Today my son is nine. He is not a small boy anymore and in less than a decade he will be an adult, although I have a hard time imagining him as a grown man. Time is so sneaky. It crawls through the cracks unseen, slowly eroding the foundations of your life. But for my son it is bliss. He yearns to grow up, go on adventures, taste life in its purest form.
He reminds me of myself. I couldn’t wait to turn eighteen and explore the world. To the great detriment of my dear parents I fought throughout my adolescence as a trapped rat struggling for freedom. I nearly gnawed off my limbs. I can’t keep from praying that my son won’t become like I
was－an uncontrollable dragon set to self-destruct. I fear the laws of karma. When one has so thoroughly embarrassed herself and hurt the people she loves, karma is destined to kick her in the butt. Fortunately, I will still have a few more years to prepare myself for the worst. Abu is only nine. That means, if he’s anything like me, I can expect him to start raising hell in about four years time. This last thought encourages me to get out of bed.
Abu and his sister are already scurrying about. I hear their tiny footsteps on the stone tiles and their exited gasps when they open their bedroom door and see that all the walls are completely covered with balloons. They know that they aren’t supposed to wake me and I can sense their struggle to remain quiet. It won’t be long before their excitement turns into an endless, earsplitting record－‘Mommy, mommy, mommy. It’s my birthday! Mommy!’ I opt to preserve my eardrums and not to keep
As expected I find both my kids right outside my door, smiling from ear to ear. I give them both a big hug, and an extra kiss for Abu. That beautiful face. Suddenly, I can’t believe that he will ever grow up to be a teen monster like his mum. Who knows? Today, at least, I shall cherish.
V.V. Aku: writer, mother, rock-climber, kung fu addict. and explorer, lived in China on the border of Tibet with her Black Yi family for over a decade. She recently moved back to The Netherlands where she devotes her time to writing book and scripts for film and TV.