This period/season

June 7, 2018

Is killing me. Softly. But also sometimes loudly, as the young master shrieks his displeasure or discomfort.

Is a pain. My neck cramps as I hold him half-asleep, 5 a.m. in the morning, nodding off as he suckles and my arms locked in position. things will probably all but confirmedly get worse during sleep training in two weeks. I am not looking forward to it. At all.

Is inconvenient. I’ve stopped netball, manicures; just hoping my eyebrows don’t grow legs and crawl off my face. Esther proposed a tranquil tea session when she’s back; I said it sounds good and it does, but inwardly I think, how do I find the time, and will the child allow me?

Frustrating. Why. Won’t. This. Child. Eat. (as much as I want him to, and on command?). I’m just setting myself up for defeat, both now and in the years to come.

Fatigué. I’m pretty sure I’m tired.

And with the way the cookie crumples, crumbles, trembles, without scruples, unscrumptiously, the way life is, I’m fairly certain that in the years to come, I’ll think this period was snap fingers easy compared to the toil and ache of the next. It’d be nice if the whole ‘but the rewards make everything worth it’ clicked, quickly.


April 16, 2018

Fifty months and a day ago, we said yes and I do. Last night, at fifty months, you said you were happy we did everything together. And we did, from Perth to France and in between; loneliness and fulfilment, faith and hope.

Now we have a little man who considers us important, a little person who can’t sit up by himself and is still figuring out how to flip to his front, to stretch out his arms, grasp toys and rattle with his little fingers. Who sings along only to amazing grace.

We played citadels for the first time in 4 months and a day, last night; the last time had been while I was in labour, trying to be distracted from the pain. It was a close game; I thought I’d won till I lost, much to my disappointment. I like playing with you cuz I have your attention then.

I also like seeing you with Ezra, his smile and yours. We’ll get a toy for him at first opportunity and I won’t block you. Let’s go to a toy shop.

Tomorrow it’ll be fifty months and two days, and after, fifty months and three. Let’s take a life of risks and show our children faith in Jesus.

Love you.

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
—Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

March 30, 2018

It’s raining; it seems to me that every year it rains on Good Friday, and shines Easter Sunday.

It falls onto the window panes, along the stretch from the master bedroom to the living room, where my son is overdue for a nap not happening any time soon; right onto the river-turned-reservoir-turned-canal, whose waters are green whether clear or crowded. What am i trying to master.

That day was the challenge of the Kingdom’s King against all other kingdoms, big and small, systemic and personal. The day is done, the victory won, does it make any difference how today is passed?

The floor is swept, the laundry folded, kitchen packed, bathrooms cleaned, study organised. This is good, really good. I don’t like things in disarray.

I sit and watch the traffic lights change, green, red man, flashing arrow, moving cars. I hope it rains all day exactly like this. A red umbrella walks below me; a bicycle; a woman step by step; a jogging or catching the bus man; no one; nothing; cars; a bus; rain; rain; rain. 8 and a half minutes to the end of the pump. My baby still cries, I can hear him.

The apartment units around me display little differences. A man putting out kindergarten uniforms, carefully, two rags dropped off separate ledges, artificial turf on floors, a family growing a lovely climbing feature. A ledge and two cushions; I remember a neighbour’s clever study space. Empty houses mean infinite potential.

I want Good Friday to mean something, that meaning expressed out loud. My father taught me that it was the most important event in the Christian calender after i asked him for permission to fly overseas and play frisbee.

Jesus was the most alone, more than the boy in the bubble, because he was abandoned. I don’t want to abandon, I want to remember. Today feels so sad.

March 9, 2018

In a few days, baby’ll be 3 months. A few days ago, I made the twelve week mark.

The journey of exclusive pumping is the hardest I’ve done; more than running a marathon, than completing my pregnancy, than giving birth (thanks to epidural). Perhaps the only thing harder was three years of semi- long distance marriage while newlywed, but that’s like comparing rambutans to mangoes. Twelve weeks of pumping around the clock, clogged ducts and fever, tears and rage.


But I want to remember last night.

I was going to do the night shift, so wanted to catch some sleep before the Middle of the night pump+feed. Baby wasn’t cooperating with the plan because we’d put him to bed too late and he was overtired. I was in turn frustrated because if I didn’t sleep now, I’d end up with 4 or so hours come morning. John carried him out of the room, and I knocked out.

At 1 a.m., I woke up. Baby wasn’t in his cot; I figured John was carrying him while working on his laptop. Walked to the hall, and-

Saw baby sleeping upright on the beanbag, head tilted ninety degrees to the left, John sleeping on the sofa. My two men roughing it out so I could have the rest I so craved.

I’ve come this far only because I’ve been supported, and lovingly cherished. Don’t know how this ends, but I’m grateful already- for the partnership, the joint effort, and mutual sacrifice.


February 11, 2018

Day eleven has turned to day fifty eight; my household decreases by one after this night turns to afternoon, trois heurs après-midi. My son is fifty eight days old; nothing and forever, all at once.

I wrote on her 红包 that her absence will be felt; I also wanted to ask her to be better to future grandmothers but left it unsaid; I hope it will be remembered in any case.

I’m waiting for ten minutes to pass for another pump cycle before I wait for sleep; I do not like my newer, (slightly) bigger breasts; I think well-endowedness is an impediment. I get the grouchiest at night; I do not know what my newnormal will be tomorrow, trois heurs après-midi.

In my mind is a party in which one old friend is delightfully received, but a glimpsed other is longed for. Driving home at night with orange streetlights for company and Spotify playing in the background. A welcomed heartache.

The after 3p.m. plan- feed him (hopefully the timing works), dump bedsheets and laundry and towels into the machine, pump. If the child is docile it will work.

Perhaps I should begin at 230. Oh, but 3 would work better. Life.

I have a friend who’s writing down memories of sadness, to analyse them with her pastor and later work on her relationship with her mother. I have stuff to work on with my mother too. Will I face the same unpleasant process one day?

I want to still recognise myself.


February 7, 2018