Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pushing them to their (own) limits...

I reached the office at 7:32a.m this morning and it's now 9:48a.m.

And I'm feeling REALLY sleepy. Had a mug of very strong coffee just now, AND a packet of nasi lemak with kerang. I think the latter has overpowered my coffee. Time for a short break now.

As Ayah is away in Bangkok, I'm Hanna's supir for the next few days, meaning I had to leave the house at 6:45am this morning, so that she would be in school latest by 7:10a.m! I don't know about your kids, but for Hanna, it's such a sin to reach her school after 7:15a.m (and her school only starts at 7:35a.m, mind you!). It's the same with Hasya, who gets panicky if she were to reach school after 12:45p.m (and her school only starts at 1:10p.m!) Is it a GIRL thing or what?! Because it's not the same with Hilman - he's always oblivious of the time. It doesn't matter when he reaches his school, as long as he reaches his school. Simple.

After sending Hanna, I had to go to my MIL's to send Hasya's and Hilman's school uniforms, etc. Both of them spent the night at their Wan's. They had their mengaji class there last night, and as I knew we would have to leave the house very early this morning, and as such they would be deprived of their beauty sleep, I asked them to sleep with their Wan last night, to which they gladly agreed :). They were still asleep when I went to Mak's this morning, so, I decided to come to office early. And now I'm very sleepy...

Anyway, Hasya and Hilman had their Open Day last Thursday, and both Ayah and I went to see their teachers to discuss their progress in school and also to collect their Report Cards. And we had a very pleasant surprise that day, but at the same time, we felt quite bad...

We already knew that Hasya got No. 1 in her class. It was expected, in a way. Hasya is a choleric girl and very confident, and she knows what she wants. She has always got No. 1 (except once - and she was pretty upset then as she didn't like the feeling of being second best). And she always knows who her competition in her class would be, and she would make sure that she beats them, even without us prodding or pushing her. So, Ayah and I would just give her our encouragement all the way. She thrives on challenges.

This time around, her competition is a boy named I**an I**andar. They had never been in the same class before, and I**an had always got No. 1 in his class all these while, too. And Ayah and I were aware of this fact as we would always see him going on stage every year during Speech Days, etc. And when we knew that Hasya would be in the same class as I**ran this year, we always remind Hasya that she has to work harder to make sure that she stays on top. Hasya being Hasya, she does not need us to tell her that. She knows she HAS to do it.

And us being kiasu parents, after the exams, every time we fetch the kids from school, we would ask her what her marks were. And the next question would be, "What about I**an?" (Hehehe!) And we were not surprised when we found out that Hasya actually kept a record of every single marks that I**an got! There was a panic bout for a couple of days for Hasya, when I**an got 100% for his Maths, and Hasya got 93.5%, and for a few days, I**an was leading by 0.5 markah! And finally, when the marks came for Science, and Hasya got highest in her class, it was official - she beat I**an by 2.5 markah... And we didn't even have to ask her about it when we fetched her from school that day. She told us right after opening the car door, even before she got into the car! Hehehe...That's choleric Hasya for you.

As for Hilman, now...he's one very phlegmatic boy. He does his own thing, and most of the time, he would be oblivious of what's happening around him. And most of the times, he doesn't even know that a test or an exam is around the corner, or even what subjects he would be tested on the next day, etc! But, despite all that, last year he got No. 12 for his Mid-year, and for his Final Exams he got No.5 (and he was the best student for Science for his class).

Knowing our kids' traits and personality, we tend to treat them differently in terms of pushing them to their own limits. And we know what would work for each of them based on their characters and personality. And it is difficult to balance when we have 3 kids with 3 different personalities - one choleric, one phlegmatic and one sanguine (I wrote about this here)

So, for Hilman we didn't really push him that hard, but we know that he's a very smart boy. What works for Hasya may not necessarily work for Hilman. Yes, we prepare them the same way - no discrimination whatsoever in that department. Ayah would come up with the mock papers for Science and Maths for both of them before the exams, and I would come up with the mock papers for BM and English for the both of them. We would give them the same encouragement and love and hugs and kisses and good luck wishes every single day. But, we would push Hasya a bit more, as we know that she thrives on pressure and challenges. For Hilman, we would just ask him to do his very best, and avoid making careless mistakes, and check his work thoroughly. And there was no point to ask him to keep record of his "competition" in class, as he wouldn't even know who they are! That's phlegmatic Hilman for you.

