15th April 2010 , Posted by Yi Lin
Ours was a whirlwind romance.
Met on 12 February 2004.
Became an item on 20 April (20.04.2004 – the day Nicoll Highway collapsed)
Got engaged in July (can’t remember the date he proposed)
Married on 12 February 2005.
All in a year’s work.
In comparison, for many of our couple friends who willingly subject themselves to weeks of arduous marriage preparation classes, marriage seems like a well planned and carefully thought through decision. One couple we know did quizzes to find out their personal ‘love language’ — their chosen form of perceiving and expressing love for each other. When made to resolve a hypothetical conflict between his mother and his future wife, the guy drew up a flowchart to help with the decision-making process (he’s an engineer. Surprise, surprise.)
Another couple volunteered to baby-sit young charges at their church for weeks on end to test out their parental instincts. They not only survived. They are actually looking forward to starting a family together once they get married.
We, on the other hand, just dived straight into marriage. I don’t remember ever having a proper pre-marriage discussion about children apart from cheeky jibes from Dan about the sky-high probability of all our kids inheriting my unmistakable Tan Family nose…
The first person to ask about our plans to start a family was my dad — on the night that we told my parents about our engagement. Dan maintains that it was a loaded question and subtle way to find out if we were rushing into marriage for the wrong reasons… I, on the hand, was blissfully unaware of the hidden agenda behind the question!
Simply put — we never had a plan. We knew we would have children someday and often made references to the number of kids we would have (he wants two, I want anything from three to five… I think), whether they would be boys or girls, which of us they would probably resemble, even which schools they would attend (a mix-sexed primary school, then SCGS for the girls, Catholic High for the boys.) When we bought a flat, we set aside a spare room for “the future baby”. We were young, we were fit but we were perfectly happy without any kids. We had a thousand and one reasons not to have any yet.
E.g. Kids are expensive. We weren’t earning high incomes. (I had just quit my first job as a lawyer then and had taken a huge pay cut to explore a career in the travel industry.)
E.g. Living life as a couple was absolutely sweeeeet! No crying children = no worries, no frustration, no dirty nappies and best of all, no responsibility. Awesome.
Everything was fine and dandy.
Until my friend produced one of the cutest bubs ever. And the next thing I knew, I wanted my own. And there we go — I had a plan! I wanted one NOW. So now what?
(to be continued)