Since having Asher, I have a greater appreciation of birthdays. Being an only child, it felt like birthdays were all about me. It isn’t. My poor mother had to endure many hours of labour, and having to give birth to me by herself without my dad or family members around. She had no pain relief, and after that, her baby was taken away to the nursery. She had to ask the nurse to bring me to her. Then it was the recovery which wasn’t easy either.
The option of not working was not there. Mum returned to work within 3 months of having me. She gave up an opportunity to pursue her degree as I was too young. She worked shifts and continued that till I was in primary school. I could still remember waiting at operating theatres while she was on call. I was fascinated by the ins and outs, and would often had a bag (?!) of books with me- reading till mum was ready to come get me.
I was under the care of my grandmother till I was 16 years old. There was 1 break (when I was 4-5 years old) but the best care was still with my grandmother. I stayed with my grandmother for quite a few years; returning to my parents’ household on weekends. I saw my parents nightly for dinner and homework tuition.
I count myself really blessed because I had 3 very capable and hardworking women as my role models. Three because my aunty was still staying with us when I was a child. Everyone lend a helping hand and I grew up surrounded by family. I witnessed how my mother and grandmother worked hard for the family. My grandmother was a networker and I recall she seem to know everyone in the neighbourhood and was able to obtain casual jobs for cash. She was very resourceful. My mother did return to University and completed her degree. She moved into more specialised nursing but yet always seem to prioritised and gave me time. I recall having lunch dates with mum on Sundays where we enjoyed mushroom soup at Delifrance (and my tuna croissant!) Together, the women taught me how to give, love and work hard.
Over the years, I have a great relationship with my mother. She is one I count on to have a frank conversation with. She provides me with down to earth advice. She is present. We are great shopping partners too- it is not rare that we exit a shop buying the same pair of shoes in different sizes (The sales girls were very amused especially when my grandmother was alive and 3 of us loving our shoes). She gave up time and money to be with me when I had Asher.
Then of course I have my father. My dad’s patience amazes me. He has this quiet calmness to him that never fails. When he retired, he said all he wants is to be at home because he spent his life working and not being there. His heart is always with his family. He taught me to persist on- even when the going gets tough. He helped me dream big and always encourage me to reach for the stars even when I do fall on the fluffy clouds. It was he who place the bar up high when it came to my education. He never compromise and told me I would complete my education, reaching post graduate levels (Something that is rare and almost never encouraged during his time since I am a girl).
So on my week of my birthday. I want to thank my parents who always shower me with unconditional love and sacrifice. Many times I have erred and have come across as insensitive- that I do apologise. We are one family and I’m blessed to be your daughter.
In celebration, I was inspired and wanted to experiment with tahini more. Chris from Tales of a Kitchen made an awesome Triple Tahini Fudge which I replicated. I was so pumped by her that I made this. So here is a smooth Banana Tahini Mousse Slice for us. I promise I will make this again when my parents are here. I miss you guys- especially my coffee dates with mum.