Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sweet Spots

"Make a memory with your children
Spend some time to show you care
Toys and trinkets can't replace those
Precious moments that you share.

Money doesn't buy real pleasure
It doesn't matter where you live
Children need your own attention
Something only you can give.

Childhood's days pass all too quickly
Happy memories all too few
Plan to do that special something
Take the time to go and do.

Make a memory with your children
Take the time in busy days
Have some fun while they're growing
Show your love in gentle ways."

Elaine Hardt

This entry goes out to every single one of you. It matters not if you are a grandparent, Mom or Dad, single adult, a teenager, or even a kid. Whether you are seven or 70, one common bond that binds us together is our unconditional love for our family.

As a parent, what and when was that last memorable moment you had with your child? In defining this moment, it would be a time spent together, or an incident experienced together that was significant enough to remain forever etched in your memory.

I know of a child who had hazy memories of an expensive family holiday in the UK, but could never stop talking about sharing a loaf of bread with his mom to feed the ducks at the Serpentine in Hyde Park.

I call such moments Sweet Spots. People I know call them by many other names - Happy Moments, Highlights, High Points, Twinkling Moments - but they are basically the same thing, that is, significant moments tucked away in the treasure trove of one's memory bank.

Despite the name, such memories need not even be saccharine sweet. There was one incident, neither sweet nor heartwarming but hilarious (with the benefit of hindsight, that is), that remains etched in my memory until today. It makes me laugh each time I think of it.

It happened 35 years ago when the ex, while teaching me how to drive in the vast compound of his father's official residence, jumped out of the car instead of grabbing the wheels the moment I careened out of control towards one of the pillars at the porch.

The cop manning the sentry box at the entrance looked in horror, expecting a crash-boom-bang! anytime. I managed to evade the pillar by ploughing through (soon-to-be) mom-in-law's precious bed of gladiolis and some potted plants, narrowly missing her much-prized orchid garden. [The family said it should have been the pillar and not the matriarch's flowers].

A close friend quoted the time when his friends ganged up on him during a poolside barbeque and threw him unceremoniously, fully clothed, into the pool. Another recalled singing in the rain at the top of her lungs with her siblings during one downpour, whilst walking home from a kampung school.

Never mind that they were soaked to the skin and had to dry their books on the pangkin (a raised wooden platform in the front yard of a kampung house) later on. Singing in the rain was simply fun, fun, fun. And the memory stuck.

I am sure you have your own sweet spots to share. Even everyday gestures can be just as memorable; a big hug from the kids when you walk through the door after a long day at work, the little ones 'helping' you cook in the kitchen, celebrating your team's goal together, playing the piano with your child and singing in perfect harmony together, watching the sunset by the beach with the entire family...

Unlike westerners, we Malaysians hardly practise the culture of capturing our moments on camcoders or any video recording devices. We are digital camera-inclined and use the video function only sparingly, to record only special events like birthdays, weddings and such.

[Taping other people's conversations and embarrassing private moments with malicious intent don't count, ok].

I think it's about time we start and let's not limit ourselves to just 'special' events, because a sneak kiss by the beloved is just as special, don't you think? Always have a camcoder handy. More often than not, sweet spots involve family members, people you are most emotionally connected to. I am inclined to think those involving small kids are the best - a baby's first steps or first word, for example.

Let's create memories and capture them visually for posterity. I used to be so technologically inept that I didn't even know how to handle the TV remote or operate the video recorder and the microwave oven. I fumbled with all the buttons on the mobile phone, and was absolutely terrified of the computer. And Internet gave me the chills; I didn' quite know what to make of it.

Today, at 55, I surf bigtime, blog, google and wiki-ed, download songs and videos and stuffs. And I carry a digital camera in my handbag at all times, ready to capture memorable moments at the flick of a finger. Seriously, I never thought I would come this far. Sweet spots, here I come!

PS: Somehow, I am not ready for a Blackberry yet. It looks intimidating (too many functions I'm sure I'll lose my bearing in the maze).


Naz said...

Way to go, Kak Puteri!
I think there is a tendency among *orang kita* to excuse such walk down memory lane as *ish! duk ingat entah apa apa...benda lama lama* but I think the ability to recall those moments as they were are priceless. Let alone the fact that you feel warm, nostalgic and happy all over again as you close your eyes and think of those moments.
It's good to read your post today (selalu pun good lah!) because we are all today creating the sweet spots of tomorrow :)

─╣aptop™ said...

Mine was the "Bersunat time".
No need to cerita panjang, unless you really want me to elaborate ;)

Pak Zawi said...

We had our moments too. One of these days we will get the children (now all matured) to write about them. Let us see if they could recall them.
Thanks for the bidding for Seto Tok Ma.

anak si-hamid said...

We were very,very lucky. Throughout our infant, toddler and childhood years Abah never stopped taking our pictures - and that was in the late 1940s and 50s.
There are literally hundreds of black/white photographs and I'm trying to sort them out.
Today with all the high-tech equipment available, there is no excuse for not recording the good (and bad) times.

Anonymous said...

Hi there Kak Puteri,

Someone forwarded your blog entry to me so I had to check your blog site, very interesting stuff!

With regards to this entry, I agree with you whole-heartedly. With technology these days, you could even record off a USB pen!

