I am the quieter parent, just like my Dad was, but my heart bursts with so many things I want to say to my son, hoping that these things help him become better than I am. I’m quite sure that’s what my father thought, because once when I asked him how come he never told me much about his childhood, he said plainly, “because I don’t want my children to know what poverty is like”.
Our son Kai has taken to indoor skydiving like – I don’t want to say ‘a fish to water’ so we’ll just say he likes it very much, and that he’s learning pretty quickly. He’s been wanting to fly since he was four, and has waited three years for his first flight because the minimum age for flying in the wind tunnel is seven.
On his seventh birthday in April, we asked him where he’d like to go, since it was his day and he said without hesitation, “Sentosa, iFly”.
Before his first flight, he had a good few months looking up to our homegrown, world-beating Team Firefly, which comprises two 14-year olds, Kyra Poh and Choo Yixuan. Several times, he declared, “I want to be in Team Firefly”, and so you can imagine he was absolutely thrilled when we surprised him on his birthday with flights at iFly Singapore, and a meeting with his idol Kyra.
Today, with the windspeed up high enough for Kyra to fly with him, and with him being stable (and skilful) enough to fly at that higher windspeed – the two got to trade moves and play tag in the tunnel. The payoff for us? Just check out that beaming face behind the helmet’s visor.
Stay tuned as we track Kai’s progress in the sport he’s fallen in love with. We call it #KaiFly – so you can try searching this tag across other social media platforms.
Tonight, Kai and I appear on Talking Point with four other fathers and their children. The topic is fatherhood, the role of fathers in the family. It was meant to be a relaxed, shoot the breeze shoot, together with some attempt at cooking.
Naomi and I are very fortunate to have a wonderful boy who is a joy every waking hour of the day. We are hardly experts in parenting, and as I said to Steven Chia, the host of Talking Point, I’m just having the most fun being a Dad, and what Naomi does with Kai and I makes it all possible.
There’s a lot of time involved, but there’s no magic formula other than wanting Kai to be healthy, informed, compassionate and conscientious.
I have spoken with other parents about how we go about parenting, but this was the first time I’ve been presented with the question, specifically, of how fathers go about doing things. For us, gender has never been a factor in what roles are supposed to be played by whom – excepting of course the obviously biological – and I was slightly taken aback by the questions posed, and some of the answers given.
I would’ve enjoyed a longer chat on how my family feels about families, but watch if you can tonight, and leave your comments here.
Watch a teaser here.
This morning Kai charged into our bedroom all excited and proceeded to tell us in detail what his toy dinosaurs had been up to. He is now convinced the week’s incidents were not isolated. The toys who come alive in the middle of the night when no one’s looking, are organised and capable of complex operations.
Naomi and I are really digging Dinovember. It’s as therapeutic and fun for us as it is for Kai. At least we think he’s having fun. Reminds me of the time when I was his age and my Mom told me I was born on the same day as when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. I had selective hearing and told every one I was born on the moon. I lived that fabulous history until I was in primary school, when a stern teacher brought me back to earth with the truth.
This Dinovember is the best thing!
If you’ve got young kids, do it. We’re feeling it now – that kids don’t stay young for long. Kai had a growth spurt recently and grew 7cm in just under a month. Just comparing videos we shot this week with those a couple of months back pains us.
We’re loving the time we get to spend with Kai while he’s still tearing about the house, making a mess, causing a ruckus like a kid should.