The Love of My Life

When we get to a certain age, we forget the feeling of falling in love. The state where we find ourselves feeling happy with an effortless thought of someone or perhaps, something. A bad one lasts a couple of days, such as falling in love with your new mobile phone. A good one lasts quite awhile. I am having one of these.

For 6 months, I grin foolishly, sometimes embarrassingly when discovered by colleagues or random strangers, in my own private moments whenever I thought of the laughing Buddha currently residing in my house.

I'm not taking things for granted. Good times will end as all parents warned. Before long she'll invoke other feelings out of me. Anger, frustration, sadness. Like I said before, humans are created to have senses and feelings. A mindless pursue of happiness is silly. It is the same idea as eating only sweets because they taste sweet. I have gone through a period of life where I was numbed to the demands of life that I thought I went through that few years without much feelings. It was almost as I lost the instinct to think or feel to the mundane routine. Albany makes me feel alive again. Her enthusiasm in life is contagious. She makes me feel life is great again because she innocently believes so. She makes me start learning, opening up to strangers and ... smile and realising life is fun even when I feel down-and-out at times when nothing was moving. Albany is a spiritual morphine.

I recalled a few friends talking about having a baby and money. I even commented on it in one of the older posts. I have a new perspective. We spent so much time working for money. So that we can use money to buy happiness. But we are reluctant to spend money on having a baby, something of our own, unique to the rest. Something that will love us in return if we genuinely care for them enough.

Our friends talked about the non-guarantee that our children will grow up to be filial, smart, earn lotsa money and take care of their aged parents in the future. But we buy electronics stuff with a 1 year warranty. We go on holidays, many times without travel insurance. We get married without signing pre-nuptial contracts. We spend 5 years of savings on an university education with no promise of landing that $8000 a month job. We have faith in many decisions in life and took greater risk but we don't trust our own flesh and blood to bring much more to our lives than our HDB flats, fancy renovation and household products, branded bags and clothing, boutique food and oversea tours.

Having said that, it is pointless having a baby but having no time to spend with her. If we know we are unwilling to sacrifice the career climb for our children, it defeats the whole purpose of it all. Perhaps my friends are right. That is rational choice to make. Different strokes for different folks.


  1. Another reason to move even if you have 2 million dollars???

    Albany's really looking cute and chubby. she has cheeks for pinching!! hahah...

  2. Now that you have taken the 1st step out of your comfort zone - time to consider the next step...

    A baby brother or sister for Albany...

  3. What a cute laughing buddha :)

  4. "A critical period in language development occurs between 8 months and 10 months, when babies begin to focus on the sounds of a particular language and lose the ability to hear subtle sounds of other languages. That’s when Japanese babies lose the ability to hear the difference between “ra” and “la,” sounds not used in the Japanese language." -

    Also some said, angmos who when very young were exposed to Mandarin can tell the difference between the Mandarin words for "seven" and "west", others can't ...

  5. Now my sons have grown up I miss the times when everything I saw could be enjoyed with my children. Everything can be a wonder when you have an enquiring little mind to share it with, whether it is a bird, a truck, rain or doughnuts. Such happy times that make you glad to be alive in the wondrous world :)

    1. Older people say I'm still young in my 40s.
      But I only feel younger than even my teenage years, when I'm with children.

      They make me foolish again, and I like the feeling, because they see the world around them in so many ways that I've forgotten, since my own childhood.
      They humble me, because I learn again how little I actually know of the world, just trying to adjust to what their eyes and ears take in, and how they say it; and I like the feeling!

      From feeling foolish and humbled comes hope renewed, that the world is not stuck the way it has become, that with every new generation, we have yet another chance to make things better, not fossilised and shackled by the old ways.

      So it must have felt since centuries past, as the young ushered in science; as they began the modern era; as the world became more connected…

  6. Yes. Cute little laughing Buddha ! So chubby lah!

  7. Hi, I'm not a baby-hating person but I have my dissenting thoughts with the following statements:

    "Something that will love us in return if we genuinely care for them enough."

