Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Moving on

In the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I’ve been feeling sentimental. I want to take time and fully appreciate my pre-baby life. I want to soak up every moment, smell every flower, catch every ray of sunshine.

I linger over everything, savouring every moment. I’m still working fulltime and will probably do so up till I deliver. I still drive despite Richard telling me I shouldn’t. I still wash my car by hand myself so that I can give it some TLC. I don’t rush through hugs and kisses. I hold hands. I let the cat curl up in my lap for as long as he wants to. I go for long walks with the dog. I refuse help to hurry things along. I walk slowly. I talk slowly. I take deep relaxed breaths.

I want to be grateful for how we sleep in on weekends, stay out late, watch a movie on a whim and the movie after that if we want to, drive to Malacca just because we are bored, fly to Bangkok and Hong Kong for weekend shopping, eat fast food everyday until we get sick of French fries, bundle the dog into the car for a quick walk by the beach, leave the household chores undone, etc, etc.

The happier I feel about the change that is coming, the more I feel the need to give thanks for my pre-baby life. I want to make sure that I don’t give the impression that I’m unhappy with my life or that I’m glad to be rid of it or that I’m ungrateful, because that’s not how I feel at all. I have had a fantastic pre-baby life. Couldn’t have asked for more. It deserves more than a “So long and thanks for all the fish!” kind of goodbye.

But now I realise that I’ve been approaching it from the wrong end. I shouldn’t be feeling guilty about the fact that, throughout my pregnancy I've been focusing on the joy and the happiness coming my way, instead of mourning what I might have to give up.

Because moving on doesn’t have to mean that I’m unhappy about where I'm moving from. Moving on doesn’t have to mean that I’m shaking off unwanted dirt from my coat. Goodbye doesn’t have to mean good riddance. I'm moving on precisely because I've enjoyed every minute. Moving on is me walking further down that yellow brick road, it’s part of life and growing up. After all, how can you welcome new experiences into your life if you don’t make space for them?

There’s so much waiting “on the other side” - baby chuckles, little baby booties, first steps, visits from the tooth fairy, little arms holding on tight, cries of “Mummy!”, nursery rhymes, first day of school, first date, family traditions, birthdays and Father’s Day, a third Christmas stocking, hiding eggs at Easter, dressing up at Halloween, grandparents at Chinese New Year, making pancakes for three, learning to cycle … all that happiness is just waiting to be welcomed in.

Besides, my pre-baby life is not going to disappear just because things are going to be different. I have no doubt that the things I love will remain. I’m still going to be a wife and a sister and a friend and a co-worker. I’m still going to be interested in books, in movies, in art, in the world around me. There are still going to be kisses good morning and good night. I’m still going to ruffle my dog’s coat and I’m still going to get my cat purring. My life is what it is, not because of who else is in it, but because I am in it.

So goodbye, pre-baby life. It’s been a great ride.

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