3 craziest things (some are not) that my parents taught me, and now I realized it shape me and I learned so many things from it.

First thing first, If anyone is reading this. Let’s start with an open mind. 

I believe every family is unique and have their own culture to raise their children. My father is half military half soft-hearted like hello kitty. My mom is too positive. Sometimes I am tired of being positive and just wanted to cry and blame people are evil. Also, my father wants to have a son, so cry is a big NO. No cry, don’t cry! But I can’t staaaph my tearsssssss! I am a sensitive person and can cry easily. Even, to some extent, I saw homeless people, and I can cry. My mom always laughed and blamed Mba Yani (our housemaid): “haha maybe because you always with Mba Yani, and she is a very sensitive person”. So, can you imagined how I live with my father that trained me like a son while I am a soft-hearted Leo? We ended like Tom and Jerry. He wants me to be discipline, honest, well-prepared, while on the other side my mom is sooooo chill.

In addition, my mom always and always trained me to see the bright side, to think positive. She said, your mind is your prayers. If you want a happy and positive life, you need to think positive. Well, that is very true. Here some lessons that my parents gave and how I took a lesson from it.

  1. Go to the club with my parents.

As crazy as it sounds. 

When I was in junior high school, we went to Bali for a family holiday. At night, we were too tired. I remember what my father suggested after we had dinner:

“Let’s go to the club. See how it looks like. At least, you go there for the very first time with your parent.”

I was surprised, like really Pah? But when I was growing up, in high school when many friends are so excited for a party or going to the club, I am not (I have been there with my parent haha). My impression until now, going to the club make you tireeeeed after all. Haha 

Moreover, there was a bomb incident in Bali and make me paranoid how if there is a bomb and I died in a place that is not the right place to die. Obviously. Also, I don’t think it is something to prove that you are cool. I do love music and like to dance, but I prefer to stay at home, go to different courses, swimming, softball (I looooove sports!). I wasn’t addictive with travelling yet at that time.

2. Watch porn with my parents.

Again. Haha I know it’s crazy and sounds so taboo. I can’t remember when maybe I was in Junior high school or high school. There was a big phenomenon where one university has a scandal and one of their students “make it”, and the video leaked. Like everyone was talking about it. It was a big thing in my city. My mom came home from the office and brought a CD about that thing. 

“In the office, everyone talks about it. Let’s watch”, said my mom and she was trying to explain what happened if you did this kind of things. Basically to educate me, maybe? haha 

I just closed my eyes and decided well no mom.  

3. My mom used to smoke and a coffee addict

My mom always wakes up at 3 am. She is an early bird at home. But when she was busy as a career mom, maybe it was her ‘Me-time” to keep her sane. Waking up early, have a coffee and smoke. haha She is still wake up that early until today, but now for praying and read Qur’an. Love it. I feel protected. haha

Don’t get it wrong, she never ever tired every single time to remind me to pray more than 5 times a day, also take another prayer and fasting, read Qur’an. All that kind of things until now.

However, I often said: “Why are you smoking?” and she responded “You can if you want”, but it made me hesitate. I don’t think that is good and bring benefits to my life, so I don’t. My father also does not like it either as he has asthma. I was confused when I was a kid. I thought smoke is for a guy? No? 

Well, I got a coffee addict blood from my mom. But it also because I think coffee without sugar is good. I love to see the coffee plantation as well as the farmer’s life (out of the topic). 

Well, my decision was, the only risk and brave thing I do for myself is travelling to unknown places. It’s where I feed my curiosity. I think (inshallah) I am happy and enough for it.

I know, for some, those are some of the craziest things that I learned from my parents while at the same time they sent me to Islamic full-day school. Full day. Morning to the afternoon. My parents also gave me extra lessons at home for Qur’an and some religious lessons.

Both my parents used to have the highest position in their offices. So I assumed they both were busy. Surprisingly, I never thought they are busy. I feel that they always have time for me. My father can still pick my sister and me from our language lessons (I took English and French while my sister took Japanese lesson), keyboard, classical guitar, traditional dances, even a swimming class in the weekend). Yes, my parents kept us busy with courses. Also, one of my mom’s driver always confused where to pick me up because I have so many extracurricular all over the places. Hahaha 

My mom always said “you need more than 24 hours a day. At least 36 hours”. hahaha

I would say we are not a rich family. I think we are a middle-income family, but both of my parents do their best to make my youth as positive as it can be. I can’t thank them enough!

Another thing that stuck on me:

Go to second-hand, antique places, and traditional market

My father loves to hunt old stuff. Even one time. He had three cars and all just old. My thinking was, is my father so poor? We had cars surrounding our house, but all were old cars while my friends were drop by a new car. I remember clearly he had one bright yellow vintage car. My father was so PROUD to pick me from school with his old cars. In front of the gate and I always wanted to crayyyy! I still prefer my mom, who drop or pick me from school with her driver. I didn’t value much my father. Now, I think a vintage car is cool. Haha BUT I love him. He always ready 24/7 anytime I need him to pick me up from everywhere (whenever I am in my city ofc). He is my hero, still. He also gave me so many life  perspectives that a mother can’t. 

He loves to take us to all second-hand places too. I thought my father just trying to save money. LOL. However, I somehow really enjoyed it, though. Now I should thank my father!! He makes a zero-waste lifestyle is not hard!!

My mom too. She loves going to the traditional market. Go to conventional markets is became our weekend gateway. My mom can instantly become friends to all seller in the market. Haha, Some of the lessons that I learned from my mom were, “choose local products, for instance even though that ginger from China looks bigger and cheaper but let’s support our farmers, and if you meet old seller don’t bargain. It’s good they don’t only ask money, they make some efforts” Yes. Mom. Yes.   

Protective mother

She used to be a career mom. But my mom always calls me like five times a day. To make sure I already eat and everything. So, I learned being a career mom while at the same time raise children is totally fine. She always worried every time I have boy friends came home, and we went out with motorbike. She texted me all the time. Be carefuuuuuuuuul!! Drive slowly, use a helmet. Even if I cross the road, she always reminds me to check the left and right side before crossing no matter how old I am now. Also, she always finds a thousand reasons for me to stay at home rather go outside with friends when I am home. 

Now, both of them always encouraged me to travel and see the world. Although I know 100% that my parents want me to live and stay close with them. We had this conversation many times. What my mom said and never changed “The world is so big, I want you have a better life than me and learned so many things in life” and my father too, He is now super flexible. I think he applied military approach until I was in high school, and once I was in undergrad, he became more and more relaxed and flexible too. 

Sometimes I wonder, do they ever worried that I am going from one places to other places that all-new and strange environment. They trust me. So, I try to value it.

In sum, maybe the way my parents trained me is totally different from other families. But they both unintentionally (i guess) prepared me to #YouOnlyLiveOnce kind of life since I was young. Allow me to know ‘everything’ while at the same time show the bad and good things from it. Provide me with specific knowledge and skills to survive.

As a parent, I think the best way to teach your children is to show and provide a guidance what is bad and good. Let them decide and silently protect by trusting them, become their best friend, support and pray for them. 

Thanks, mama and papa.

Much loves from London.