just riding simple public transportation, I can only imagine how much more happy you would be if you saw the whole works of things Hong Kong is.

And so it leaves me with this final thought of how this trip is so bittersweet in every way. Sweet because you are safe and there is nothing in this world I will trade for that, but bitter because it was so miserable. I lived in Hong Kong for four years and made my best friends there and also enjoyed some of my best times there. The place your old man, your BAk BAk, Maa Maa Yea Yea was a small place and everything in Hong Kong is crammed, but it felt close, warm and affectionate. You don’t know the people around you, but you are so close to them on a daily basis you might as well be friends. And also being in hong long I learned to be independent, taking buses by myself, paying for things, doing what I want to do with what I had and learning to navigate the complicated streets of Hong Kong, which at that time don’t seem so complicated.

Hong Kong always has a special place in my heart because of it, but after this trip all I can associate Hong Kong with is you being sick and how scared your mom and I were thinking about you makin sure you were okay. It’s like that special place has been replaced by a nightmare I can’t shake. And it bothers me a lot, it’s like a home being tainted.

Ultimately, your well being is more important than any place. Maybe one day we can go back and you can experience it anew free of sicknesses and maybe that sour taste of Hong Kong will lighten, but for now I just need time reconciling what Hong Kong means to me.

So son, sleep, sleep through the night. Let your dreams be filled with the fun you had riding the public transit, let it not be tainted by the fact you were sick. May all your thoughts be happy, leave the nightmares to me, I will take it for you.

Love always,

Dad

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Monday October 30, 2017

Dear son,

I thank you for being my son, and I hope you forgive me for being a bad dad.  I hate that I am so impatient with you and that I just don’t have the energy to keep up with you.  I hate that when you want to play, but your mom and I have things to do, I just don’t have the energy/patience to deal with you.  I hate that I don’t let you be a kid, and instead I just get frustrated.

There is a time for discipline, and every once and a while it’s important to do so.  But I feel such a failure when I just don’t discipline, but just get frustrated.  My frustration does not come out in a positive manner, rather my frustration is taking away what you like and restricting your access to it, thus making you upset.  Or I let you get hurt so you will ‘learn your lesson’.

I am sorry.  I hope to be a better dad, but they don’t give a manual on how to do it.  Realistically, being a better dad, means being a better person.  Showing more empathy, patience, humility, kindness, love, selflessness, self control, kindness, and the list goes on.  Being a better dad, means being something I am not… at the moment.  I think my selfish side of me still wants to be my old selfish self, and giving that up is not easy.  I hope I can be better for you.  I know you don’t know it now, but I hope you will forgive me.

Every parent starts with great ideas on what it is to be great parents.  Activities they should do, ways to teach and train their kids to be great adults, and in their mind what it’s like to be a parent.  But I find that all these great ideas just set myself up to fail.

I hope to be better for you,

love always,

Dad

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Tuesday October 17, 2017

Dear son,

I haven’t been writing, I know.  But today I must write.  Today, unlike other days, you were not sad when I dropped you off at daycare, in fact you were happy.  So much so, you even waved to say goodbye to me.  As happy I am for this, I am also sad.  Not to be all dramatic over something so simple, but this is the first of many goodbyes you will say to me.  Saying goodbye is sad.  And when I see you saying goodbye to me, I just think of all the goodbyes we will have and it’s always going to be sad.

Your mom will tell you I’m morbid, and it’s true.  I hate to admit it, but I don’t think I remember to live in the moment, but just think towards the future.  Anyhow, don’t want to clutter this post with sadness.

Till our next goodbye – love always,

Dad.

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Friday September 29, 2017

Dear son,

I neglected writing, due to two reasons.  (1) No big updates from you and (2) been real busy.

So what’s been happening.  Well we just returned from Albany New York to see your aunt get married.  It was fun times, and you got to see your cousins who you never met, and may rarely meet in the future.  Though your cousins were super friendly, you were shy.  You didn’t play with them, but just watch them from a distance.  I don’t really know what’s going through your head sometimes, but it amazes me how shy you are.  You don’t talk to people you don’t know, but you just stare at them.  I know you know the words, because after they all leave, you talk about them all the time. I guess it takes time.

During our vacation, we spent almost 24/7 with you.  Funny thing is, it feels like you are learning more with us, than you are at daycare.  You use more vocab and you talk a lot more.  Maybe at daycare you are too shy to talk to people, or maybe there is a language barrier.  I think it’s more due to your shyness than the actual language.  But in time, I suppose you will grow out of it.

As I said no major updates…. and knock on wood it stays that way.

Love always,

Dad.

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Friday September 1, 2017

Dear son,

We decided to visit Hong Kong end of January.  The decision was not easy, and you may not really grasp the weight of this decision until you have a 2.5 year old who may just have finished potty training and most likely would not like to sit on the plane for 15+ hours with nothing but a small aisle to run around.  Add on to that, Hong Kong, as I recall is not too children friendly, and washrooms are not as accessible as it they are in Hong Kong.  Also, we will take public transit, and travelling time takes quite a bit of time, and with your small bladder, that maybe a problem.

But nonetheless, we decided to take the plunge.  We figured you will get a chance to see your tai-po, and your cousins in Hong Kong.  Your grand-uncle (? – grandmother’s younger brother) will have lots to teach you.  Did you know, when I was younger, your uncle and I stayed with him for a week.  I don’t know why we did that, but we did.  And we spent the week, playing video games and playing outside, while he went to work.  It was a very innocent time.  But it was fun.  One day, I hope your cousins come to Canada and visit, or even stay for a summer.  I hope to reciprocate the hospitality shown to me and your uncle for your granduncle’s kids.

Also, going to Hong Kong, you are going to meet your dad’s best friend.  Your uncle Henry.  He has two kids which will be about your age.  Hopefully we’ll squeeze in some playdates so you can bond.   I’ve already offered to uncle Henry that should he ever want to send his kids to school in Canada, I will be more than willing to house them.  So you never know what the future may hold, they may live in our basement in the future for a while.

All in all, the benefits outweigh the stress, so I figured we do it.  Most importantly, really is for you to see your tai-po.  I do hope you won’t be shy and talk to her.  Right now, you are basically shy around everyone except us and grandparents.

Love always,

Dad.

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Friday August 25, 2017

Dear son,

So I missed a week of updating for a week.  It’s a good thing, that only means nothing serious happened, which is always a cause of celebration.

Sleeping has been better, you still wake up and cry, but not for the long duration like earlier.  That is good, because sleep is good.  Not just for you, but for your mom and I.  I guess you will soon be ready for the next challenge, sleeping in the tent without the railings and then onto your own bed.  I know this is going to happen sooner rather than later.

Daycare wise, you advanced to the next level.  I don’t know if you like it or not, but Monday when you returned from daycare, your mom said you seemed sad.  However, it looked like you adapted Tuesday, Wednesday because you seemed to be in good spirits those two days.  It’s a little tougher for us, because in this new class they stopped giving us report cards, so we don’t know if you napped well, or are eating well. However, when I spoke with your teacher, she said you were adapting fine.  I’ll have to ask her a little more next week.  I wasn’t able to talk to her much, because Wednesday Erica was there in the morning.  And you love Erica.  I know you do, because on Monday/Tuesday drop off, you cried.  Wednesday drop off with Erica, nothing.

Nothing really interesting to tell you this week.  You still are so frail and prone to getting sick.  It worries your poa-poa sick, because she doesn’t understand why you get sick.  Sometimes it’s hard for me to really understand it as well.  I have hope, though, that you get all these little sicknesses will only build greater immunity for the future.

Love always,

Dad.

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