    Actually it's not really fair to say so - if that is true, then it means that the adults who grew to be behave heinously to their parents was because their parents didn't love them enough. Sure, I can accept generalisations, but in this case, I don't particularly think how someone turns out was the credit or fault of their parents. There is some influence yes, but the innate personality I tend to believe is largely a matter of nature.

    "We have faith in many decisions in life and took greater risk but we don't trust our own flesh and blood to bring much more to our lives than our HDB flats, fancy renovation and household products, branded bags and clothing, boutique food and oversea tours."

    I can see the logic with this, but with marriage, we are choosing our own partners. With products, education etc, we are setting expectations with reasonable information. When we buy an electronic, by and large we expect it to work. Once in a while, we get a dud, sure. With education, we know it functions like a passport. It doesn't certify one is a great citizen (or worker) but without the cert, it is difficult to even get a foot in the door. But with babies, we know we are getting a baby, but we have no idea who they are. I think that is the risk or gamble if you may, that people come to find difficult to accept as the opportunity costs rise.

    For a couple who isn't earning much and for a couple who is very wealthy, the opportunity costs of having a child is very low. For the poor couple, it even be said to improve their chances of a better life in case the kid turns out to do well.

    For the average couple who might just be able to save for retirement without a child, having a child means sacrificing their retirement. Thus the fear, I feel. The thinking is, I give up almost everything now and would probably have very little in old age, in the hope that my child is able to provide for me. You can even say that in the first place we shouldn't have kids to expect them to provide for us, which I would totally agree. In which case, it doesn't even make sense for the average couple to have a child.

    1. If not for the strict upbringing towards self-reliance and personal discipline when I was young, by my single-parent mother, then what my maternal grandfather darkly foretold of my life might have come true, that I would go over to the dark side and be a deviously evil person.

      So for me, how my mother raised me transformed my innate nature more positively, for even today, I can still feel that terrible monster in me, now sufficiently caged and a useful citizen.
      It was only years later when I met my wife that I learnt even better, "Don't hate."

      Humanity in its narrow-mindedness sees babies and children like products with the need for quality control and warranty.

      Nature in its versatility does not give a damn about selfish humans worrying about their own petty survival: in the grand scheme of things, sexual reproduction and genetically combined offspring bring so much more variation, and therefore insurance, to the continued optimal survival of LIFE, and not just one species.

      So it's also good for those who see no point in having children.
      Within one generation of refusing to breed, they cancel themselves out of existence, and eliminate the legacy of their heredity to the future.

      Leaving behind those who want to have children to pass on their genes instead.

      That is perhaps nature's way of extracting one last noble sacrifice, for those unable to see beyond their own lives.
      Like over-evolved T-Rex and humongous plant-eating dinosaurs, who were VERY successful in life, but of course, not after extinction.

  8. Also, with marriage and products, there is always divorce and refund/replacement. Even without a refund, the cost is seldom as large as that of raising a child, neither is the emotional attachment the same.

    For a child, strictly no refunds/replacement if the kid turns out to be a uzi-welding mass murderer.

    1. Marriage is costly, divorce even more so.
      The lifelong emotional toll of divorce, including on personal health, can only be waived if one is an unfeeling machine which just needs to replace its software with the latest upgrades.

      For a product, also strictly no refunds if it malfunctions and blows up in one's face — since one is no longer alive to claim such.
      No differently from dying under Uzi sub-machine gun fire, what's the meaning of a refund after one dies from consuming a lethally contaminated drink?

  9. Hi -asingaporeanson-,

    A parent who pays attention to his/her own child can understand that magical feeling, especially that first moment, when your life expands from having been all about just 'me, me, me', to becoming about 'us'.

    The world looks differently from a 'purely me' perspective.
    One's personal agenda becomes smaller than the team play from now on.
    From this develops the determination to give your life for a greater whole you might not have imagined even existed.
    I suspect this can affect men even more strongly than women, who somehow intuitively knew it all along.