A Daughter’s wisdom

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I am glad I did not organise a farewell dinner back in May. I was scheduled to leave Hong Kong on June 1, a date that my husband and I had agreed in February after we had made the decision to relocate the family to England.We spent two weeks in England looking for a house and school for Xavier. To our delight, everything went smoothly:  Xavier got accepted to the school and we found the perfect barn house next the school.

Upon my return to Hong Kong in March, the plan was to spend the next three months traveling within Asia and explore Hong Kong. The rationale behind it was instead of finishing the last term of school, we want to give Xavier a chance to learn outside the classroom. There is so much to see and learn in life, school and books are only a small way to learn. As is often said, the world is one’s oyster, and for Xavier and I , the school of life and experiences and memories gained outweigh the classroom on occasion (although I had to remind Xavier that this was an unique opportunity, and the reality of a structured classroom would soon resume upon our arrival in the U.K.!)

Xavier and I had an unforgettable few months traveling within Asia and exploring Hong Kong like tourists.  School had taken so much of our time in the past few years that we hardly had any time to get to know our Hong Kong.  What Xavier had learned in the last few months cannot be measured by any terms.  He learned about the importance of discipline, independence, safely and relationships.   He has also learned about many facts of life such as protecting himself in public, the value of money, acts of kindness and local politics (he followed the entire election of the Chief Executive, he was happy for Carrie Lam to win).   In short, the life lessons on how to be armed with the skills to survive and prosper in daily life, and how to be a strong, compassionate and perceptive person.  These are the best life lessons to have at the early stage of a child’s development. They are the foundation of building character and self-confidence.

As they say, when you are enjoying yourself, time flies. Before we knew it, it was mid May already. We started to pack and organize our departure, both excited and nervous of the new life that we were about to embark. Holding a SAR passport, I did not think of the need to apply for a visa to enter U.K. and by marrying a European, I thought I only need to apply for a visa to stay in UK only when I have arrived in the country.

The groundbreaking news came one morning from our immigration lawyer after we made an initial enquiry, I had to apply for what the Home Office in UK called the Family visa from my home country. It means I have to submit my application for the visa in Hong Kong and wait for its approval. According to the website, it would only takes 15 days maximum for the application to be processed. Today is July 20 and I am still waiting for my visa. The reason for this long delay is not important anymore at this stage because the damage was done. Xavier missed the summer term in his new school and I had to cancel two of my family friends who were supposed to visit us in our new home in UK.

I was feeling the maelstrom of despair, anger, disappointment and helplessness until one night I had a flashback of a conversation my daughter and I had some years ago:

I came home one evening looking sad. “What’s wrong, mommy?” She wrapped her arms around me like a koala bear. “Mommy lost my tennis match.” Her head rested on my shoulder.  Moment of silence between us.  Suddenly, her head raised, eyes wide opened as though she had the perfect answer , “It’s okay mommy, tomorrow will be a new day.” She kissed me on my cheek.

The next day, feeling exceptionally afresh, the sun was out, Xavier and I decided to go for a hike in Shek O.   Mother nature seems to have a way to install peace and calmness in us.  By the end of the two hours hike, the longstanding despair and helplessness took another path while we took ours.  I felt weightless and revived.

We have been wanting to sell our house in Hong Kong for over a year now and due to the crazy property market in recent times, we had lost hope that we could sell the house before we moved to England. But last week, out of the blue, I had received over ten calls from ten different property agents asking if we were still interested to sell our house.  In the lightening speed, the house was sold within 3 days. How strange life unfolds, right?

This unexpected delay of departure resulted in selling the house, totally not in the plan at all, reminds me once again that life is full of twists and turns.  Just like raising our children, there is no perfect plan or one plan fits all.  We can plan for our children, it is better to have one than not to have one.   We can try our best to avoid the unforeseeable events so our children will not be affected or hurt by, it is no doubt better to prepare than not.  But expect the unexpected for life is never one smooth ride.  Throughout my child rearing years, I have come across countless setbacks:  failing to see the unforeseeable events, the perfect plans were not as perfect and so on.

So maybe sometimes we just have to let the life current takes its course and trust that it will bring us home.  Sometimes a detour is a blessing in disguise.

Tomorrow will be a new day, thank you Claire!

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Sandy Sinn-Hussey

Motherhood has been a long journey for me. Being a single mother for twelve years, I have learned the importance of mother and child's relationship. Raising children is a lifelong career and require patience, perseverance and love.

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