But, we had some ideas as to who MIGHT be his competition when he would come back telling us what his friends got for their exams. Different names for different subjects - so it was difficult to assess from a variable of samples. But, we had some ideas. The first few days after getting some of his marks, Ayah and I had a feeling that he could be in the Top 5. And when he got all his marks, we thought that he could be in the Top 3. And Hilman, knowing that the standard question I would ask him EVERYDAY would be, "Have you got your position in class yet?", he would be asking his teacher the same question, "Cikgu, saya dapat nombor berapa, cikgu?", and the teacher would reply, "Tunggu lah... surprise..."

And it was indeed a pleasant surprise for us, when we went to see his teacher last Thursday, and we got to know that Hilman got No. 1, too!

Hilman's teacher told us that Hilman takes his own sweet time to finish his work. When the rest of his classmates have finished 3 pages of work, Hilman would still be working on his first page. And he's forever sharpening his pencils and/or looking for his lost stationeries in class! And he's always dreaming! Otherwise, he's a very good student. In fact, his teacher told us that she was surprised with Hilman's results, too, given his laid-back nature and attitude! (And he got highest for Science and Maths, too :))

And Ayah and I felt quite bad - for not having high expectations of Hilman, or rather, for under-estimating his capabilities. We KNOW he's one of the smarter ones at school, but we were prepared if he didn't get No. 1. But, for Hasya - because SHE wants to be No. 1, we make sure she gets the push that she needs to get it. THAT's the only way we know how to treat the two of them when it comes to pushing to the limits. THEIR limits. THEIR own expectations. Are we being unfair? Ayah and I kept on going and going about this for a few days last week. And it wasn't a nice feeling to have. Sigh...

And as for Hanna, we know from her UPSR and monthly tests results, that insya Allah, we don't really have to worry about her. And she would come back from school and tell us her results without us asking her. She would normally get second to fourth highest in class for her subjects, and given that she's in one of the better/cluster schools around, we think she's doing quite well, indeed. But, being a sanguine that she is, she would blab non-stop (in a good way) as to how close she was to beating XYZ or ABC in this subject, or that subject, and how unfair it is that they take Pengetahuan Agama Islam and Moral into account to determine their position in class (as the Moral students rata-rata dapat A, while the Agama students rata-rata dapat B, etc.), yadda, yadda, yadda...

Hanna has her own way of studying, and it seems to be working with her, and I don't want to change that. She studies with her WalkMan glued to her ears (and she would do some head-banging every now and then while studying!), and she does her homework and assignment, etc in her own time (sometimes after midnight as THAT's the ONLY time she has the mood to do them!) without having me to remind her. And I have to say, she follows her Ayah - she's very good in Maths and Science, but she's struggling a bit with her reading subjects. All in all, even though she's a sanguine, she's a responsible girl when it comes to her studies. And unlike with Hasya and Hilman, I would just monitor Hanna - without pushing, without reminding, without cautioning.

And I was pleased when I went to Hanna's Open Day yesterday, when I got to know that she got No.6! But, according to her, if Agama and Moral were not included, she would have gotten No.4! But, I just want her to realize that the girls who got Top 3 in her class are those who sat for the SAME Agama paper as her. So, I think that is not an issue here? Anyway, it's just a position in your class. Mommy and Ayah are very proud with all the A's (and couple of B's) that you got, okay? You should know which subjects you need to stress on more by now, right?

And maybe, slightly less head-banging would also do the trick? ;)

Syukur Alhamdulillah. Ayah and Mommy are VERY PROUD of you all - Hanna, Hasya and Hilman. Keep up the excellent work, darlings.

We just hope we're using the right (different) approaches to each and every one of you in pushing you all to the limits when it comes to your studies/exams, etc....

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Sequel (KL : Aug - Dec 1993)

Okay. Two intervals. Time to get this sequel to Cerita Chenta over and done with, huh? ;)

About a week after his Swensen's proposal, Ayah and I had to part ways. He had to go back to the UK to start his housemanship at the QE in Gateshead, while I had to continue with my chambering in Kampong Attap. By that time, Ayah had already discussed with his parents as to the next step which we had to take to ikut adat, i.e. merisik.

I can't remember clearly what actually transpired. The only thing I remember was that my (then "future") MIL had called my Mommy to discuss on the most suitable date for Ayah's family to pay a visit and bawak cincin tanda. And I remember my Mommy telling me to be prepared to meet Ayah's parents, uncles and aunties on one of the Saturdays in September (or was it October?!) 1993.

