The last 3 months were a busy period for the Cho family.

In June, we battled with HFMD in da’house.

In July, I went back to work after 3 months of maternity leave and almost immediately went on hospitalisation leave, due to a freaky encounter with rhadomyolysis.

In August, it was Claire’s turn to be warded, for croup.

September, thankfully, has been pretty kind to us. A little respite for the busyness was what I needed so that I could put in a long overdue entry here on bubsicles.

I was going to write about weaning. Claire turned 5 months old on 10 September. She had been on a diet of breast milk and formula till then, and both she and I were keen to start introducing semi-solids to the menu.

BUT. Every time I sat myself down at the laptop to blog, something else would inevitably crop up: a toddler would rouse from her nap; a baby would need to be fed; a work email would come in; a bill would need to be paid; insurance policies would need to be read and medical claims, filed; new letters would arrive in the post, begging to be opened; baby bags would need to be packed in preparation for the outing later that afternoon. As for the upcoming vacation to Paris and London next month – I had barely planned for it beyond booking our flights many moons in advance *cue PANIC*

Last Sunday afternoon, after putting both girls down for their nap; after I re-stocked their drawers with fresh laundry for the new week; and after taking a much-needed shower, I sat myself down at my laptop, hoping to strike some items off my burgeoning To Do list and perhaps, complete a blog entry on weaning.

As I was frantically shuffling through pages of insurance policies and hospital bills, while simultaneously surfing a gamut of travel websites, a post on Facebook caught my eye.

Outside, the rain poured down furiously as the sky unleashed a thunderstorm upon us. As I read this mother’s story of courage and strength, I cried inside for the couple and their babies. The first, a stillborn. The second, a two-day old for whom his parents had to make the painful decision of pulling his life support.  The third, a rainbow child who is the light of their life.

My heart ached for her. Her losses. Her hopes. Her dreams. Her fear. Her joy.

My arms ached to hold my own babies close to me. Warm. Breathing. Alive.

Suddenly, the urgency of crossing items of my To Do list melted away. The unopened mail could wait. The messages on Whatsapp could go unreplied. The insurance claims – let the hospital settle that. The vacation – why was I even planning time away from my children? (I am fully aware that I will probably regret typing that last sentence after I emerge from my emo mood and revert to my stressed-out mother persona.) As for the blog entry on weaning, sorry, but that could wait too.

Seen in a new light, all these ‘important’ things suddenly seemed so trivial and the rush to complete them – almost meaningless. The list of tasks is never-ending. But my babies won’t be babies for much longer. My children won’t be around forever.

I shut my laptop and walked into my bedroom, where Claire was sleeping peacefully on the bed, her stocky little chest rising and falling to the rhythm of the afternoon rain. I lay down gently beside my baby, careful not to rouse her from her sweet slumber, and held her close to me, breathing in her mild baby scent.

I said a silent prayer for my blessings and fell asleep alongside my tiny daughter…

(… until I was awakened all too soon by the shrill yell from an impatient toddler, announcing that she was done with naptime and wanted to be taken out of the sarong. And so ended our peaceful rainy Sunday afternoon. Ah well. It was good while it lasted.)

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