“I’m going back in time
And it’s a sweet dream.”
– The Best of My Love, The Eagles
Last night I was struck by how much time had passed since the birth of my niece, and how she’d grown since then. My niece is as old as my PhD — she was born a month before I moved to Cambridge, and will turn five this August.
While my brother and I chatted before drifting off to sleep at 3 a.m. last night, we also watched “old” videos of her one-and-a-half year old self counting adorably. We swiped through photos that captured her taking her first few steps, and that look of sheer joy and wonderment as she walked, with arms outstretched, towards her first bicycle — my gift to her on turning three.
The photo above is of my niece and I bonding — as many Malay daughters and mothers, aunts, and grandmothers do — in “the kitchen”, over the banging of pots and pans and exchanges of imaginary recipes. I will never forget the pure charm and innocence that radiated from this sweet being when I knew her at this age. I adored her, in a manner and to a depth that is unsurpassable until, perhaps, when I have a daughter of my own.
Time is indeed ever so precious. Often we miss the things happening right before our eyes, too absorbed in the demands of daily life. Our children grow up, and our parents too are growing older. Soon, we’d wish we had just one more minute to spend with our beloved, but time lost is never recoverable…