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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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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 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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Monday July 31, 2017

Dear son,

I missed writing Friday.  Surprisingly work has been busy.  I started this blog to kill time, but last week, work was busy resulting in my missed entry Friday.

The good news is, nothing crazy happened last week.  This is a huge relief.  Okay, so you weren’t sleeping through the night last week, but your mom and I mustered the courage required and let you cry it out starting Friday of the week before last week.   You cried and cried, and from the monitor is actually looks quite sad.  You would point to the door hoping someone would come, but no one did.  The first night, after almost an hour of crying, you finally calm down and went to bed.  The next morning when you woke up, you were happy as can be.  It’s as if nothing happened.

Once we saw that, we knew you were fine.  So we kept this up for the whole week.  One hiccup we did encounter was last Monday, during your crying spell, you actually cried so hard you threw up.  I think that night you ate too much rich and didn’t chew your strawberries.  How do I know this, because I had to clean up your puke.  I thought my gag reflexes were quite good, since I don’t gag when changing your diaper.  But puke clean up is something different.  That acid smell… blah.

Anyway, that night was a long night, because your mom and I were on high alert since you threw up all over you sleep sack.  So when you went back to bed, you didn’t have your sleep sack.  If you woke up again, we worried you would climb out.  Luckily, you didn’t climb out.   But you still woke up one time.

We found that you need to wake up at least once.  If we don’t get you, and you calm yourself down, you won’t wake up again.  If we give in, then you will wake up again.

Finally, this past weekend, you slept through the night.  What a relief. But, not sure if it was some kind of regression, but you woke up crying last night again.  Not sure why, but your mom and I stuck to the plan and let you cry it out.

So this was the past week update, sleep RE-training.  I hope this is the last time we do this.

Love always,

Dad.

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Friday July 21, 2017

Dear son,

Today is a tough write.  You have been an absolute nightmare to us this past week.  You don’t even know, because everything is fun and games for you everyday, but ever since last week, you have not slept through the night.  Typically, you wake up once, but now you are waking up three/four times a night.  Of course, we are afraid that you are scared because of the fall, so we come and get you.  When we get you, we don’t sleep, we just watch you, while you get to sleep.  By the time we do sleep, you wake up again.  It’s demoralizing and exhausting when we go to bed, we know we won’t be sleeping.  Suffice to say, we are frustrated.

Luckily, last night your poa-poa came, and she woke up to get you instead of us.  Finally, we got to sleep through the night, it was beautiful.  I feel so refreshed.  But tonight is a new battle.  We decided this weekend, you will cry it out.  We are not going to get you, and we know you can’t get out of your crib, so you can cry all you want, but no one is coming.

I know this sounds cruel, and in many ways it is.  But a little pain for long term gain is worth it.  Gain for us, cause we sleep, and gain for you cause you learn to sleep again throughout the night.  This will come in handy when you move to a bigger bed.

Love always (you are just making it a little more difficult this week :)),

Dad.

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Friday July 7, 2017

Dear son,

It’s days like this I wonder to myself, will you ever stay healthy?  Last week you were started coughing and over the weekend you developed a fever which kept you home from daycare.  Your fever went away Wednesday, and just when we thought we were in the clear, your chest, back and face started to grow little red dots.  Not sure what it is, but it maybe a heat rash because your maa-maa yea-yea took you outside to play yesterday probably all bundled up (since we are asian) and you reacted to your sweat. Hopefully it’s nothing, but at this point, I’m not optimistic.  (I figured if I’m not optimistic, I won’t be disappointed with whatever the outcome is).

So this past weekend was Canada 150th birthday.  The Ontario government paid $120,000 for a 30 foot rubber duck to sit at the harbor front.  Given that your mom and I would never see a duck like this probably in our lifetime.  We decided to go and see it.  From what we read, there was activities as well, so we thought it would be a great family adventure.

Turns out, it was quite disappointing.  First of all, there is absolutely no room for your stroller (and no, we are not letting you run around… what if you jump into the lake?) and there were no activities, just food stalls.  The rubber duck was big, and that was really the only highlight of the duck.  Of course, we were obliged to take a selfie and we got some great family shots.  So I guess there was more to just the height that was the highlight.

Of course, you being you, don’t care about the duck.  All you cared about were trucks… in particular fire trucks.  There was a fire station near by which opened their doors, and one fire truck for visitors to sit in and take pictures.  Of course, this was the highlight of your day.  You were so excited to have a chance to sit in the fire truck, we went and sat in it twice… we would of went again, but it was getting late.  Since there was a line to get into the truck, while I waited, you and mom went to look at the other fire truck in the station.  You loved describing that the other fire truck was “sleeping” and kept pointing to it.  When the fire engine turned on their lights and siren, you were absolutely thrilled. I don’t blame you, I mean you see fire trucks on TV and you have fire truck toys, but seeing one real life, it would be like your dad meeting Michael Jordan (you may need to google who he is when you read this).

Anyway, that was the week.  We went to see a duck and you got sick.  Let’s hope next week is more eventful, or at least you are not sick.  🙂

Love always,

Dad.

