It's humbling, that so many strangers, particularly with the anonymity of the internet, would say a few kind words and in many cases pass on God's love. That's the incredible message Rockstar will grow up to read one day - that people can be nice, Just Because.
I could write til the cows come home and I would still never, ever be able to top what 723 people (and still growing) conveyed in the minute or two of their time together and a few simple, sincere words. For that, dear readers, THANK you. I'm so grateful and overwhelmed.
Oh, and dears - you will get a thank you email individually from me that is not some bcc-ed mass-emailed thing. Even if it takes me the rest of the year to get round to everyone, I don't care, I'll do it somehow.
Totally freaking out that something had gone horribly wrong with my beloved blog - rather than any belief in the kindness of 723 mostly-strangers - speaks loads about my faith in human nature. <shamefaced>
(But honestly, who sees hundreds and hundreds of email notifications and thinks, "Obviously, my husband, child and dog collaborated with 723 virtual strangers to wish me Happy Birthday. How nice. What else could it possibly be?")
More like, " My blog's been stolen. B*stards."
- - -
Back in Changi Airport Singapore...
Kings returns to our table in Kopitiam. "WHERE'S my phone?" "Oh yeah here." He holds the screen up, rather than say, hands it to me. My mailbox is already opened to a Disqus notification message. It reads: Happy Birthday from..... Kings interrupts. "Ok? I still need it -"
"Crap. This Nuffnang guy posted Happy Birthday on my blog? So now anyone who reads that comment will know my birthdate is today??"
"Hey... Don't I barely know this guy, how come he knows my birthdate? Did I put him on my Facebook and forget?"My husband is not listening. He's already taken back my phone without even looking at me. Can he be more focused on Tim? Worse than someone waiting for Hot New Boyfriend to call back. And - Hang on. Did I just see..... 76 new emails? In 45 minutes? I prod at him -
"Muuu-uuuummm, I need help (with this iPad game) pleeeeeaaase."Hey. Rockstar is NOT eating.
"You're not eating." "I want Daddy." "He wants Daddy." "I did something to your blog."
"He's not eating." (This drives me nuts, he's a small kid) "I think I better show you - "
"Can you put that in his mouth first?"
(Occasionally Rockstar pauses in his meal and demands one of us, usually Kings because he is the more spaced-out, Berry-fingering one, feed him a mouthful or two. Fight him head on, No Feed Yourself/ No Someone Else Is Already Trying To Feed You, and the meal is over. Unless you stick a needle attached to a glucose bag into his arm. With medicine, we tried forcefeeding him before because I was thinking Don't Give Me This Rubbish and he fought so hard he emptied the entire contents of his stomach onto the sofa. Not the most effective way to go, if we were trying to get something in him.)
WHY does Kings look so worried?
"Nono the egg first." "I'm done with the egg." "But you barely even finished one egg."
Wordlessly Kings spoons almost an entire egg yolk into Rockstar's mouth. Neither male comments. Well, one has his mouth full.
"Darling you look a bit worried" "Uh, yeah...." "Everything ok dear? Is that why you're waiting for Tim to call?" "Uh...... Ye-aaahhh......."
Idly, unobtrusively, trailing off into the background airport noise, "Daaaaaaaaaaaa" - wow both of them can speak in slow motion - "dddeeeeeeeeee........."
Kings gulps his entire Wantan Mee and bolts to his feet. "I need you to see something before we board the plane, can you look for me at one of the Internet kiosks along the way to the (departure) gate?"
"He's not eating." (Seriously, drives me bonkers). "Mum. I finished my game." <ceremoniously picks spoon up> In the second I turn to acknowledge the achievement, Kings is gone. Rockstar is now eating, but slowly. I'll take it.
Where's my phone?
HE'S STILL GOT MY FREAKING PHONE???
I am going to have 76 new emails when we land in HK. Grrrrrrrrrrrr! Oh, and there he is.
Kings waves me over to one of the airport computer terminals (with Flash, our iPads have no Flash) to view an adorable bobbing-head video. I'm delighted. "That's actually on your blog now, so you'll be getting some birthday wishes."
Still can't take my eyes off the video. That is sooooo cute. I am sooooo touched. And we have now told everyone I let our son shoot little green men in an arcade game (for the record, just 20 mins a week tops, I make sure we arrive 20 mins before they kick everyone out of the room for cleaning and we haven't gone in a month). The only bobbing head I can imagine actually saying those speech bubbles to my face is the dog <tear>. I know Kings is really proud of getting into my blog but I don't consider it a biggie - it's not that difficult, we're married. I think he should've been really proud of the video.
"That's wonderful... And it would explain why I saw 76 new messages."
"It might be a bit more......"
"Mum. I can write 76."
Kings has to take a call. On his berry?
"First you write a 7. Then you do 6... I learned in school, you know. 6 is a bit tricky <nodding knowledgeably, wrinkling nose>, it also looks like a G..."
I thought his berry wasn't working?
Still on the phone, Kings waves me on (obviously not the first time he's disappeared on the phone in an airport) and I take Rockstar's hand. The other little hand is still drawing 6s (or Gs?) in the air.
Kings catches up at the boarding gate security checkpoint, where I'm about to turn in my bottle of Evian. The guards spy Rockstar taking a final swig - and allow us to keep it. Hmm. Interesting. Kind of.
Throughout the flight, Kings checks his Berry. Well I suppose he must, he's pretended it wasn't working for maybe 18 hours now. (Honestly, he pretends stuff with me all the time. Fortunately I trust him to not cheat on me with Tim.) So I reconsider going all you-have-to-switch-that-off-on-board-the-flight. It's gotta be a stretch you can flummox the navigational system of a giant Boeing charged with ferrying hundreds of people across oceans and mountains with something you bought at Fortress.
We land. Hello, iPhone, I missed you so. Let's make mushy, right here in the Arrivals Hall.
What's happened to my phone?
It won't stop shuddering. (It goes on pretty much thru the night and into the next morning.) My phone is possessed. Like something out of Exorcist, but with email. Or that magician's hat from which you try to pull out all the scarves so you can finally take a look inside and figure out how they do that trick. With a lot more scarves. As in, enough to cover China.
"WHAT DID YOU -"
"SHHH! Mum. Too loud. I can't think."
Ps: Sorry everyone, that it took me this long to post a thank you... Would've preferred right away, but I didn't want to just anyhow put up some "Wah, wah, thank you thank you" comment, I really wanted to do it properly... Later that night, our helper arrived back from her brother's wedding in Indonesia really sick so I've been tied up unpacking from our recent trip plus lotsa extra washing, because of not wanting anyone else to fall sick at home... AND it's School Applications Season In Hong Kong now... So we're a little swamped. Blessed, but swamped.