Last night, we were all gathered in the study room. It was after midnight but we were still wide awake and didn’t want to go to sleep yet.
Nizzar was looking through old photo albums for pictures of his brother and sisters when they were about his age while Nadim was guiding him with the “who is who”.
As he flipped through the pages, suddenly he stopped at this one particular photo and asked his brother, “Nadim, ini siapa Dim?”
Nadim took a second look at the picture and softly replied, “This is my arwah Mama..”
I choked up when I heard his reply.
“This is Nadim’s Mummy, Nizzar…”, I added, and the little boy turned over the page.
I didn’t know if the little boy understood what we said or not, but I found it quite surreal because what was going through his mind must be, “Hey, I know everyone’s faces here… but I’ve not seen this one before. Who could she be?”
That must have prompted him to ask Nadim who she was.
Right after that, I felt a tinge of sadness. I went into the bathroom and sat on the throne quietly, pondering over the incident.
I felt sorry for Nadim coz he had lost his mother when he was still very young. He didn’t get enough love and affection that he should be getting from a real mother because she passed away much too soon. He was only 7 at that time… and it has been 8 years now since he lost his mother.
Throughout the years, he struggled to grow up into a fine young man without the love from a mother. Fortunately, he had his father who tried in every way that he could to be both mother and father to his children. Yes, I was there too in the middle of it, but it's just not the same.
So when his father tends to give in a little bit more to him than to the girls, I can understand why...
When we were looking at those pictures, I could feel that this boy must be wishing that his mother was still alive. That he could still be showered with her hugs and kisses, just like what I love to do with Nizzar. I wondered if he missed his mother…
You know, being a stepmother to 3 kids and a real mother to 1, I do feel the difference when it comes to displaying my affection towards them. With Nizzar, I could easily smother him with kisses and roll over in bed many, many times before we go to sleep because I feel there is no holds barred. He is my son, I can spoil him if I want to and I can spank him if he misbehaved.
But with the older kids, I feel quite awkward to show my affection and I think, they feel the same way too. Something is holding me back. Maybe because when I came into the family, they were already grown ups. I didn’t know how to “manja” kan them although many times I wished I could just hug them and smother them with kisses like how I do to Nizzar.
But this doesn’t mean I love them less. I love them all the same and I treat them like I would my own children. I worry over them like any parent would. When they go away, I miss them… when they come home, I am elated.
My favourite moment is when I find them all sitting at the dining table, chatting about everything under the sun. I love to hear their laughters. That's when I'm the happiest person on earth.
I suppose, mothers show their love and affection towards their children in many ways. I try as much as possible to be fair, and I hope my children realize that too.
My only wish is that I could be a better mother to them. I don't know how much better, but I think it could have been better.
But for now, I guess, this is as good as it gets...