This year will be my 2nd year of being married to the woman I love.
The photo on the right was taken in Jakarta, on 13 December 2015, which was our 2-year anniversary as husband and wife. Within those 2 years, Allah blesses us with a trust: our son, Rayyan. Perhaps it is cliche to say this, but time does fly by.
I guess that is the danger of time: it tends to go by unnoticed. You sleep, eat, and work on autopilot mode. In effect, you lose track of time. What is worse, you lose sight of the things that matter most around you.
Even when I am babysitting my son, I am still surprised by how much he has grown. He is in front of my eyes all the time and yet, there are things that go unnoticed.
The currency of any human relationship is attention. Your children become nourished by the attention you give them. Being present when they are with you is a challenge, especially when there are so many distractions around like TVs and smartphones.
When children don’t get the attention they need and want from you, they will get it from somewhere (or someone) else. It is like food when you are hungry; you will do whatever it takes to satiate yourself.
I notice that with my son; he often times would look at me and keep on looking, as if to wait for my reciprocation. When I look at him and smile, he would often smile back as if to show satisfaction. They crave for attention, in their own unique little ways. If they don’t get it from you, you have to wonder where will they get it from.
It is interesting that the English language equates attention with money. They say, you *pay* attention. Naturally, we don’t want to depart with money because it is precious.
However, we will choose to depart with money when there is something more precious than it. That is why we are willing to buy stuff with money, because we see the stuff as more precious. Otherwise, we will hold on to our money.
What is more precious than family? If we are willing to pay attention to our stuff, surely we should be more willing to pay attention to our family.
It is easier said than done, because it is tiring. It is tiring to pay attention. But it helps when you see it not as paying, rather as investing. An investment suggests a return in the end.
When you invest your attention towards your children, the return is love. You don’t know how long this investment will go on and when the return will come. But you are certain that it will come.
All parents want their children to love them. Give them love, and they will love you back insha Allah.
What you give, you’ll get back.