Anxiety for NS?

In Singapore, all boys have to go through National Service for 2 years or less, around the age of 18 and above.

As a parent, there will be times when we will have to let go of our children as they learn to make their own choices in life. There will be peeps, groups and organisations… we had to (slowly)trust with our precious kids.

For example schools, teachers, caretakers, guardians, program trainers, relatives to help taking care, nurturing, teaching and grooming of our children and more.

Recently I’ve sent my son on a national service journey. I’ve seen the mass, parents shed tears, mirroring my own roller coaster emotions.

Lucky for me, my eldest had been groomed the NS style of education through water polo. But still, as a parent, it’s challenging to see the baby I had given birth to, became a man and separated from us just for a certain period of time.

We are a close knit tribe, all 3 of us. I brought them all to everything that I can and experienced everything that I am. I wanted to equip them with skills as much as I knew and experienced.

But, no matter how many years has passed, no matter how much growth and wisdom he has attained, through my eyes, he is still that innocent boy, I held my hands for and shower with hugs and kisses.

I thought I can handle it well. I did prepare myself days before, to stay numb (stoic was my specialty. Why? I’m super sensitive. It can be overwhelming for me to be in mass events like this, but I don’t shy away from them. This is just 1 way, I shield myself. Not easy but being /pretending to be nonchahalant helps sometimes).

But upon reaching home after saying goodbye for his 3 months basic military service in camp, I felt somethjng inside crumbled. I consoled myself saying, he is still very much alive. And I will soon see him. This is just temporary.

But yeah, tears wanna flow. I let it be.

And then further future life events like marriage and such will also take him away from me. I can choose to be a tantrum throwing parent and throw my emo in some threatening manner or learn to let go in trust a bit by bit.

I remember promising myself to let my kids spread their wings on their own, when it’s time. Just like how my own late mom did it. She was very intuitive and she did not impose her own expectations and projections onto me. She allowed me the freedom to be.

Her growing up was not as carefree as mine. Her parents were very much the main decision makers including her previous arranged marriage.

It takes 1 bird to know how it felt to be caged thru life to free another gen from facing the same. I resolute to do the same. But I did not know how she had the strength and courage to do it. Cos I’m struggling right now.

I’ve spent days or weeks recently letting my eldest travel solo on his own. But this felt different.

Onward onto becoming a man, I truly have to learn to trust the process. All I can garner right now, are prayers and supplications for his safety, wellbeing and happyness.

Imagining him hanging with other like minded men, and father figure role model mentors and instructors…was something I desired him to have. As much as he did spent weekends with his father. And some with his uncles and martial art programs, water polo and all the male bonding keep body, heart, mental and spirit fit regime, I also did my best to be present.

To be his life witness of his growth and also to acknowledge what he has accumulated, accolades, achievements, mistakes, pain, struggles, stress, joy, sadness, and many more. To be seen, is a gift of what I desire him to have.

I still feel I’m responsible for taking his father away from my children. Though we had forgiven each other, no parent wants to separate a child from their parent, ever. It just don’t feel right.

And I resolute to heal that by being present most of the time with them. I’ve seen kids with both parents still intact in marriage with emptiness and loneliness in their hearts because some parents were too focused on giving the best comfy lifestyle that they were not present. Too busy paying the bills for such lifestyle.

But I don’t judge nor blame. We each are doing our bestest with what we think and feel we know what is best for ourselves and our kids. We each have different priorities on what is precious. And for sure, we each will face the consequences of every choices made.

Personally growing up, I seldom see my parents too. And now I cherish my time with my kids. And God knows, what my kids will do for their own children, in the future.

Whatever it is, let us all learn and grow in love and trust. Let’s work together with the higher power, our Creator. Only He knows everything that is going on with our children.

As much as we want to tighten the reign and have control with our loved ones, like kites, if we pull too strong, the string might break and free itself.

Also it felt like giving birth.. (after my water broke, part of me was reluctant to give birth for fear of death and many more.. but I told myself – no choice, have to go through this, no matter what)… I had to bite my fears and just grit thru it all.

So whatever life events you have to go through, I prayed that you and your loved ones can handle them with much love and positivity you can garner. Do, Take care. Have fun, while you are at it.

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