G is for grown up fears

I have grown up fears and grown up fears are real, they eat at you in those quiet moments before wakefulness hits and make you wake up half in tears and exhausted, worse than before you went to bed in the first place. Grown up fears are worse when you’re in charge of the lives of little people who depend on you for everything, including nutrition of the heart and the mind.

Grown up fears feel cold to the stomach and causes hair standing ripples down your skin. I hate this feeling, and cower under the covers, hoping that sleep somehow takes over.


D is for Dong Chiang!

I’ve always been more or less ambivalent about Chinese New Year. I don’t mind the dongdongchiang music, I love meeting the rest of the family that we only get to see once a year, and the general bustle of the season! I even love the mandatory spring cleaning. Growing up, it was all about the new clothes, the secrets whispered with my cousins at the park, the school holidays! One memorable one where my Father would not speak to me, but that’s a story for another time. What I don’t enjoy really, was being peppered with questions: Boyfriend? Married? Babies? More babies?

How hypocritical of me.. I found myself asking the same questions, and listening intently for answers when others ask it of my cousins. Maybe not so directly, but I found myself asking the same questions in different words last year. It broke my heart when a Friend whispered that they had a miscarriage over Christmas but she wasn’t ready to talk about it. It broke me, in many ways because I realised how I, for no reason, except looking for a conversation starter, dragged this poor couple through an experience they were trying to deal with.

So this year, I resolve to not ask. It’s not that I’m not interested. I just think it’s not a loving gesture to put on pressure for those not ready, in relationship status or if they are dealing with something that really should be a private affair.

: x

T is for tragic

Today, I had a conversation about tragic love. Where it’s too painful to stay together, it’s too painful to part – then where does that leave you, besides broken hearted and shredded?

We wondered if maybe we were meant to have that one tragic love story. The one with no ending because it wasn’t meant to be; because all the stars in the universe colluded and said NO, resoundingly; because it wasn’t a ; anymore, it was a .

We’re just the sum of our experiences, the Essence of our memories woven together. Maybe we were meant to go through this. Maybe we don’t always get whole again, but we get stronger.

T is for true.

2017 didn’t go the way I had planned. This year wrung me out, a little too sharply, a little too dry — I wonder if the metaphorical (and literal) wrinkles would ever smoothen out.

The best thing this year has to be having G. People always ask “what’s G like?” And I always reply “ah, he is an angel baby.” He is sweet and smiley, plays by himself and quietly watches what is going on around him. He is unfazed by sudden noises and unafraid of his boisterous and overenthusiastic Sister. Everything about him is lovely – I am biased.

E has grown significantly this year: she chatters and sings, plays the bongo, (toy) trumpet, (toy) keyboard, put up her first ballet recital (and actually did the full dance!), and started school. She still hasn’t figured out how to ride the skate scooter, or the balance bike – but we’ll get there soon enough! This kid is the embodiment of the best of me and D – sometimes I marvel with warm tears welling up behind my eyes at what an amazing creature we birthed!

The rest of 2017 however, has been some kind of huge trial – vexatious, anxiety-inducing, and grating to the soul. Work-wise, relationships-wise, life-wise. 2017 took, with its claws, my beautiful Bronco. Ah, that one hurt.

I trust God places trials in our path, so that in our darkness, we learn to trust in his unwavering light at the end of the tunnel. That God will sustain us.

So I plod on. I’m tired, but I plod on. Because I know all this needed to happen – and I am meant to learn something more about me, D, my family, my team, my friends. Those that stayed, those that helped, those that hauled me along those month-ends and kept me going. Grateful.

Done, 2017. Done.

C is for Confinement

On this, the last day of my “confinement”, I celebrate how much happier I am this time around, that I had a “modern confinement”. I started walking around my hospital room on the 2nd day after the c-Sec, and took my first meeting 8 days after G. It started off with short meetings, then I started going to check on things at the shop for a few hours. And boom, here I am, a month later: feeling happier and healthier and better than ever before.

In the last month, we’ve done many things!

