I had originally intended to go to Bangkok, but many circumstances played against, the main one being that Izac wasn't particularly enthusiastic about the idea of me in this capital of perdition!
So Singapore was the alternative. Safer than Singapore isn't possible, except, perhaps, in Switzerland.
My friend Minh was to host me. We had been in touch for a couple of years now and he had been watching over like a big brother.
I had often talked about his two sons. I saw their pictures and was looking forward to seeing them in real life! And it was also the opportunity to meet Edwin again, whom I hadn't seen in the flesh since 2007.
The week was perfect. I fell in love with Minh's sons, Ben and Jude. Six-year-old Jude, the youngest one is a charmer and the most lively of the two. It didn't take him long to warm up to me and to start introducing his toys to me.
My fatherly instincts were turned on for the whole week. Minh seemed delighted that I loved his sons so much. However, I still wanted to see my friends and some of my relatives, so it was tricky to schedule my time in order to enjoy everyone's company.
Every morning, Jude would come and greet me in my room with one of his toy. We played a lot together. I couldn't stay in my room alone for more than 10 minutes without him quietly opening the door and coming in to chat, to show me something or start a new game.
When I promised him one evening that I would take him to school the next morning, he was overjoyed.
I may never know the joy of fatherhood, but I do treasure every moment I am given in the company of children.
My brother and Mathilde will soon have their first baby. But I'll be too far away to watch it grow up. Ironic...
|Jude and his toy creation|