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A Full Saturday

I have a new nephew, all of one month old! We celebrated his full moon on Saturday where all the relatives from the in-laws’ side attended. I’ve forgotten how it felt like to hold a tiny baby, how amusingly yet touchingly small their feet, hands, fingers and toes are. The smell of baby fine hair aroused long-forgotten feelings of joy of being a new mother. I look at my two almost-grown kids and can’t help but feel the feeling of joy being evoked. I keep telling my single or married but childless friends that they won’t know the feeling of being a parent and why we are willing to sacrifice so much for them until they have their own. The overwhelming wave of emotions is indescribable. There are no words on earth that could put those feelings into words. I am convinced about that. Even as a writer, I can’t adequately put the emotions down on paper….well, not in words that would do the emotions justice. The kids were majorly overjoyed with the new addition and I have a feeling this new addition is going to be the King the next generation being so well-loved by everyone. Six immediate cousins from this side of the family and countless relatives all waiting to coo over him. I know my kids are so concerned about the new baby that they were literally pounding me into submission about having a new baby – but no-lah, no way am I having another child. I can’t imagine having to go through the whole thing all over again. As joyful as it is to have kids, it’s a lot of hard work raising them and I am very sure I am never going to subject myself to all of that again…not when I’ve got my career and life together in one piece and moving in the general right direction. The in-laws were beyond the moon during the dinner. For the first time ever since I married into this family, I saw my mother-in-law YAM SENG with people all around the table. It’s common to see her husband and her sons do it very enthusiastically but for her? It was like WOW!!! Doubtlessly, she’s happy beyond words! And she topped everything else by actually singing a song with the karaoke system! Wah-lieu-eh!!!! Ha ha ha ha ha!!! Believe me, I wasn’t the only one who was surprised by her!! But it’s good to see her so happy, she deserves to be this happy! And father-in-law was obviously over the moon as well and got tipsy. But then so did half of the relatives who attended. Come to think of it, the kids were in the same state, running all around with each other and breaking all those Styrofoam letters that the staff had clipped up on the backdrop of the stage into little-little pieces and throwing them into the air. As with gatherings like this, the moment they see a karaoke system up, the first thing they do is to come up to me and say, “Ah! You cannot escape. Tonight you must perform ah. Must sing ah!” Honestly, I felt a bit awkward about it and initially refused and said, “Don’t want lah, let others sing lah” and I pointed to the other good singer which is my father-in-law, telling him to advance on him instead. I would rather sit back and just eat my food and enjoy my shark’s fin soup. Some relatives would walk in, spot me and start pointing to their kids, “Nah, nah, that one lah, aiyo, she can really sing” and I would flick my hand at them and asking them to ‘sssshhhhhh!!’. Believe it or not, it feels a bit like being a goldfish in a tank but I don’t blame them or anything lah. They were being really nice and appreciative, that’s all but it felt strange. Last week, we had a wedding dinner and they came up and asked me to sing as well but LUCKILY there was no karaoke system there! :-) So, during the full moon dinner, cannot escape because my in-laws were literally “Sing lah, go sing!” How to object to so many people? I don’t know, it just felt weird….maybe I no longer have the confidence. Maybe it’s because I’ve not been singing publicly for some time. Maybe it’s because they have such high expectations of me. Maybe it’s because I have high expectations of myself. While they would have cheered and clapped anyway even if I went out of tune, it’s NOT ALRIGHT with ME if I went out tune, that’s the problem! When you sing professionally, it’s work and I have not learned how to shake the feeling of ‘singing is work’ yet. I should sing more at functions like this so that I can fully enjoy singing again.


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