Every member of our family woke up late this Saturday morning; 10:30 a.m. Wow.. I don't remember when was the last time we slept that late. Although I have good idea why. First, we have insane schedule during the week; play-date on every mornings, your preschool in the afternoon, and then dinner time, bath time, story time. When I finally breathe deeply after saying night-night, getting out of your room, I often get shock by how late the time is, and how fast time goes. There, I get mixed feelings while my eyes are fixed on tick-tock clock.
I try to live my life without regret, every single moment. I've carved this motto since I was thirteen, which is "내가 헛되이 보낸 오늘은, 어제 죽은이가 그토록 살고 싶어하던 내일이었다./ The day I spent in vain was the tomorrow for whom died yesterday, who would pay anything to live."
First thing I ask to myself is 1) is there anything I regret for today?, 2) did I do my best today?, 3) will I able to sleep peacefully without any burden on me?
Having regret is the worst thing in general life. Whenever we need to decide to do something or anything, we should remind ourselves if this decision would stain us any potential regret? From early on, I tried my best to live without any regret. I needed to be extremely conscious of what I do, what I say. Making mistakes is inevitable, but we could try to learn from earlier mistakes, including other's mistakes. Being aware of the past, of the present and the future is main key in terms of making decisions in our lives.
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You came to our bed with happy and restful smile, and reached out my warm belly with your tiny hand.
"Mommy, flat, flat your belly! I love touching your warm, squishy belly!" said while lifting the comfy blanket. Your little finger but strong enough to make me yell, "Ooouch! don't hurt mommy!" I squinted my half-awake eyes, and went on grumble. "Sou Lynn, you shouldn't pinch my belly like that, it really hurts!"
This became our routine every time me being defenseless state, you rush into my abdomen and squeeze it with passionate strength. You're proud to say "I'm obsessed on my mom's belly." You squeal with the most triumphant smile. Looking at you being happy with this simple thing, I let myself be a voluntary victim. On the other hand, I know it won't last that long. You're growing so fast and will be gone to school in most of your life. Sometimes I ask myself, why just can't I enjoy time with you, instead of arguing and fussing and being dramatic with stupid disciplines..
Our Saturday is one more extension of weekdays, since you go to Korean school for three and half hours. It might sound long for the language school, but I think it's good duration for the proper education and practice. There are lots of great things about Korean school, but I want you to feel that you belong this community. Last few weeks, I have sensed there are certain things bother you. You've been complaining about going to Korean school. "I don't like going to Korean school. It's too long, it's like hundred hours!"
Unlike other complaints, this sentence has snapped on my heart sharply. Before I answered, I needed to think what do I need to tell you, what message do I need to convey to you, how would I make you understand. Obviously I couldn't explain things complicated, I needed to make it sound simple. And that is very hard task; to make things simple and clear, to narrow down the core, to the main point.
"Honey, I understand that hours seem to be a bit long. You want to play with your friends, run outside, talk to your friend during the class.. I understand these. But this is very important. When you grow up like mommy, and if you can't speak mommy's language, you will feel bad for yourself. You can't talk to Halmoni and Halaboji, and you wouldn't understand them. That will make mommy really sad. I want you to learn where I come from, and that's part of who you are, too. It takes long years to learn these things, but starting early is your great opportunity. Do you understand?" I said sincerely, with low voice, slow pace. Our eyes met together and you seemed to understand how I was serious.
Then I headed shower. Under the hot streaming water, I replayed our earlier conversations if anything could be added or differently explained. Talking to 4-year-old in sincere attitude doesn't seem to be easy, because there's no guarantee that they would understand me what I meant. I'm just hoping that my words are not like sweet bonbon or chocolate to persuade them temporarily. I hope you understood that I meant every single words.
When I got out of shower, you knocked the bathroom door. Gently pushing it, with shy smile, you spoke up. "Mom, I wanna go to Korean school now. I won't hide under the table. I'll listen well to the teacher."
I didn't speak, but gave you a big hug and huge smile. My heart was smiling at you, and I knew that words also came from your sincere heart.
People used to say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. My mom used to repeat this sentence a lot while I grew up. She understood there are many ways to persuade her children to do things, but she never forgot the bottom line rules. She never forced me to do anything, but patiently waited.