Good times to­gether

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FAMILY - By KRIS HEY

OnE of my favourite things to do with my son is to be spon­ta­neous.

I like to say: “Hey, (no pun in­tended) get your shoes on. We are go­ing out.”

He al­ways gets wide-eyed and ex­cited, won­der­ing if I am tak­ing him to jump on huge bounce houses, for ice cream or, his favourite, to get a toy. I never tell him where we are go­ing un­til we are nearby.

Re­cently, we went zip-lin­ing on a ran­dom Fri­day night. We tried to go as a fam­ily on a weekend a few months ago, but it was too windy, so we just went on kid rides and to the shops. We were pretty bummed.

We had a great time zip-lin­ing, but my son had a mo­ment of fear on the plat­form. I told him I would go first, and he felt bet­ter. When it was his turn, he took a deep breath and zipped down the line, hoot­ing and hol­ler­ing all the way to the other side and back again. He loved it, like I knew he would, and I loved see­ing the joy that I helped bring to him.

I en­joy ev­ery mo­ment of our mum-son time, and I will as long as he wants to spend alone time with me. Hope­fully, I have sev­eral years left be­fore he ditches me for friends. I know that our out­ings aren’t go­ing to last for­ever.

His dad also takes him to places like the state park where they do “boy” things, and we also spend fam­ily time to­gether. But I think it is very im­por­tant for each par­ent to spend time alone with their child to help de­velop those es­sen­tial par­ent-child bonds. I re­alise many kids live with sin­gle par­ents, so this is not al­ways pos­si­ble with both par­ents.

A re­cent Mon­day was the start of have-lunch-with-your-child (or grand­child) week at his school, fol­lowed by a visit to the book fair. My son asked me Sun­day night if I could come, but I told him I was prob­a­bly go­ing to be too busy work­ing, and his Dad couldn’t go ei­ther be­cause he was out of town. I could see the dis­ap­point­ment on his face, but he said he un­der­stood. I told him I would try later that week.

What he didn’t know was that I had a plan.

I showed up for lunch Mon­day, walked up be­hind him and tapped him on the shoul­der, and he was so happy. We both were. We had pizza sit­ting next to each other at the ele­men­tary cafe­te­ria ta­ble and its lit­tle chairs with his class­mates, and he showed me off, as well as pho­tos of our pets on my phone.

He told his class­mates all that “I was in the news­pa­per and fa­mous” (well, not ex­actly) and showed them my press pass.

While we were eat­ing and with all his class­mates around, he said, “I love you, Mom.”

I wanted to give him a big kiss in re­turn, but you can’t have ev­ery­thing.

He is grow­ing up, af­ter all. — Or­lando Sen­tinel/ McClatchy Tri­bune In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices.

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