We bought our first company van:

And bidded successfully for a new office space:

..and started a new contract for services while winding down the old 9 year contract. Such bittersweet but I’m so excited about moving forward too.

I eat well, and normally, mostly clean (but I cheat, I admit)

And a lot of yummy homecooked food, thanks to my inlaws who invested so much time to come over to help with meals.

I had so much support this month! See, my amazing support group:

God is good- he gives us what we can handle. And I am so thankful for supportive family who let me take the lead with my own recovery. That they gave me the freedom to do what I needed (to keep sane), and showered me with love (and fresh good food – from my in laws). 

Grateful for all the slack everyone cut me since I am not at 100%, and feeling so sated with the both bubs sleeping peacefully. 

C is for carry

I love how E is taking well to being a big Sister. Mostly she is protective of G, often adding to the noise when G is crying to loudly Inform us (In case we can’t hear him) that “(her) baby Brother is crying!” 

E is struggling to share her things – toys at the playground, food and sweets that she enjoys, and  her things at home when guests come. While part of me doesn’t advocate her sharing with strangers, cos we adults don’t either (we don’t offer our “toys” to strangers we meet at the bus stop, so how can I expect her to?) but her reluctance to share even with friends is starting to bother me– so we are working on it.

But with G, she seems alright to share, in bite sized chunks. We started with asking her to share her Swaddles. As a background, E loves her Aden + Anais bamboo swaddles. And sleeps with at least two of them. She always has one wherever she goes, kept safely in her bag. We got  G his own set, but sometimes in a pinch, we use E’s — and while she voices her displeasure, she hasn’t quite snatched it back from G. Phew. 

So tonight G was fussing and I thought to try him in the ringsling — who cares that it’s pink? I like pink. — and when E saw it she immediately said “my sling!”  So I asked if i could carry G in it for a bit — and surprisingly she said ok! 

Then at bedtime, she came up to me rather hesitatingly, and asked if I could carry her in the sling. D of course steps in to offer to sling her (but he doesn’t use the ring sling) and she very gingerly explained she wanted to be carried in the pink one and wanted mummy to carry her. I had completely stopped carrying her from my second trimester with G cos we had a bleeding episode. So this request to be carried by me came as a surprise. 

So I did (but was mainly sitting down, after I put her in)– cos G was born via C-sect and I’m still sensitive– and oh what a song it was in my heart. How much I’ve missed carrying this child, almost a little too big for ringslings — but it delighted me to accede her request.


L is for loversĀ 

The word “lovers” always gave me the heebiejeebies – a salacious, lewd associating with clandestine, immoral entanglements. But as I got older (and maybe more emotionally stable) and as I understood love as it was meant to be (ref: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8), then this word suddenly became such a clear honey- hued safe word. To cherish and to hold— how comforting, this deep seated warmth that spreads from your navel to your ears.
“Lovers” is no longer an image of naked writhing bodies atop shrewn sheets (although, and I cannot lie, This is a wonderful image too – not lascivious, but fulfilling) but of D holding my hand through the c-sect with G, or his Whisper behind my ear when I was straining in labour with E, of Long walks we’ve taken with unknown destinations, or the many hours we have spent staring out at sea. 

Especially these crazy days with E battling her night terrors or vivid dreams, and G waking up every H-O-U-R, we forget we are to be loving each other first, above all else, before all else. It’s easy to be swarmed with love for the children, we forget we have to work at love with our spouse. 

Before we were “Daddy” and “Mummy”, we were “Mister” and “Missus”. Before we were “Mister” and “Misses”, we were “Boyfriend” and “Girlfriend”. Before we were “Boyfriend” and “Girlfriend” we were “friends”. 

In between doctor’s visits (for us, not the kids), we stole time off to go for a nice breakfast: this is as close to our anniversary meal as we got, and I’m glad we went for it, despite the intense morning we both had (waking up at 5!) 

This was way too early for both of us, but we wanted to remember we were more than just “daddy” and “mummy” and that first and foremost we are lovers, and friends.

It was nice to just sit and chat (nothing about toddlers or infants) and remember that. To share a laugh, to talk about our work and our plans, and to tease about my incredibly child-like palate.