Early this year when we visited my family in Indonesia, we took a few days off to visit Bali. We’ve heard good things about it, people told us that it’s so worth visiting, and although I am an Indonesian, I have never been to Bali ever. So we went and we were pleasantly surprised at how beautiful it was. The people were friendly, the food amazing, the beach and the sunset … oh my goodness, I can’t even begin to describe.
On the second day we were there, we got the chance to visit the Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali. It was quite an experience – a huge protected forest with so many monkeys! People had told us crazy stories about how the monkeys have attacked people before, so we were being pretty cautious navigating through the area. We had walked for about 20 minutes when we saw little baby monkeys climbing up trees, running around chasing each other, and just being little baby monkeys – 10-day old baby monkeys to be precise. Their parents hung around close to keep an eye on them. I had my camera out and started taking pictures then I saw something that meant so much to me – a little baby monkey and its parent. I quickly took a shot and caught this precious moment before the baby monkey ran away.
The shot above meant a lot to me because, if you didn’t know, Lindsay and I are expecting our first child in a few weeks. In fact, she was about 8 or 10 weeks pregnant when we were in Indonesia. The way the big monkey just sits there looking up, while the baby monkey is holding tight to it … it’s just so powerful to me. I told Lindsay that I want a big print of that shot in our daughter’s bedroom to let her know that I thought of her when I took this photo.
Our friends have told us what it’s like being parents: the lack of sleep and the stress, the dirty laundry and the messy house, the list goes on. I also have great parents whom I look up to and will be learning a lot from. But I believe that no examples or stories can prepare anyone for being parents. To think that in a few weeks I will have this sweet little baby girl to take care of and love on makes me feel so overwhelmingly joyful and blessed and I can’t imagine how much more I’ll feel when she is actually here.
I don’t know how to raise a child; not yet at least. But what I do know is that Lindsay and I will raise her the best we can, that we will take care of her no matter what, that when we drop her off at kindergarten, when we send her off to college, when she has her first heartbreak or when I walk her down the aisle, she will have no doubt that she’s been loved and loved well.
Aven Clara, you are wanted and your Mama and Papa love you so much (even before you were born).