Randy Salim

The Urban Mama
Randy Salim was a news anchor for Metro TV for several years before he moves to work at World Bank in Jakarta as Communications Officer.  Rock music has always been his interest in spite of his groomed-looking attire, but despite all, he’s a dad.  You can tell he channels his love to rock music to the names of his two sons, Zoey (6yo) and Navarro (7mos).  Randy is married to a beautiful wife of 8 years, Mia.

Just had a discussion about this with my wife recently. Loving kids does not necessarily make you a (good) father. I’ve always loved kids. With two much older siblings, for years I’ve been Oom Randy to three nieces and a nephew. Now I’ve got two boys of my own: Zoey, 6 years old, and Navarro, 7 months. Particularly in the case of Zoey: I fathered him, but I didn’t really become a dad until he was about 4. I love him intensely, would murder and maime to protect him, but my mistake was assuming that a son’s love for his dad would be a given. Not to say there weren’t any moments of bonding during his infancy: I’m quite proud of the fact that me and Zoey flew together (benar-benar cuma berduaan) to Canberra when he was 3 to catch up with his mom. Changed him when he peed his pants, fed him, prepared his milk, patted his butt to sleep — all the stuff a decent parent (irrespective of gender) is supposed to do. When he got sick in Canberra, I even carried him on my shoulders for a 5km walk to the doctor. There was absolutely nothing I wouldn’t do for his wellbeing. But in retrospect I do remember not always being in the moment WITH him. I remember being irritated because he wanted to do A, I wanted to do B and I couldn’t figure out a way to reason with him. In retrospect I know I was like this a lot of the time because I allowed work to consume me, and I didn’t want to have to “work” as hard when I got home. I used to work in the broadcast industry: insane, long hours with work that did not necessarily stop when you left the office. Zoey was still asleep when I had to leave the house every morning at about 3AM and was already pretty sleepy by the time I got home at around 7PM (you are not reading these work hours incorrectly — this was my reality). I would try to make up for it on weekends by showering him with gifts, etc — buying him off — but kids are not idiots. Which is why for the first four years of Zoey’s life, I knew that in his hierarchy of needs: I came in third after his mom and nanny. Sound familiar guys? Let me tell you: it’s not something you should accept as being “wajar”. And if you do, then you’re just lazy and having a child is probably more of a social status symbol to you than anything else.

Kids see right through you. If you want their respect, you have to earn it, just like anybody else. You have to earn it by BEING with them: physically, emotionally, as much as you possibly can. I changed careers when Zoey was about 4 years old. Work hours became more stable, I could “switch off” more when I got home. I was there to help him with homework. Play Monopoly with him and his mom. Play Playstation games that allow for two simultaneous players. Help explain that mom’s belly would  soon  get bigger and he would be a big brother in a few months. I helped him get excited about being a brother and “third parent”. After his baby brother was born last year and mom needed some time to rest, me and Zoey had a boy’s day out at Dufan: he chose the rides, laughed hysterically, ate like a horse, and fell asleep with his head on my lap on the ride home. At this point Zoey had also become more bilingual, more inquisitive, more conversational and I would always try to speak to him with the same courtesy and reason I would accord to an adult. “Because I said so” doesn’t exist in my vocabulary with him.

There was a time when Zoey would literally used to say “I don’t love you Pa” and I would not know if he was joking or not. Either way it would hurt like hell because I know how affectionate he is with his mom. Nowadays though, before he would go to sleep at night, he’d hug his mom and say “I love you Ma” — and then turn to hug me and say “I love you Pa”.

Randy Salim

17 Comments

  1. mama kinar
    mama kinar January 27, 2010 at 8:28 am

    sedih dan terharu deh baca ini. aku penggemar setia randy salim lho waktu masih jadi news anchor di metro tv. anaknya lucu2 sekali. salam kenal untuk mbak mia.

  2. Kenny
    Kenny Wiani January 27, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Funny and heartbreaking at the same time :) – very well written.
    I can say the same thing happened to my husband, when our first born was arrived in this world, a dad in him doesn’t automatically being born too
    so happy and grateful that I can say he is now a father that earn and entitled for every kiss our son gave him. rawk on dad :))

  3. Kenny
    Kenny Wiani January 27, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Funny and heartbreaking at the same time :) – very well written.
    I can say the same thing happened to my husband, when our first born was arrived in this world, a dad in him doesn’t automatically being born too
    so happy and grateful that I can say he is now a father that earn and entitled for every kiss our son gave him. rawk on dad :))

  4. muti
    muti January 27, 2010 at 9:32 am

    bener kata kenny… funny & heartbreaking at the same time. pas baca i don’t love you, pa. huhuhu sediiih banget.

    tks randy salim, jadi belajar banyak dari artikel ini. zoey is such a handsome boy.

  5. January 27, 2010 at 9:36 am

    yes, beautifully written, indeed… thanks Randy. tulisannya menyentuh dan moving banget… pas semalem gue baca, gue langsung kasih liat suami, dan planning untuk kasih liat orang2 lain, juga… bukan hanya dads.

  6. sLesTa
    shinta lestari January 27, 2010 at 9:51 am

    see, i wasn’t the only one who commented that your piece bikin mata gue berkaca2 bacanya, Ran! very well written, dude..

    thanks for sharing! i’m sure it opens a lot of dad’s eyes :)

  7. yoga
    Harityas Wiyoga January 27, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Hi Randy! Delicious writing!
    You struck me with the line “…earn it by BEING with them: physically, emotionally…”. Being physically emang ga cukup, anak-anak punya indera yang super canggih, yang tahu kalo ortunya ga emotionally present. And that reminds me, BIG TIME :D

  8. MammaMia
    Mia Kartina Salim January 27, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Aaah… my papa bear! You deserve all the compliments. I’m proud of who you’ve become. You’ve grown so much in the last two years. I’m glad to be your muse for the story.

    Salam kenal buat semua!

  9. ninit
    ninit yunita January 27, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    tulisannya bagus sekali… terharu pas baca :’)

  10. yudhis
    yudhis January 27, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    wuih mantab tulisannya!

  11. djemima
    Jemima Iskandar January 27, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Heartbreaking is right! *fwd this to the husband xD

  12. myson
    myson February 1, 2010 at 1:53 am

    will show it to my hubby!

  13. dhira rahman
    dhira rahman February 1, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    tag this as favourite!
    fwd to my husb..

    mungkin suami saya perlu tamparan macam ini dulu supaya bisa membagi dirinya lebih baik :)

  14. randysalim
    randysalim February 2, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    hi guys: i’m very humbled by all your comments — thank you! hope all your husbands don’t hate me for this :p

  15. ralphtampubolon
    ralphtampubolon March 10, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    I just so happen to be the writer’s successor at MetroTV, pretty much taking over what he left off. Now I’m married, but no kids yet. Does this mean I should start looking for another job once my wife gets pregnant? AAAAAAAARRRGGHHHHH the dilemma ;) PS great writing dude, keep it up

  16. Ressy T. Salim
    Ressy T. Salim March 10, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Well done, ‘De ! :)

  17. erlina damayanti
    erlina damayanti September 12, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Beautifully written..
    Your wife ‘s so proud of you, and I ‘m sure Zoey has the same feeling

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