Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I read The Straits Times' forum with mild amusement as yet another parent beseech schools to impose less torturous conditions on her precious child. This time, the parent lamented how her son has to endured the mercilessly hot, hot sun rays while playing basketball for his extra-curricular activity. She ranted about how ultra-violet rays are going to ruin his health, adding that her son has turned from a shade of light brown to dark chocolate. The HORRORS!

Previously, a parent has indignantly insisted in the same forum that there is no need for school to start at the ungodly hour of 730am. Such early hour puts a chore in waking the poor child up from his slumber and pains the parent deeply.

Mmm, I wonder how the poor boy is going to survive his National Service. Ultra-violet rays and all. These parents should put their children into bubble-packs, store them in the kitchen cabinet, safe from all harm and live happily ever after. Then what will happen to my morning entertainment?

Now, I admit I am never a morning person. If you should ever try to stir me up from my slumber any time before 8 am, you would be met with nothing but sheer resolution on my part to stay in dreamland. I would probably pile 2 pillows and a huge thick comforter over my face and nothing, NOTHING, you can do to wake me up (unless you resort to my two pesky cousins). Therefore, the only time I remembered waking up at the ungodly hour of 6 at the crack of dawn is during my school years - from my primary school till junior college.

Sure as hell, it was a chore getting up. But after a while, the pain of the chore wears off. If you care to look or feel a little harder, the air is the most refreshing and coolest at that time. You can glance in the pinkish blue hues in the skies without squinting. You get to see glistening dew drops and greet the guy who send you the papers. How many of you people actually wake up early enough to see the face of the guy who send you the papers? (For me, I had the opportunity to say hello because I actually stayed up that late instead of waking up that early, ha.)

As for the merciless sun rays, I remembered training for my netball in the hot afternoons, doing sprints, running 2.4 in the scorching 3 P.M. sun. I did that 2 years in Primary school, all 4 years in Secondary school and 2 years more in Junior Collge. That makes a grand total of 8 years in excessive ultra-violet rays. And horrors of horrors, I am still a shade of dark chocolate brown now, although I assure you I slap on some sunblock reluctantly before going into the sun. Must have been the aftermath of the traumatizing 8 years.

Anyway, the point I am trying to make here is - I think parents should stop over-protecting their children. Everything should be in moderation. If they weren't exposed to pain, will they know pleasure? Let them fall, and let them recover themselves. Let them discover, let them experience.

Oh well, but what do I know?

The aftereffects of waking up at ungodly 6 am and staying in the scorching 3 pm sun might come haunt me in the later years. But hey, I did enjoy the morning moments which I do not think I will do so again, until maybe when I am 60 and doing tai chi in the morning. And each time as I am doing my running rounds, I used this "Well, if I could run at the untolerable conditions at 3 pm a decade ago, this should be easy" mantra to motivate myself.

There is always a silver lining in the cloud. You just have to look for it. Stop whining.


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