General

Parenthood

It may seem obvious, and it actually is – when one’s child reaches the age of the father at which the child was born, one would be twice as old as his child. Let me illustrate with my own case. My son was born when I was 34. Today he reaches that age, so I am 68. It is not exactly rocket science, but it gave me something to think about, to contemplate and meditate for the whole day.

I talked about last time that I was not much of a good husband the first time round; and I think I was an even worse father on that count. Rightly or wrongly, probably wrongly in retrospect, I had relied on Rosita to do most of the parenting such that the children were more attached to their mother. The good news is that I can still work on it, unlike the relationship with their mother which physically terminated with her premature departure. My daughter once told me that she knew I was trying hard to bring father and children together as a unit after Rosita died, but told me in the same breath that it was impossibility. I’d like to believe that we had since reached better understanding – our relationship has normalized, but there is still a lot to be done.

Relationship is indeed a very complex matter and no two relationships are alike. After my brief exposure on Buddhism and other studies, I am come to the realization that relationship is a function of the conditions prevailing at any time, implying that no matter how hard one tries to change or improve a relationship unilaterally, one would unlikely to achieve a lot if the conditions are not conducive. Indeed, the same formula applies to other relationships, such as bilateral relationship between parties, between political parties and the government, or between countries. I am sure C Y Leung and his government is trying very hard and in good faith to improve the relationship with the legislature and other political parties, but the results are for everyone to see.

In the course of my seemingly perpetual house moving, a lot of memorabilia surfaced inevitably. They came in all sizes and shapes, big or small, mainly related to Rosita and the children. Initially, I had kept them all in the flat, in small envelops or boxes, until I got married when, mainly because of space, I have put them in boxes and cartons, now stored in a mini-warehouse. There were birthday cards, father’s day cards, some hand drawn and signed, but unfortunately mostly undated. There were scrap books, exercise books, comic books, flash cards, music CDs, favourite toys, report cards, exam results and others. I recall there was a very old lap top too. Over time, I have turned over to the children the more important documents, such as birth certificates and testimonials, but I doubt when they would be prepared to take possession of other stuff, if ever.

Looking back, the family had been moving on average every four years. Initially, they were rather pleasant moves, for inevitably we moved to bigger premises. From the mid 90s, things had taken a turn; and some moves were rather traumatic and could have left indelible scars on some family members. My children were blessed in the sense that they were never physically involved in these moves, except once for my son, when he stayed with me after Rosita’s death, but even then, his part mainly related to the inconvenience incurred from moving to a much smaller flat when initially, the flat was so full of furniture and junks thus making moving around difficult if not impossible.

We now keep a lot of stuff off site, but one day we probably need some house cleaning en masse. I learn from a friend who visits my son regularly and have meals with him. He told me that my son moves around in New York City quite a bit too. When I asked my son why he moved so often, he sort of said that it was not by choice, but he did not elaborate. These are not the sort of things that can be discussed through texting or emails, so maybe I would broach the issue when we met later in the week.

Back to Whistler Blackcomb, they have now created some apps which enable season card holders to access information on their own activities, such as how many days they were on the slope, on which dates, on which chair lifts and the altitudes they traversed on each day. The statistics are embarrassingly detailed. They even had a leader board to show how active one is among all skiers overall, on a rolling basis. Well, the season is coming to an end, at least for the training school. Whistler will officially close on 17 April though Blackcomb would stay open up to July. We are wrapping up the season too, but today I bought another new pair of skis after trying on the demos for three days. It is a longer pair and is supposed to improve my skiing. We would see the results in a year. As they say, skiing is like riding a bicycle, once you have learnt it, it would stick in the mind and sink in. Again, we would find that out next year. Until then, we would say goodbye to Whistler; and I hope to talk to you again after I am back in Hong Kong.

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