There are some things that sounds nice in concept, but less so in execution.
A nice picnic in Singapore is wishful thinking or lucky coincidence at best. In all probability, it is very unlikely.
So when Z’s pre-school organised a family day picnic and PL accepted for the family, I was prepared for the worst. Or at least hell on earth. Or hell’s weather.
When PL sent me to Decathlon to get a picnic mat, I also bought a “pop-up” shelter. This is a self-deploying “tent” with 3 sides, that provides instant shelter in about 2 seconds (see image).
I woke up. Z was watching me. She seemed a little disappointed. Then she dropped back onto her bed.
Perhaps she was hoping it was a horrible nightmare and that when she awoke, mommy would be back in bed beside her.
But the figure asleep beside her looked like “Daddy” and was daddy. Not Mommy.
So she fell back onto the bed.
Perhaps, despondently. Or was it my imagination?
She repeated for an uncounted number of times.
Each time, I told her that mommy was out of the country on a overseas business trip for a few days. And would be back on Friday.
This was Day 1/Night 1 of her 4 day absence.
At the airport, Z was stoic. She waved her good-byes and watch her mother disappear into the labyrinth that is the airport’s secured area.
In the cab on the way to childcare/pre-school, she was quiet. Some mornings she would chatter at her mother. Some mornings were spent in morose silence. On the way to the airport she was chatty, if I recall.
So this was… unusual.
The naked little girl ran into my room, yelling, “Daddy! Daddy! I pee-ed into the potty! Come and see! Quickly!”
The exclamations were obvious in her urgent proclamation.
I followed the naked little girl out and she proudly showed me the little pee in the potty.
I clapped. I had to. I bowed to the sheer pressure of this august moment, this milestone in my daughter’s life.
Bravo, my little Zo-zo.
Four years is not a long time.
But the last four has seemed like a lifetime… I might say.
If I were doing stand-up on the trials and tribulations of married life. And fatherhood.
Actually, the last two and a half years had been a lifetime. Z’s lifetime, so far.
I find myself living for Z.
I believe PL does too.
We did not set out to have kids (or a kid, rather) when we got married. Well, *I* did not set out to start a family. Maybe PL did. She can be quite conniving. 🙂
But we did not rule it out. We were not against the idea of having children. We were simply aware that age and statistics were not with us. So we did not plan or hope.
But God, the universe, Fate, karma, whatever, decided to bless/curse us.
So Z came along.
And changed everything.
And life had meaning, purpose, and an element of unpredictability.
[14 July 2017 Update: I started writing this in Feb 2013, before we got married, but never published this, and then forgot about it, until my last post “Carry On”. Then I thought, didn’t I write something along this line before? Then I realised I never published it. Probably out of superstition that it is not good form to talk about death and widowhood before we even got married. But yes, I have thought about it. After all, it is in the Catholic marriage vows – “til death do us part”. Which I usually follow up with the quip: “so no divorce. Only murder.”]
If I have any fear, any worry it is that I would leave PL alone. I am 9 years older, and men have a shorter life expectancy.
PL would be alone (well, I hope she finds someone else but considering how long it took us to get together, I am not hopeful) perhaps for a good 2 decades.
I realise how selfish it is for me to marry someone younger and perhaps risk leaving her to cope with life by herself.