And when that Saturday finally came, I was numbed...I was petrified! It was scary enough meeting the parents at his place, now the whole Kac**r clan of his Pak Long, Mak Long, Pak Ngah, Mak Ngah, and not forgetting his parents, etc., were coming to meet my Abah and Mommy for the first time, and of course to see me for themselves, and Ayah was not be around! It felt like I was put under a microscope that day!

The whole time Ayah's rombongan was downstairs with my Abah and Mommy, I was upstairs in my room. I knew the whole purpose of merisik was for the bakal mertua (and segala pakcik makcik) to see the bakal menantu for themselves, but, I just couldn't bring myself to go down to see them. Macam nak pitam!! Finally, my Aunty Wah came up and knocked on my door and asked me to go down with her.

God...When I was walking down the stairs, I could feel all eyes were looking at me. Finally, I got to meet the Kac**r clan whom Ayah had talked so much about! I salamed everybody as I was introduced to each one of them, (and I guessed they were curious, too, to know who I was, how I looked like, whether I was worthy of Ayah, etc!) Ayah's Mak Long then beckoned me to come to her, and then asked my Abah and Mommy if she could sarung the cincin merisik on my finger. And just as she was slipping it onto my finger, she said, "Cincin ni tandonyo niat 'tok masok 'minang lopeih ni, den haghap di-boietau pado somoghang yang Haizal dah "booked" Shana ni nak dijaiekan isteghi..." (in her thick Nogoghi dialect!) Alamak...I dah kena "booked", you all...Hahaha!

I remember going straight into the kitchen after that with Aunty Wah to help serve the food and tea for Ayah's uncles and aunties, trying VERY hard not to let the plates clang against each other, or slip from my hands. It was so crucial for me to create a good impression on the Kac**r clan! The two parties then agreed on a date for the engagement that December.

It felt like forever before Ayah's rombongan merisik finally went back that evening! Phew...What a relief! And right on cue, Ayah called after they left to find out how it went. I guessed he was anxious, too, of the outcome of course. Mana la tau, kot-kot my Abah "reject" ke pulak last minute...Hahaha!

And then, the preparation for the December engagement ceremony began. Ayah was lucky to have his sister Ly** who was in Nottingham then to help him get all the hantaran from there (except for the kain and tudung). I think they actually spent 3 weekends to shop for the stuff in London! And I was helping my Mommy to get and prepare everything in KL. It was pretty difficult, in the sense that his Mom insisted that the colour of the material I was getting for Ayah for his hantaran Baju Melayu MUST be the exact same colour as the material she had got as hantaran kain for my Baju Kurung, etc. But, in a way, it was a blessing in disguise as I had to discuss things with her in Ayah's absence, and the pre-engagement period became the time when I got to know my MIL, and for her to get to know me better (without Ayah lurking around...Hehehe!) But, of course I couldn't help but feel VERY sad at times, going about preparing stuff, etc., for the engagement on my own, when I see other couples doing it together. And I was really missing him...

So, it would be an understatement when I say that I was SO happy when Ayah finally came back to Malaysia a week before the engagement ceremony. The most important item for the engagement had yet to be acquired - THE RING. At least Ayah was with me when we chose the ring, and that meant a lot to me.

But, it wasn't as easy as it seemed. I lost count of how many PKs, HJs, WCs, Ss shops we went to within that one week, just to find the ring that both of us agreed on. And his Mom would always be there with us, NOT to dictate which ring we should get, but as our expert haggler. She's a pro when it comes to haggling for jewelries. I never knew that one could actually go down as low as 50-80% discount from the original exhibited price of diamond rings when one haggles!! But, leaving it to the expert, Ayah and I just let Mak do all the talking whenever we found the rings which we liked. And we finally found the perfect ring at PK @ The Mall just a couple of days before the ceremony. The 5 digit numbered price was successfully haggled by Mak to become a 4 digit numbered price at the end of the day. Phew...lega! THAT shows how "terror" my MIL is when it comes to haggling maaa!Hehehe!

And the day for the engagement ceremony finally came. With 7 dulangs from Ayah's side, and 9 from my side, surrounded by families and friends, I officially became Ayah's fiancee when his Mom slipped the ring onto my ring finger on that morning of 19th December 1993...

