MrNordin received a call from his second daughter a couple of nights ago, asking if she could go to Langkawi with her friends. Seven of them are going, they plan to rent a car and stay there for a couple of days.
My husband was alarmed. I could see cold sweat forming on his head while he was still on the phone with her. He flashed that “WHAT SHOULD I DO?!!” sign to me and I whispered, “Say you’ll think about it…”
This is not the first time she seeks permission to go for an outing with her friends. The first time was during fasting month last year, wanting to go to a waterfall in Sg Petani with a few of her friends. That request was met with a straight no.
“Waterfall?? Doesn’t she read the newspaper?!!”, screamed my husband.
Even I was against the idea. Nak pegi waterfall during fasting month? Whatever for?!
I spoke to her against the idea and she was freaking mad. I told her our reasons, but she was very adamant about going. After pleading with her (yes, I pleaded. Never before in my life), she decided not to go in the end.
But her parting words to me were, “If like this, I won’t tell Baba wherever I’m going again!” Very harsh.
So that night when she asked again whether or not she can go to Langkawi with her friends, I’ve already had my answer.
I told my husband, “Just let her go. You can’t stop her from going anymore. At least she told us about it...”
“Yes, I know. But telling me doesn’t mean I have to agree!”, he argued.
I guess, this is a common dilemma for parents. When children start leaving the nest and wanting to do things on their own, we worry for them, we worry for their safety, we worry for their future. All because we love them.
My husband is very protective of his children. There is no such thing as outings with friends as and when you please, sleepovers and what not. Details must be given whenever they want to go out. If he’s not convinced, you’re not going. Masa sekolah dulu, budak2 ni mana ada peluang nak pegi cuti2 organized by the school or friends. The answer was always “No, if you want to go, I’ll take you there.”
But the whole idea was not about going to the place, it’s all about going with the friends, right?
I am quite relaxed when it comes to these things because my parents were not very strict about travelling with friends when I was growing up. I used to go to Pangkor and Langkawi with my A-Level friends dulu. Sometimes I took the bus alone from Ipoh to meet my friends in KL, Kuantan and Terengganu. Sampai ke Kelantan pun ada, sorang2! Hee.. hee…
I know the need to get away with friends and I’m sure my husband does too. It’s just that he worries for their safety more than anything else. “What if something happen to them? I will never forgive myself, you know…”, he keeps on telling me.
I guess my husband should learn to let go. We can’t stop them anymore because they are all so big already. They are ready to venture on their own and do their own things without the parents’ supervision. All we can do is tell them to be careful. And every once in a while, to call us and inform us of their whereabouts so we don’t wonder and worry about them. That’s all we can do at this stage...
As of now, my husband still hasn’t made up his mind. It’s a tough call for him, but I know he will make a wise decision eventually…