Raja Mazlan bin R. Shahdan
“Time flies and we can never take back what we have missed”
As an Assistant Director (School Division) in the Ministry of Education, my work takes me away from home on a regular basis for as long as 10 days a month. I’m a father to an only son, Hilmi, who is now 18-years old. He used to call me “ibu” (mom) because he spent most of his time with his mother.
About eight years ago (in 2009), I attended the Father & Son Adventure Camp with a desire to strengthen my relationship with my son. As a counselor myself, I was also curious to see how this camp was conducted.
One phrase that best describes the Father & Son Adventure Camp is “time spent together” – the outdoor adventures of sleeping in a tent, watching the stars, talking, and best of all, just being together as father and son. My son also made many friends, particularly one from a Chinese family and another from an Indian family. It was truly ”1Malaysia” in action. Here we were, three fathers preparing a meal, with our three sons looking in disbelief that they had to eat what we had cooked! We truly had an enjoyable time together at the camp and I am so glad we went.
Following the camp, I make it a point to spend more time with my family. Since then, Hilmi and I have gone for more camping trips with friends and family, purchasing more tents along the way. But the tent we received at the Father & Son Adventure Camp holds a special place in his heart and I am the only one allowed to use it.
Today, I am proud to say that I am not only a father to my son, but also his friend. We respect each other more and he often comes to me for help. He enjoys our outings together and the Time flies and we can never take back what we have missed… time we spent talking. I take time to encourage him more, and I think he is happy to be appreciated as a son and as a man.
I would like to urge parents to spend quality time with your children, no matter how busy you are. Time flies and we can never take back what we have missed during their growing-up years. Though it may seem like a simple thing to be there for our family, many fathers fail in this area.
Focus on the Family Malaysia (FOFM) is doing a great job in helping not only families, but also young people through their No Apologies abstinence program. I have met young married couples who have shown me their No Apologies pledge cards, having fulfilled their promise of sexual purity until marriage. This may not seem much to others but to me, this is the great work done silently by FOFM.