And 3 days after that, Ayah had to fly back to the UK, leaving me yet again, in KL...


To be continued...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Interval : Pics from Kuantan Trip...

We had glorious weather. The kids had fun. And so did their Mommy and Ayah!!!

And the food! Drool, people...drool...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Interval : Emerald Rawang Birthday Bash!!!

Hi there, folks. Thought I'd take a breather from continuing with the Cerita Chenta sequels for a bit, and share some pics with you guys.

Have been meaning to blog about it for a few weeks now, but the Cerita Chenta took the better of me...Hehehe...

Anyway, the Majlis Tertinggi had another gathering a few weeks back, and this time, Ibu and her Ayah played hosts at their fabulous spanking new place in Emerald Rawang. It was basically a 3-in-1 thingy : their house-warming do, their Idin's 12 b'day bash, and four of Ahli MT's 40th birthday celebration (Ayah, myself and Mr. & Mrs. Engineer).

And it was really great to be able to catch up with everyone, especially with Y*s and Bu*an, and Aw*n and Nu*q after so long!

The theme was "Everything Football", and we went in our favourite football team jerseys. We had all the perkara wajib for our normal gatherings - good food, hilarious time, karaoke session, and great company, of course :)

Back by popular demand/request was my Char Kuey Teow. Ibu had asked me not to cook too much, as there would be A LOT of food (and she was right!), so yours truly only cooked 2 kilos of Kuey Teow. Should have doubled that was all gone within 20 minute...Hehehe!

And of course, there was Ibu's speciality, too - Masak Lemak Kuning Ketam! Tak sempat nak ambik gambar, dah licin!!! I really don't know how many kilos of ketam ended up in Ibu's wok that day, and I've lost count of how many batches of the ketam dish Ibu cooked for us. I only know that it was finger-lickin' good!

Ibu organized some fun games for the kids, and the highlight of the evening was definitely the "Make-Your-Daddy-Up-As-Your-Mommy" game sempena Mother's Day. The Daddies were so sporting and they actually let all the kids have a free hand at dressing, accessorizing and making them up! Well, I guess that's what happens when you're among friends you're very comfortable being with. No qualms, no shame, no pride whatsoever! Ilek...zilch! HAHAHA!

But, of course the pics of the Daddies in all the Mommies' accessories and make-up are not for public display, but, I have made a note to self to really keep them in a safe place. Who knows, in the future I can use them to peras ugut the Daddies?! Hahaha! So, to all the MT's hubbies reading this - YOU'VE BEEN WARNED! You all better be nice to ALL the Ahli-ahli MT, comprende?

By the time we started the karaoke session, most of the kids dah bergelimpang all over the house.

And seperti biasa, majlis bersurai pada pukul 4 pagi...

Thanks everyone for the birthday presents => cool snorkelling goggles/gear from diving fanatics Iz*am and J*; ties and a lovely brooch from the prim and always proper Re*a but not necessarily so T*bs (Hahaha! Ampun!!!), and a bouquet of lovely roses and a teeny weeny Bl*sh lingerie from (romantics? xxx craze?!) Ab*d and Ra*f (HAHAHAHA!) Thanks guys... And just for the record - ALL the presents have been put to good use...(winks*! Hahaha!)

AND THANKS, Ibu and Sa*a for being such great hosts! Must do this again. Soon.


Enjoy the pics!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Sequel (KL : 1992 - 1993)

My apologies for the week hiatus. Normal excuses - work and play :). Just came back on Thursday from a 3-day break in Kuantan, where we had the sun and the sea, and yours truly had a heavenly pampering at the Sam**ra Spa at the Swi** Gar**n Resort and Spa. And while I was having their 1 hour 45 minutes Signature massage on Wednesday evening, Hanna and Hasya went for their hibiscus hair treatment.

Ayah was very generous throughout our Kuantan stay, but, I still can't figure out how the girls managed to pujuk him to let them have the hair treatment at the Spa! It wasn't cheap, but I guessed once in a while of pampering his girls with some beauty regime was okay for Ayah. THANK YOU, AYAH!!! (But, to Hanna and Hasya, if you all are reading this - tak boleh buat selalu, okay?) If not, Ayah will be fast losing his hair!

Anyway, back to the sequel ;) -

Being back in KL at the end of 1992, and knowing that it was for good and not just a 1 or 2 months break, was something else. I was so used to having Ayah either with me or just a phone-call or train ride away, and realizing that he was thousands of miles away really got some getting used to. There was no chance of him making his usual surprise visits whatsoever... I was in no mood to do anything, and was in fact more into not doing anything at all in the first month I was home.

