Birthday Boy

Nature boy, Taroko Gorge, summer 2007

Most ardent fan of Top Gun and Meet Joe Black, of growing out matinee-idol hair until it curls, of commenting on blogs (yay!), aren’t my sister and I lucky to have such a cool Dad! =D

(And Mom!)

Our Dad never gave up on running behind us until we’d learned how to cycle properly, a good couple of months’ exertion. Also during our rigorous childhood, he swam the 1km, 3km and 5km trials with us – twice. When we were in Beijing and missed food from Singapore, he’d regularly bring home the acrid soya bean milk popular there that we’d all try very hard to like. Hahaha. These days, every time he’s home (being quite the nomad in recent years), our Dad assiduously re-transforms the jungle into a garden. Considering the soil that magically disappears in pockets under a deceptively smooth surface in the front and the forest of pandan that propagates ferociously in the back, it’s quite a feat.

Learning to be cool from the best. Check out the sister’s winsome grin: fail.

Ah, Pa! What would we do without you. All those red-eye mornings when he woke, force-fed and drove us sleepy grumps to school.. I always appreciated it, even if I only communicated that early back then by snarling. And if he and Mowmy weren’t moving themselves, so many of his recent vacations [from the gruelling corporate world that he’s selflessly navigated since 23, my age this year augh] have been spent helping his progeny move. They brought my sister home from the States, me from Singapore to Besançon, from Besançon to Paris, and probably back from Paris too. All the incidental road trips we took as a family along the way became the priceless highlights singing marathons, quarrels and all, soul-food for throughout the ages.

A variation of the photo that lives in my Dad’s wallet : Paternal grandparents, parents, oblivious Little Duck Head and grumpy Big Little Big-Sister (?! Lost in translation.)

My father used to herald his arrival home from work by whistling his signature 15-note composition. Let loose by our mother, we’d run crazily to the gate and he’d scoop us up: “Hello 大小姐! Hello 小丫头!” Somehow, the avian whistling crystallized my notion that I was a waterbird’s little cranium. I think it was a good decade or so before I realised that my Dad was calling me Small Girl (“ya tou”, a homonym). Such enlightenment did wonders for my identity issues indeed.

=] Now that we’re all grown up and temporarily apart, we get treated to hilarious long-distance calls (invaluable advice notwithstanding) and annotated Op-Ed articles that appear in our inboxes – mostly educational, sometimes baffling, always diverting.

Aww. We’d be nothing without you, good ol’ Daddy. Health and happiness to you and Mama always, Papa! Happy birthday! Chioum!

Monkey helps Dad/steals Dad’s drink.

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~ by grossomodo on April 19, 2009.

3 Responses to “Birthday Boy”

  1. Ah, how sweet, you make this birthday boy so happy! Having all three of you the entire love of my life has been so full of joy. Everyday life is filled with a purpose. Spending time together, and even if not together but communicating long distance, has always been the source of joy and fulfilment. At times, it may appear like ma is doing all the parenting, especially if we are not together, rest assured I’m also involved as ma would not miss filling me in all the going on. Family holidays, from the very basic long, noisy, bumpy bus trip to Malacca, to now more comfortable motoring trips, have always been high on our agenda to bond with you, sometimes generating a fair share of new sparks, but always coming back for more the next year.
    So soon, you have both come to your own being, and it will take a lot more to fit all our timing constraints to continue with this long cherished family tradition.
    Time flies, and I hope we, ma & pa, will continue to be blessed by these close ties with both of you, and be an important part of your future.
    All my love, pa

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