Things I Learn from My Daughter

My daughter, H loves to draw.

She started to draw before she could talk.

“Elpen”, she said to my brother, Ibrahim and his wife, Nurfika while showing her rough drawing one day. That time, H was about three years old. We were still staying at my parents’ place after the divorce.

“Elephant?” Nurfika asked.

“El-pen!” she said, slightly frustrated because nobody seemed to understand what she had just drawn.


And still, nobody got her.

After a while, she said “Kapa tobang”.

Everyone laughed because it is the state’s dialect of saying an airplane.

My brother told me, they were almost convinced it was an elephant that she was drawing. The wings of the airplane were mistakenly seen as the animal’s big flapping ears.

Since that, H always tries to improve her drawings and make sure everyone understands them.

It’s the first thing she does once we arrived home every day. Yes, she will draw like it’s her job. Not just at home, it’s her calling – everywhere, anytime.

We bring pens and papers on-the-go for her. At the restaurant. In the car. At any events or wedding ceremonies.

It’s also the thing she asks when she’s moody.

“H, tell me what do you want? Do you want milk? Biscuits? Youtube on my phone?”

“Annah nak yutis”, (Hannah nak lukis/ Hannah wants to draw)

..and she’ll be fine after that.

H is an example of a passionate and consistent person, and I really need to learn more of those things from her.

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