I for instance post videos of my time with my kids on my YouTube account. I shoot them with my digital camera, the good ones do come with a video function.

Sadly I haven't the initiative or the patience to set up a blog. Maybe I will, as it will give me another avenue to post my videos and share the happiness with people.

Here's looking forward to your next entry!


MA said...

The very reason why I started blogging six years ago, Kak Puteri! Too many sweet spots where my brood are concerned and I want to remember them all because I know there will come one day when my "hard disk" up there will run out of memory, or worst, getting corrupted!

So I want my children to one day remember the things that we once share. The things that made us - us.

_deli said...

Salam Kak Puteri,

Below is one of my sweet-spot pre-technologies’ days. This kind, however, are open to interpretation. And this, has a twist at the end. (Maaf, memakan ruang yg banyak)


Rintik hujan dari cucur atap,
membentuk lompangan di pasir bersikat rapi;
Bersama kita tampung,
kau dengan telapak kecilmu,
namun lebih asyik bersiram lencun;
Riang lunak tawamu.

Derau ombak memukul pantai,
lewat surut di bawah mentari siang;
Bersama berlari membelah arus,
kau dengan langkah pendekmu,
lebih tekun menginjak anak-anak kepiting;
Mengilai derai jeritanmu.

Sepoi angin petang,
menampar pipi membelai rambutmu;
Bersama berayun di buaian,
tiada terinjak kakimu di lantai bumi,
bundar matamu menatap sekeliling;
Lugu kau dalam pangkuanku.

kau melambai jemari halusmu,
Katamu kaukan pergi jauh,
Kiranya itu lambaianmu terakhir.

Memori yang kubina untuk dikau;
Rupanya kenangan milikku sendiri

taman melawati,
kuala lumpur
4:00 ptg,
1hb. Jan2000.

Sorry, if the ending is …

Kama said...

Naz - I like reminiscing about the old days, tengok2 gambar lama and stuff...

Lap - heheh bersunat must hv heard the joke about those kedah schoolboys talking abt their father's respective kerja.. my fatha is a kok katta..LOL

Pak Zawi - you should ask them sooner pak zawi. tapi am sure they can't beat their old man.. you write so well..each time you recount your travels, i felt macam i was there as well..

abt Buoh Seto, what can i say.. i'm a "Woman In Love".. :-) and we hv good plans for Peseni.. Insyaallah Tuhan permudahkan..

ASH - you are indeed lucky.. I can boast of just a few b&w pixs taken during my childhood...

Anon - tq for visiting. wow, i like the fact that you make full use of YouTube to download your sweet moments.. Cool! About time you blog as well... am sure it will be a fun site to visit.. get going and tell us more!

MA - judging from your postings MA, you are one heck of a Ma to your brood.. don't be a stranger from now on, you hear?

Deli - wow! what a poignant piece. I could feel the sorrow in the words...

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Puteri,
That's why my Mama helped us set up the cat blog. So many sweet spots in our life....and for many more years to come, we hope. purr...purrr....meow!

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hi Puteri,

How can we ever forget all those priceless growing up moments we shared with our parents, childhood friends, schooling days, first mischief/fights, etc. Not to forget also my own very personal account of ‘Percintaan Tan Hong Ming’ type of moment and yes, like him, I’m also not going to tell the whole world about it too’, nanti u semua ketawa sama I ni…heheh.

I had always placed family/children priority above everything else be it business/work or pleasure. Yes I’m proud to be around to share all my children milestone achievements from primary schools thru’ to universities graduation, birthdays, sports participation, etc. No regrets & the ‘I was there’ factor are just so very blissful & fulfilling.

Sad to say my parents black & white photos are fading away, likewise my earlier days coloured & Polaroid photos too. But I'm glad that all the recent last 15 years ones are ok.

Here’s one down memories lane fav for u oldies out there;


Kak Teh said...


I tend to record almost everything. Now that the digital camera can also record video, it is even better. I have recordings of my late grandmother during her last few years, my mother when she was healthy and strong and chirpy, then in hospital, IVCu, recovering, siblings bantering and oh my shelves are full of miniDV's!

Pp said... sweet. I lurve reading this entry! small and big, old or new, alone or with a few, when things happen to us which made us feel special...those sweet moments etched a lasting impressions in our hearts - making them our sweet spots!
the evening i was your guest at your feverit club, being in the audience when u rendered two wonderful songs - was one of my own sweet spots!

happy birthday puteri!


Mrs.A said...

Kak Puteri, first time commenting here walaupun lalu berkali-kali. True what you said.. my son who is 12 still talks about me reading to him every night before I tuck him to bed. And it doesnt matter where he eats, my ayam goreng is still the best.. (walaupun takdelah anything special) .. I pledge to make more memories with my 3 year old daughter (who I dont spend as much time as I did with my older son) and my 10 day old son... so that they will always have "sweet spots". Thanks for this.

p/s: Is it your birthday? Happy Birthday !

Kama said...

Not my birthday yet!
It's Pak Abu's, coming up soon.. on 18/08..

Mrs.A said...

18/8 - also my parents 48th anniversary as man and wife! I hope to get as far as that and beyond with my marriage. Amin.