Yesterday, one of my besties abruptly announced her plans to start a family. I was surprised, as she has always been anti-children like I was.
Turns out, it was because her husband wanted them.
I was pretty shaken for the rest of the day. And honestly, worried for her.
Isn’t the topic of children something people discuss before marriage? Or is it just me thinking too far ahead? Considering that it’s such a crucial topic that can make or break a relationship.
I personally prefer full disclosure right from the start; I brought this up as early as at 3 months (my anti-children sentiment is so strong I’d get sterilized right now if given the opportunity). As for my poor health, I talked about it from day 0.
I didn’t want to put my autoimmune disease into the picture because I started hating kids as early as when I was 12.
Although I must say, my health pretty much cemented the decision.
I was robbed of the bulk of my twenties by numerous health battles, leaving so many unfulfiled dreams and desires; Places to go, things I want to do or achieve. Presently, I already have very limited energy so everything has to move at a slow pace. And the fear of my health further deteriorating during the next 10-15 years is very real.
I’m just really really grateful for a partner who shares the same hopes and dreams as me, and accepts me the way I am.
People say I don’t need to justify such decisions to anyone except my partner, but fact remains that we live in a world where people don’t know how to mind their own business and mindlessly pile on the pressure.
But yeah, I’m just really worried now because one of my biggest fears – misalignment leading to having to make crucial life-changing “choices”, possibly against your own will – is happening to my best friend.
The only thing I could do was to mask my worries under a feeble “can you travel with me before you pop, please?”
While roaming around my neighbourhood (and playing Pokémon GO) this evening, I passed a brightly-lit bungalow.
I took a cursory peek in and saw a large family gathered in the living room, talking and laughing.
My mind flashed back to many years ago where we (me and my extended family*) would gather in an aunt’s house and a similar scene will unfold. In fact, this happened pretty often back then.
(*Extended family – my mum has 8 siblings, so the full extended family is huge. But our particular close “group” comprised my mum and her two sisters plus their spouses, grandma and my closest cousin D.)
I still recall distinctly a particular year when D and I roamed his neighbourhood at the stroke of midnight, yelling “Happy New Year!” at every single house we passed, after an evening of extended-family festivities at his house.
I saw us at my aunt’s former house at Jalan Novea Selatan, where my aunt would prepare baked chicken and mushroom soup for dinner, followed by an evening of conversations over mahjong (for the older generation), or television/Playstation/badminton for D and I.
Another evening at the same aunt’s house flashed through my mind, when her family rescued a bunch of 4 kittens stuck under her bathtub (until today, it’s a mystery how they got there). And D and I spent the entire evening bottle-feeding and playing with these little furries.
I even blogged about all these back then. I still see them in my archives, although they are only private to me now.
Time has passed and we hardly gather anymore as we have new priorities. Although I still remain close to the same people, mentally but not physically.
I let my mind continue wandering to the past while I strolled around, Pokémon GO still running on my phone. Then, I snapped back to reality and continued catching Shuppets, Duskulls and Pikachus with Halloween hats.