The emergency room doctor last night wanted to rule out appendicitis – seriously there are some crazy twin stories out there, this one would have been too much for me.
Not sure if we can get out today, the paediatrician can’t pinpoint the issue, and it was quite the painful bacterial, gastro issue.
Leila and Rahul made sure that we’d be staying with them all night. At least twenty times. In the same room. And right before falling asleep L asked me why we left them
In the hospital every night when they were babies. Why didn’t I stay with them? She was sad that we left. And why did the doctors and nurses in HK not allow us to stay with them. It’s not fair.
I sang them the Brassens song that Maher and I used to sing them every day when we were in HK. They finally drifted off after an exhausting day.
I remembered a woman I met in HK the two other times that Leila was admitted into hospital, L was around one then. She was an older British woman who took care of Chinese orphan girls, brought them to a state of adoptability. She would care for them and take them through surgeries. Strangely enough I met her twice at two different hospitals. The first time her little girl, Grace was having major surgery of her bowels. The second time I thought she was there still with Grace, but it was another girl, another story. The one thing she said to me that I remember is how quickly children snap out of such situations. They don’t mope and feel sorry for themselves.
There is a lot of compassion.
This morning, Rahul wondered why Maher went to get us some breakfast alone. “But he’ll miss you mama.”
And then later he said to Leila, “Let’s do bicycle with our feet. I am
Just touching you because I love you.”
Last year we celebrated the bond between brothers and sisters in our first Raksha Bandan. Leila tied a rakhee (usually an ornate string that symbolizes a bond of protection), around Rahul’s right wrist. Leila had to have one as well – that bit is what made it Raksha Bandan – Our Version. They hugged and fed each other something sweet.
We had a repeat of our version this year at our Koh Samui hotel room. My mum was with us on the day, the full moon of August 2nd, so it was all the more special even in the simplicity of our unmade beds, daily wear, and impromptu rakhees – I cut out the bookmark-ribbons from two of L and R’s story books and used them as rakhees. (Don’t tell my little brother;))
Here’s Raksha Bandan – Bond of Protection, the post I wrote last year about this celebration during my childhood.
We stopped at the Buddhist Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), one of the most beautiful temples I’ve seen, on our long- boat ride along the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok. We climbed the steep stone steps all the way to the top level. Standing next to magnificent intricate carvings – it was the traditional Thai dancers’ that got Leila’s attention, and the horses carved into the top of the pillars around the main temple that got Rahul’s – the view of Bangkok is breathtaking. The descent was a little tricky with the two little kids, and my mum and her bad back. But not a problem.
After walking past hundreds of stalls selling colourful touristy stuff, we succumbed to Rahul’s cries for a toy. As we were buying a bucket of fish food, L and R chose fridge magnets with pictures of the temple on them.
As soon as the fish food touched the water, clusters of catfish flopped all over each other, slid around, even reached way out of the water to get some. It’s illegal to fish within 100m of a Buddhist temple, and people often spend free time feeding fish, so naturally the fish know exactly how to get to the holy waters of Bangkok.