The beauty of keeping my website current is that I can always go back in time and find out, say, what I did last new year. It is hard to believe that one year has passed. Reading what I wrote last year makes me feel that it was only yesterday when Bethany was a tiny baby. OK. My niece Bethany is still a little one. Even with a little bit of motivation (such as doubling the content inside her hong bao this year), she has yet to learn how to call me kau fu, or in English, uncle. I am a patience man. I know that day will come.
“A home cooked dinner. From right to left, little Bethany, Benny, my sister Lora, Cynthia, and I.”
This year, my mother is not in town. So, it was I who wore the apron and cooked up a few Cantonese dishes. I even had the honor to heat up little Bethany’s dinner, specially made by Benny’s mother. I have no idea what kids love to play when they are one year old. But I have discovered that Bethany likes to play with buttons. And I have tons at home. Such as my remote controls, my computers, and my amplifier. With much restraint, I tried not to say ‘cannot’, ‘no’, or ‘not that‘, for it is not quite cool to have Bethany repeats those words I say. Instead, I brought her the walker and said, “Go to you mama [and please stay away from my stuffs!]” Or in my attempt to divert her attention, I took out my Indonesia drum and said, “Play this”. Bethany seemed to enjoy playing the drum, although I really wish that she plays the piano instead. Maybe she will, when she gets older. I am thinking of Moonlight Sonata. I am thinking of Chopin. I am thinking of chilling out with my books while Bethany plays the piano all day long.
Some traditions should remain, like our family dinners on these special days. As I was guiding little Bethany to walk next to my sofa, looking at those eyes and ears that are the exact replicas of my sister’s, I could not help but to feel that it was only yesterday when my sister was a toddler, when I was learning to play my big brother’s role in taking care of her. Decades have passed, with a blink of an eye.