23 March 2011, by Jaime Teo

­­An Awakening.

It’s been more than a week since we left for Bintan. I had wanted to blog about it upon our return but Renee came down with an unexplained fever. It eventually went away after 5 days (Thank you God!), but not without a UTI scare from a (probably) contaminated pee sample and many hours of sponging and worrying. Yes, that’s me — the gan jeong (hokkien for anxious) mother.

(Oh, the unexplained fever revealed itself to be Roseola — a high fever that will go away as suddenly as it arrives after a few days, with only a skin rash after the fever breaks to identify its presence.)

Actually, I didn’t know I’d be that gan jeong a mother. I had imagined myself to be cool as a cucumber and the epitome of control should situations occur. I’m not sure how the messy haired woman in a food splattered t-shirt happened. She is also usually carrying a baby with one hand, trying to turn the radio off with a toe, and playing tug of war with the baby who’s pulled a towel/newspaper/book/cutlery from the table. *tsk tsk* How far we fall from our own expectations…

Anyhow, when we arrived in Bintan Lagoon Resort last Friday, the first thing that struck us was the beautiful view from our beachfront villa.

View from the second floor

Having a private pool was great, but being so close to the beach was even better — a place where we get the best of both worlds is exactly where we want to be! Plus the waves struck us as much bigger than what we expected at Bintan. We exclaimed about that and about how much fun we were gonna have – Bodyboarding / Boogie boarding anybody?

After putting our luggages in our respective rooms, we settled in front of the couch in the living room to make plans for the day. Dan started channelsurfing because a remote control was within reach and he cannot help himself when a coincidence of that cosmic proportion happens (Yes, I am being sarcastic.)

That was when we heard the news. The earthquake. The tsunami. The devastation.

All our excited holiday chatter just dried up. We sat in front of the tv in silence as we watched the tragedy unfold on different news channels. It had happened within the hour and countries were on the watch list for possible tsunami alerts.

Indonesia was on that list.  

Suddenly, the waves weren’t friendly and fabulous. They were scary and ominous. We were no longer looking out at the beach with smiles plastered on our faces or thinking of fun in the sun.

Suddenly, being at a beachfront villa was the last place we wanted to be. If this had been the past, I might have been concerned but not worried – Having Renee with us made all the difference.

I remained gan jeong till a call from Singapore told us that we were safe….

Y’know, I’ve noticed that after becoming a parent, I don’t view world matters with the same detachment as I used to. Natural disasters and catastrophes demand my attention and help more than before because seeing other children in despair breaks my heart; Environmental issues are more pressing because this is the same world my child will be living in; Drugs, porn and gang activities need to be stopped because they are a reality in my child’s life tomorrow.

I think people are more involved when they have a personal stake in things… Or is that just me admitting to it? :p

Anyway for starters, here’re two easy links to help the people in Japan :

To donate online to the Japan Red Cross : http://www.ifrc.org/en/get-involved/donate/donation-japan/

To donate online to World Vision Singapore: http://www.worldvision.org.sg/japandisaster.php

Please help. Now.


Jaime Teo

Jaime Teo

March 30th, 2011 at 8:44 am    

JC : It is true – Children teach us much… I have a new appreciation for all mums!!!


March 23rd, 2011 at 5:19 am    

It’s astonishing to see how much a person’s perception and views can be changed by having a child.

From your older entries til the present I must say Jamie, you’ve become a really responsible mother! (no judgement or whatsoever intended)

It just warms my heart to see every little thought you have starts out from Renee, and it all circles around her.

Mothers’ love, thats how great it is! I love all mums!

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