The night was shutting down into its state of pitch black slumber, my wife and I were wearied as to help our child prepare for her impending exams and to care for our toddler. As we thought that the day had come to an end where rest was imperative, it did not just end there.

Sobs, hiccups of sadness filled the room. My wife gave me a nudge, I pretended that I could not feel anything. “Go.” my wife whispered into my ear when she kicked me out of the bed. I paced myself near our little daughter’s nest, she wreathed herself in the thick blankets, whimpering.

“Sweetheart… Do not worry about tomorrow.” the weeping kept on, she ignored me. “You know daddy is going to be proud of you no matter what.” this little girl was going to face her very first exam of her life, and she was not prepared.

Our family is ‘bananas’, meaning that we could only speak, read and write in English. I, myself, my wife included, could not speak, read or write in Chinese or Bahasa Melayu (which are part of my daughter’s exams tomorrow). It is not purely her fault that she feel the sheer pressure, it is indeed difficult for her to face all of these at her age, that is why I could not ask for more as we could not be any good.

I closed myself into her, she shrugged away from me. Gently putting my hand at her back, an affirmative gesture. “Come on, you know daddy is always proud of you having the extra language in your hands, we have done everything that we could.” Keeping my tone as coaxing as possible, I felt bad for her. “You see, daddy could not even do what you are doing now, it is not as important as you think…”

“For you.” she interjected as she flung her blanket unto the wall, “It… may seem… not important for… you… But… it is… important for me…” she sobbed. I saw no reason to keep on comforting her as it would further enforce her obstinacy. My arms carefully pulled her broken pieces into my embrace, staying up with her until she was soundly asleep in my arms.

I uttered a prayer, Although what may seem significant to you now, it may not in the future. As you grow older, you know what is significant and what is insignificant. And I am here to guide you to see through the insignificance of significance, as a father. 

Craving for more? Down below:
Brief
Decisions. Dilemma.
Died.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (Book Review)
Love-Hate Relationship With Poems
Stewards
A Letter to Self

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