I was getting Ayah's numbered letters and postcards regularly and he would also make his phone-calls every weekend, and my Abah and Mommy were resigned to the fact that their youngest daughter was totally smitten with this boy who was in his final year of Med School in Newcastle. My Abah was the one who would be overly excited whenever he answered Ayah's phone-calls and would ask me to hurry up and take the phone and speak to Ayah (I think my Abah takut Ayah had to pay a lot for the calls - nanti tak cukup duit nak masuk meminang kot? HAHAHAHA!) As for my Mommy, she had always been in the know about Ayah as I would share with her bits and pieces about us for quite a while then.

Anyway, Ayah had already made a few courtesy calls on his bakal mertua the previous years when both of us came back to Malaysia for our Summer breaks. So, my Abah and Mommy more or less knew who and how he was. By then, I already knew that Ayah had won the approvals of both my parents. He didn't have to try very hard. What was there not to like? (I'm being subjectively biased here. Hahahaha!). So, that was a relief - one less worry for me!

After a month of getting on my Mommy's nerves at home, I started applying for my chambering slot at a few legal firms around KL. I went for several interviews, and I finally decided to chamber under Tuan Haji (now Datuk) Mu***ib Ra**k at his firm in Kampung Attap. My nine months period of chambering was indeed a very interesting and educating experience. One thing for sure, it made it so much easier for me to decide that legal practice would NOT be a long-term option for me! But, me being me, I was doing it just to get it over and done with. I did my Bar, and chambering was the next logical thing to do.

But, I have to say, I learned the A-Z and every single nitty gritty stuff about conveyancing in just under 3 months when I was tasked to re-open all the files on some abandoned housing project somewhere in Melaka. And for that, I thank my Master for throwing me into the deep end right from Day 1. I learned the hard way, but what I learned then have stayed with me until today - even after 13 years of quitting practice. More importantly, the work took my mind off Ayah somewhat.

While I was busy with being the tea-lady/office girl/receptionist/research assistant/ filing clerk/legal clerk, etc. in Kampung Attap, Ayah was busy with his Final year at Med School. And I was really missing him. If I wasn't at home during weekends, I would lepak at Ibu's bujang pad which she shared with 2 others of our MT friends, Ab*d and On**r in Taman Tun. By that time, Ibu was already busy planning for her engagement and wedding to her Ayah, while On**r and Sh**y (a.k.a Mr. Engineer) were embarking on their early courting stage. There were also J* and Iz**m. I was happy for them of course, but, seeing all the couples around me, really made me miss Ayah even more :(

However, having two other friends who were in the same boat made it easier to go through the days. Re*a was also pining for T**s, who was still in London, and Ab*d was also longing for Ra*f who was doing his CA in Southampton. The three of us kept each other's spirits up, and we became each other's tempat mencurah perasaan...

Syukur alhamdulillah, Ayah finally graduated in July 1993, and obtained his MBBS. His whole family went for his graduation, and as much as I wanted to be there with him, it was quite impossible. I was ultra-busy with my chambering tasks, and of course - I was never formally introduced to his parents. In fact, his parents were only officially informed of my existence and of our relationship on the day Ayah graduated! They of course knew or suspected that Ayah was seeing me for quite some time then, and they were just waiting to hear it from the horse's mouth itself!

Ayah told me (and this was later confirmed by my MIL) that right after his graduation ceremony, THAT afternoon itself, he got his parents to sit down at the hotel they were staying at, and started telling them about me, and that he wanted to get married the next year, i.e. one year after he started working. And Ayah was quite surprised because both his parents and his sister just laughed when he told them of his intentions. Apparently they had been waiting for the announcement/confession for quite some time then and they were just speculating amongst themselves that Ayah would do so immediately after his graduation, and they were right! My SIL even placed a bet on this! Hahaha!

Ayah was to start his housemanship in August, i.e. barely a month after graduating, but he came back to Malaysia for a few weeks to see me. Now that his parents had been informed of his intentions, he needed to proceed to the next thing. And I remember THAT day when he took me out for tea. My Abah was quite particular about us going out at night, you see, so our dates were either for lunch or tea - when the sun was still out. Hehehe!

