Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fears and wishes of a mother

I can't even begin to tell you how news like this affect my feelings as a mother.

I have learnt from a very young age that there are very bad people out there. People who would think nothing of hurting an innocent little child in un-imaginable ways.
But still, you hope (or maybe you put yourself in denial) that it will not happen to your child. Perhaps that's the way mothers survive. If we give in to the fear, then we would not give birth. Or we wouldnt let our kids out of the house. We'd be sitting outside their classrooms, follow them wherever they go. In short, we'd prolly give them lives, but not give them a life.

So what can we do to protect our kids, aside from putting a leash on them until they're so old, they're not considered as easy prey anymore?
I teach my kids to never trust a stranger, irregardless of what the stranger say. Not even a stranger in uniform. Not even the security guards. (remember what happened to that little girl?). Trust only your parents. Trust that if you are lost, you can stay put or go to the last place we went and we will come look for you.
I teach my kids to stick together. You are not totally lost if you are not alone.
I teach my kids to put up a fight if somebody bad grabs hold of them. Scream, shout, kick, bite, roll or jump around, call for help in all the languages you know. Say "This is not my parent!" loudly and clearly. Never ever let them bring you to a second site.

Still, I am often afraid.
I mean, they are kids. They don't remember instructions. They get distracted. They want to play. And they are oh so so small and so so easy to be picked up and shut up and bundled away.
Trips out to the mall or places where there are a lot of people become a stressful situation for me. Instead of enjoying their company, I worry and fret. If you see a mom with 4 kids who keeps shouting "stick together!" at their kids, that's me.
When the boys go to the public toilets on their own, my stomach stays in knots until I see them return safely to me. Once I even contemplated going into the men's toilet coz Ilham took so long to do his business.
If one of my kids were to be out of my sight for more than five minutes and I don't know exactly where they are, I'd go frantic. The phrase "I thought he was with you" makes me go ballistic. My sister-who-doesnt-blog was once a witness to my handling of Ilham who went missing on his own for 15 minutes. She said the way I jumped on Ilham when he finally appeared was like a rottweiler going for the jugular.
Well, I'd rather be a rottweiler than a mom lamenting the loss of a child. Or worse, a mother who discovers that your child had been tortured and molested, to death.

I wish that we could change the way we function in our environment. I wish that we are less self absorbed and more aware of the things around us. As a mother of 4 kids, I know how difficult it is to keep an eye on even 2 kids, let alone 4. There are many times when I wished that strangers don't just look on and help keep an eye out for them as well, instead of just tut-tut-ing me when something bad happens.
I wish that when people see a lost child, they will stay with the child till the parent return. I wish that when people see a child being grabbed into a van, they will intervene. Ask what is going on, or take down the registration, at least.
I wish.
I wish to feel safer in an increasingly dangerous world.

15 comments:

  1. oh what a heartbreaking news story. just sad.

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  2. Remember the saying:
    Leave it to God but do not forget to tie the camels.
    Big hugs!

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  3. lazydaisy4:10 AM

    so sad, sedih sangat
    i couldnt imagine what the little girl has to go through, isk sangat risau and worry about my kids too..

    it is not safe these days...psycho ppl is everywhere....we must teach our kids to protect themselves (like you do) but like you i can't help being worried sick about this

    semoga Allah lindungi keluarga dan anak-anak kita :)

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  4. it is very unfortunate that we cannot provide a completely safe environment for our children to explore and just learn with open minds. like yesterday, a simple trip to the pasar malam was turned into a huge scolding spree to my ever adventurous wandering alyssa.

    but i couldn't agree more with you. collectively, we definitely can make this world a better place to live.

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  5. You put a mother's thought so perfectly in words. :(

    Should send this to nst or star.

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  6. I wept uncontrollably yesterday at the office after the dna test confirmed that it was nurin and last nite lagi lah when watching the news, doctor said her teeth yang rapat2 boleh jadi renggang because she had to endure severe pain inflicted to her little body! Ya Tuhan, aku mohon orang yang buat tu mendapat balasan sekeras2nya!!!

    yes, masyarakat kita masih perlu dididik supaya bersikap "ambil tahu" dan bukannya "tak peduli"..

    the only consolation for me is that rohnya insyaAllah sudah aman di Jannah.

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  7. i ingat i sorang aje takut bila haziq masuk toilet men

    i am so disturbed by this news.

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  8. elisa, its a crazy world where we have to teach our children to be suspicious of others. I am and have always been a paranoid mum. I worry abt my children constantly - and that is not a bad thing. Let us all doa for a safer world for us and our children. Hugs.

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  9. i dunno what human can be so evil and carry out such heinous crime.

    may her soul rest in peace.

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  10. I know now Elisa that you do not have to worry about Child Endangerment Law because you are a responsible and doting parent.

    Last night IGP Musa Hassan mentioned just that law, and that the parents of Nurin may be liable under the law for the safety of Nurin.

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  11. well said elisa. I agree with R2, this should be in the star and nst.

    it's a scary world indeed. i'm no mother yet, but when I do, I hope I will remember all these tips from you..

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  12. Actually, I'm not proud of my paranoia. My mother thinks it is actually detrimental to my children's psyche.

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  13. My mother was always rather paranoid, and it drove me bonkers. Even till today, even though I'm an old 35 years old, she still drives me bonkers with her excessive paranoia sometimes (still expecting me to sms her everytime I reach my destination after I leave her presence and head off to drive home or wherever). But now that I'm about to become a mommy, I can understand the unimaginable fear that goes through our heads, and my mother's. Nurin's terrible fate served to only reinforce this notion. I pity my kid, coz mommy's gonna keep her/him under lock and key!

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  14. Elisa your view here reflects what most of us, mothers felt....

    When we read sad news like this, it is so difficult to let your kids out of your sight even just for them to play in front of your house...and we become paranoid moms...

    Lets pray that our kids will grow in a safe and healthy environment, amin...

    In a way, Im glad that we are in the KSA, that girls are restricted in their movements..come to think of it it does protect the girls huh!

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