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Friday – June 9, 2017

Dear son,

I wanted to write sooner once we returned from Hawaii, but I figured it best to keep to the schedule of writing on Friday.

So yes, we have returned and I have to admit, it was a nice break for your mom and I, but every corner we turned while we were in Hawaii we thought of you.  Not going to go into too much detail about Hawaii, as I think we would return as a family when you are older.  Hopefully the good food places are still there, and you would get the chance to try some surfing.  Your old man sucks at it, your mom is more respectable.  But I’ve decided to not put myself through that torture again, but if you and your mom wants to go surfing, I would be more than happy to watch from the beach.

Your grandparents gave us daily updates of you while we were gone.  It made us sad to find out upon return that your cough has come back.  Maa-Maa Yea-Yea told us to bring some medicine for you when we went to pick you up, but your poa-poa said we should see the doctor.  When we asked for more detail, your poa-poa said you were fine.  You will find out quickly that your grandparents understate the truth to not have us worry.  I do think you will see that when you get older.

We were jetlagged from our red-eye flight, surprisingly I was not as tired as your mom on the Tuesday morning of our return date.  So I decided to put away all the luggage and clothes before we picked you up to hide any traces we were away.  I just didn’t want you to think that we have left at all (which is a lie, I know) or that we are going somewhere with you.  After all was done, we went to pick you up.

When we got to poa-poa’s place, maa-maa yea-yea was there already.  The jetlag now hit me, so I was a little slow in getting upstairs to see you.  I didn’t see your first reaction when we returned, but from the sounds, it seems you were quite excited.  When I got upstairs, I asked your mom how you were and whether we had to visit the doctor.  The answer was yes, so I left a voicemail to the doctor for an appointment.

Once that was settled, I finally had the opportunity to give you a proper hug.  First thing I noticed was your nails were so filthy.  I guess your grandparents didn’t bother cutting your nails.  What was worse, they had you bundled up in very thick, non-breathable fleece clothing.  The weather in Toronto turned cold the last few days, and with your cough, they thought you were cold.  So they decided to bundle you up as if it was freezing outside.  I think it was because you were so hot, and not having a proper shower, you were itchy.   So with your long nails, you scratched yourself quite bad and your back and legs had little scratch marks.  If I didn’t know any better, it looked like you got whipped while you were gone.

Then, your grandparents told us a concerning story.  The day we left, poa-poa saw your face was a little red.  She asked you what happened, and you said “suk suk da” (uncle hit) followed with the action of your hand hitting your face.  I was not sure how to interpret this.  First, in your daycare, everyone there is a woman.  You know the word for woman (“Jea-Jea”), so if they hit you you would of stated that.  But suk-suk is confusing.  Your mom and I guest you either saw a dad hit their kid at daycare or saw something on TV.  Whatever the case maybe, when I got you the Tuesday night before our trip, you weren’t opposed to staying at daycare.  Leads me to believe it’s not the daycare, but something else.  Funny thing is, this time your grandparents did not understate the significance of this, and made it a point to ensure we know about it and monitor it.  I think the reason they were extra cautious because they just don’t trust other people.

Each grandparent then proceeded to talk about the events which happened while we were gone.  Most of it were happy stories, but I think your grandparents don’t think it was a good idea we left you.  So I don’t think that would happen again.

After this, maa-maa yea-yea left and we had dinner at poa-poa’s.  You did not want to eat, as usual.  You have become quite a food critic and to be honest poa-poa’s meal that night was quite subpar.  But you never not eat, it’s rude.  As you were not eating, we just packed everything up and brought you home to give you a proper shower.

Honestly, I think you just missed home.  Once you got home, you were back to your usual self, making noises, running around.  When we got you a nice shower, you were even more refreshed.  I don’t blame you, those fleece clothing should only be left for the winter.  Seeing how happy you were coming home, it’s hard to leave you again.

The next day, your mom got the day off so she took you to see the doctor.  Hoping for the best, I assumed it was nothing to be worried about.  Of course, good news don’t run in the family and we find out that you may have childhood asthma, like me.   Apparently it’s genetics, sorry.  Well, I know like me, you will grow out of it.  At least that is what I’ll tell myself so as to not feel as guilty for my weak genetics.

In the afternoon, you went to play with Brody in the park.  Since I had to pick up your medicine, and your mom had to cook.  I decided to get you from the park, and we can hang out at Costco while your mom cooks.  When we got to costco, you were very obedient and not running around too much.  You held my finger and just walked where I walked.   While we waited for your prescription to be filled, you had so much fun watching the mechanics change tired.  It never ceases to amaze me how fascinated you are with the little things.  All in all, I had a wonderful time at Costco, and really enjoyed these father-son times.

One day, I know, you will not want to hang out with me.  All you will want from me is money and a ride.  That is the reality.  As much as I hate that idea, I know it’s a transition in life we all go through.  I went through that with yea-yea as well. So though it’ll be frustrating, I will love you just the same.  And when one day, you have kids of your own, you will come to appreciate all that I went through for you, like all that yea-yea went through for me.

Love,

Dad

 

 

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