My infant life (Part 3): “Nani, Atuk, don’t be sad.”
This is the third article about my infant life. I’m relating it with a heavy heart today (17 September 2014). That’s because I’m very sad to see my maternal grand-parents, Nani and Atuk, overwhelmed with sadness in the last couple of weeks. I shall tell you why shortly.
But first, here’s a bit more about me. In the Part 1 article, “My name is Adam”, I mentioned that my full name is Adam Rayan Dula. I even mentioned about the story of Adam, the first man, from the Islamic perspective, whose name I bear. Read the article and see the photos of me.
My dad is American who converted to Islam and my mom is a Singaporean Muslim. I was born in Singapore in November last year (2013).
When I was three months old, something wonderful happened – I travelled long-distance for more than 22 hours in the plane. My parents took me to the United States of America to introduce me to my dad’s family in North Carolina who had thus far seen me only from photos in my Facebook Page. They were eagerly waiting to see me. When we met, they gave me hugs and kisses and carried me around poudly. They love me dearly.
I stayed in the US for three months, and returned to Singapore on 17 May, exactly on my 6th month birthday, and a few days later I related my adventures in the US in the second article. See pictures of my American relatives in the Part 2 article, “My American family, thank you and I love you.”
Since my birth, I’ve been living together with my Nani and Atuk in their HDB 5-room point-block flat except for the 3-month stint in the US. I’ve become more attached to my Singapore grandparents since May. My Nani (maternal grandmother) and Atuk (maternal grandfather. In Malay, grandfather is Datuk and “Atuk” is the short form for easy endearment pronunciation) played and took care of me most of the time except at night. I crawled and stood by holding on to walls and table and chair legs. I’m now trying to walk. Soon I would.
I’ve many admirers – relatives from Nani’s and Atuk’s sides who not only admire me but also love me as you can see from some ofthe following pictures:
In the wee hours of 13 September, which is my mother’s birthday, my Nani and Atuk as well as a few others were at the Changi Airport to send me and my parents off for Australia. My mom is pursuing her PhD studies in Sydney, and my dad has taken the responsibility to look after me when my mom is engaged with her studies, in the university or at home.
Actually, last year (2013), when my mom was doing her first-year of her 4-year PhD studies in Sydney, she became pregnant with me, and so when she completed her first year in early July last year, my parents came back to my grandparents’ home in Singapore to prepare to give birth to me. Soon, in late September, she is going to resume her studies, and, this time, I will be with her to motivate her in her educational ambition.
On 6 September when we were in Singapore, there was much laughter and joy when many people and children came to our home – to celebrate my first birthday in advance. My grandparents were the happiest persons around, chatting away with those who came for the celebration. There was lots of food to eat and there was the birthday cake too.
In the last few days before I left Singapore, I saw tears rolling down my Atuk’s cheeks when he carried me in his arms or when he sat me on his laps to teach me the English alphabet on Youtube’s Children’s ABC songs posts. I held his cheeks and he kissed my hand.
While I was happy when I related about myself in those two previous articles, for this article it is different. I feel sad. I feel sad to have left my Nani and Atuk, but my mother says my grandparents would visit us in Sydney every year. That is good news.
Nevertheless, I shall often contact my grandparents via Facetime at least a couple of times a week so as to cheer them up. Nani, Atuk, don’t be sad. I’m only 8 hours away by plane. The following pictures show Nani and Atuk carrying me at the airport around 1:30 am of 13 September to send me off. I was not able to smile as I usually do. I even closed my eyes now and then to feel their warmth.
Today, 17 September, is my actual 10-month old birthday.
I love you Nani and Atuk, and all my relatives in Singapore and in the US.
Adam Rayan Dula