Living lifelong human care, development, education, learning and service for all.
It was so interesting that today, August 20, 2012, upon the founding of The Happy Heart School, that we are celebrating my sister-in-law, Belinda’s, birthday week! We started Part I of the celebrations yesterday at the Botanics Garden, followed by luging at Sentosa and then a huge meal at Ramen Play. For Part II, the next day, we took a boat ride, had a huge seafood meal and undertook a biking expedition in Pulau Ubin to Chek Jawa.
It was interesting because we had learnt to stay in the game with each other, after a series of seminars and family coaching by our developmental interventionist, parenting guide, and friend, DanaKae Bonahoom, and all the time, when we get into bits where we felt it was difficult for us, especially when a parent’s button get pushed or when someone feels physically or emotionally vulnerable or extra challenged, we would chant internally to ourselves several nuggets that DanaKae has etched into our hearts and being:
1. Time is our best friend
2. Start to finish
3. Living out loud
4. Hold the limits
5. Trust the process
6. Don’t react; respond for life
7. Parts to the whole
And we got through the activities, and opening and closing the two day with smiles and whoops, while travelling in a big group. No one made any derogatory remark. Children were helping children. Children were encouraging adults. And adults were carrying adults.
I realise and am glowing with so much happiness and joy that we are already two families who are truly beginning to understand the needs of children and are able to provide the care as well as the role-modelling, without having to resort to shouting, or stern voices, or threats or even rewards. We got here! We got here! What a wonderful moment of celebration and birthday present! But it truly required all the adults to do the work as a team in service of children. Each of us are now able to rise when the other adult is unable and we carry that adult without blame, without guilt, without judgment, without despair or desperation but with full encouragement, love, appreciation and acknowledgement of each of our efforts. And many a times, in silence and quiet joint knowing.
It’s just very difficult to express and explain all this in writing, as it’s an experience that one can only witness, but I just want to document this moment lest I forget, or for those moments in future when I need to remember today, and believe, we’ve arrived here before, and we can do it, again and again, no matter the challenge.
I just personally want to thank my sister-in-law for living courageous, and for being so giving of herself many a times to the extent of exhaustion, and I want her to know that her life is truly life-giving through her being a truthful, giving and talented architect with full heart, and through her many many heartful roles as wife, mom, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, business leader, community leader and friend.
Throughout the whole month of August 2007, Keith wakes up every morning singing “Happy Birthday” and he mixes up 4 languages of this wonderful song and he sings it to everyone in the family and extended family. And we are super blessed as we get this reminder to celebrate our every day as a new day – every new day as our birthday! – and in that simplicity and joy, we have found peace and joy right in our homes and hearts. So “Happy Birthday ,TuaKim” and many happy returns of this wonderful day. Thank you for your most glorious and happy heart, for answering this call so deeply and fully, and jumping in and risking with us, to realise this mission of fully inclusive schools and living!
With love and deep gratitude, your sis-in-law,
August 20, 2012