We were having our desserts at Swensens that afternoon, when suddenly he just looked at me, and started to take a few deep breaths. I knew he was trying to say something, but he was finding it very difficult to say it. Then he started laughing, and I started laughing! And then he said it, in between his laughs -

"Will you marry me?"

I know, I know...NOT the most romantic way to pop the question. I guess we were so used to each other, and we took it for granted that we would get married, and there was never any question about it. It was understood. So, it was somewhat awkward for Ayah to have to ask me whether I would marry him! But, Ayah being Ayah, he had to do everything the proper way, according to the normal "steps" :)

And in between my laughs, I said to him - "HAHAHAHAHA! YES!!!"

And that was it! All formalities over and done with within 10 seconds. Hehehehe!

The next step was of course - MEETING THE FUTURE IN-LAWS...

Right after "proposing", Ayah told me that he wanted to bring me to see his parents. (Nasib baiklah not there and then on the same day!).

I remember Ayah telling me that he was bringing me home to meet them, and that he would pick me up from my house at 11:30a.m that Saturday. I couldn't sleep the whole night before, and was trying to decide what baju to wear, what shoes would go well with which baju, should I bring a handbag, or not, or whether I should put on any make up or not, etc. I think I even practised my smile in front of the mirror! God...I was so nervous. It was even worse than sitting for my Bar Finals! Bila fikirkan balik...kelakar lah pulak!

And I remember getting ready very early that Saturday morning. In fact, by 10:00a.m I was already waiting anxiously for Ayah to pick me up! However, Ayah called to say that he would only be at my house around 12:30p.m, as both his parents were stuck at a meeting, and would only be home around 1:15p.m. Aaaarrrggggghhh!! Another waiting game began...By that time, I was having cold sweats and palpitations like nobody's business!

Ayah finally came at 12:30p.m, and asked my Abah and Mommy's permission to bring me to see his parents. And after getting the green light, we left the house and headed straight to PJ. Throughout the 45 minutes journey, I kept on asking Ayah, "What if your Mom doesn't like me?", "What if that...", "What if this...", etc., and Ayah kept on telling me, "Don't worry! My parents will like you. Just be yourself! My Mom is VERY nice - all my friends like her!"

And I said to Ayah, "Yeah...but, I'm not JUST one of your friends! I'm the girl who's marrying her son!"

I was so seram sejuk when we reached his house. We went in, and I was told that his mom was in the kitchen preparing lunch. I was like - "Should I go to the kitchen? Or should I just wait in the lounge?" And I was just about to go to the back of the house when his mom came out to the front. "This is it...There's no turning back", I said to myself.

I straight away went to salam her, and she invited me to go up to the Dining Hall with her, with Ayah trailing behind. (FYI, I specifically told Ayah when we were in the car that under NO circumstances was he to leave me alone with his parents, not even for ONE second - and he was really keeping to his words then! Hehehe!)

I have to admit that my first impression of Ayah's mom was that she was a VERY serious lady that rarely smiled (which was a total contrast of how she REALLY is, now that I've been her daughter-in-law for nearly 14 years!! Hehehe!) She started asking me about my family, my parents, myself, etc. over lunch - the standard future MIL Spanish Inquisitions. Years later when we talked about that first meeting, my MIL told me that she was quite nervous, too, at the prospect of meeting her first future daughter-in-law that day! Hahaha!

Ayah's father (Arwah Daddy) only came back and joined us later that afternoon. Arwah Daddy was the one who was cool about the whole thing and even threw in a couple of jokes, which helped me feel more at ease. And I was also introduced to Ayah's grandmother (Arwah Wan) who seemed to take me to her liking straight away!

The whole thing went well, but, later, on our way back to my house, I kept on asking Ayah to tell me the truth if he thought his Mom didn't like me, and if I have flunked big time with his parents. I started reflecting the afternoon and began my "I should have done this and that", "I shouldn't have done that and this" etc., much to Ayah's amusement! And he kept on reassuring me that both his Mak and Daddy approved of me. He even threw in a bonus, saying that even his Wan liked me.

Wow, you all can just imagine - after more than 9 years of knowing each other, I finally got to meet his parents (and Wan), and the meeting went well. In fact, it went VERY well indeed... :)

It felt REALLY good to finally have been officially/formally introduced to the future in-laws after all those years. And it felt even better to know that our relationship was finally officially acknowledged and approved by BOTH sets of parents after ALL those years...

And there was so much more to look forward to from that day onwards.

To be continued...