Kid: Knock, knock!
Me: Not now!
Kid: Why not?
Me: I’m busy.
Kid: You’ve been avoiding me for years now. Besides, you’re just sitting at the desk.
Me: I’m busy thinking.
Kid: About candy? I’d love one!
Me: (scoffs) No, not candy. About life and careers and things beyond your understanding.
Kid: Oh, that sounds big, what about life?
Me: I want to make it better.
Kid: Yes, even I want my playtime to increase but mummy doesn’t allow.
Me: (after a light giggle) I miss those carefree days.
Kid: You don’t play in the garden now? (quite shocked)
Me: I play in a garden but only I can see it.
Kid: (raising an eyebrow) Oh, so we finally get our Hogwarts acceptance letter?
Me: (chuckles) I wish. This garden is in my mind… it changes every day. Some days the swings and slides become old and rusty refusing to leave no matter how hard I try to clean it. Sometimes in the distance, I see games that I love but as I get closer to play, it slips away. When the garden seems fine and I’m sitting on the grass beneath the sunshine thinking everything is okay, a dark cloud emerges and sheds darkness in the otherwise nice day.
Kid: Your garden sounds really bad. Why play there when there’s one in front of you? Do you not enjoy playing catch and hide and seek?
Me: I wish it was that simple.
Kid: When did it become difficult? Did the garden close?
Me: I don’t have time.
Kid: Just come! (drags me to the garden) See! That’s my favourite flower, the moringa. It smells so good. It reminds me of our vacations with our family. Times where we were happy and free. That always makes me feel better.
Me: When did it grow so much?! I still remember it being a mere shrub back in the day. I forgot the importance of just being.
Kid: Being what? An astronaut? I’m here with you.
Me: Life can get so busy I didn’t stop to ‘smell the roses’ or in this case the moringas. I got so tied up with myself and my so-called duties and responsibilities that I forgot about me. As everyday pressure mounted, I slowly lost track of myself.
Kid: (confused) I didn’t know we climb Mount Everest too. Life seems good then.
Me: (laughing) “Mounted” not Mount Everest. I miss this innocence.
Kid: You miss too many things, why not just do them? I’ll help you. I love this garden and I love you.
Me: (with tears) I love you too mini-me.
Kid: Mummy allows me 30 mins of play every day. Will you come with me?
Me: (hugging child me) Yes, I promise.