My son and I used to write love letters to each other. I would write a little note which I would put in his lunchbox, and he'd read it while enjoying the lovely gourmet lunch. These notes conveyed my feelings for him. Sometimes, they were reminders. But they always reassured him of my love, as well as my admiration.
In his replies, my son expressed equally well his love for me. Not just love, but gratitude. He felt my presence despite my physical absence.
"I thought of you today, mum, while we were reading a poem in class," he once said.
This habit of writing love letter came about when my son was having problems interacting with his classmates. Neither sporty nor preppy, my son Jonn at one stage in Primary One was sidelined, or he was completely rejected by his classmates.
"I was all alone at lunch and recess, mum," my then eight-year-old son cried tearfully one night before falling asleep.
Then a note of encouragement found its way into Jonn's lunch box. Then the next day, and for the next few months, my words and love did not just kept him company, but they also gave him guidance and encouragement.
Some found this little exercise endearing. Others thought it made my son over-reliant, hence making him a mummy's boy. It didn't.
In fact, all the love letters and attention had helped develop him, shaping the wonderful boy he is.
Jonn is never short of friends now. He is surrounded by many at lunch and recess. When I pick him up at school, his friends from all directions bid him goodbye.