Its 10.45pm, the weather is perfect and the night sky is absolutely gorgeous. We’ve just had chinese take-out for dinner. I pick up my fortune cookie and read what it says; “Make a wish on the next star for good luck the next day”. I smile and gather the kids, get a pair of binoculars and the telescope. The kids are excited. It’s always fun to go star-gazing. Its past their bed time, but I’m feeling a little relaxed tonight, so i guess 10 mins or more of gazing at the stars wouldn’t do much harm. We head outside and start watching the beautiful night sky as the stars twinkle with so much breathtaking radiance. Suddenly we spot a shooting star and i ask my 5-year-old to quickly make a wish. He’s ecstatic and quickly says; “I wish we had loads and loads of money”. I smiled at him and asked; “why would you wish for that baby?”, he replies with; “well if we had loads and loads of money, you wouldn’t have to work all the time and you would spend time having lots of fun with me. Suddenly i realized, my baby is all grown and I’m not sure how i missed it all. He was right. I wasn’t spending as much time as i wanted to with my babies. they were all growing so fast and as much as i want to be with them, I’m not always with them, even when I’m with them, I’m never really completely with them, cos my mind is constantly focused on some project I’m working on.
Somehow I had become a workaholic, and i don’t remember how it all started, but i still remember the simpler days. The days when i had nothing but i was content and happy. I was in love and my boyfriend and i had just moved into the big city with nothing but big dreams. We had nothing but an air bed at home to lay our heads on when we got home. We had no furnitures, no stove, cooking utensils or carpet on our floor. Just disposable paper plates for food and an air bed to sleep at night. We would lay up almost all night having a laugh about the state of our lives. Then he would kiss me and promise “It won’t always be this way, i promise”. i would smile and reply: “I know baby”.
That was 7 years ago. But it feels like it was 50 years ago. We now made all the money we stayed up all night dreaming about. Successful careers we wanted so bad back then. This was what we wanted right? i mean surely that was the plan. But it’s now 11.30pm on a sunday night and my once romantic boyfriend now husband is out and i have no idea where he is.
My thoughts are quickly interrupted by my second child asking for help with the toothpaste to brush her teeth. It was time for their nightly routine. All three of my kids line up in the bathroom, toothbrush in hand, pajamas on and ready to brush their teeth. When they’re done, they all come up to me, smile and ask; “Is it clean mummy?”. My usual reply would be; “hmmm, lets take a look… hmmm, looks good to me”. They would all smile, while i escorted them to their bedroom. Then tuck them in and read a bed-time story. We would say a prayer and each one of them would give and receive a goodnight kiss and cuddle. Somehow i longed for their nightly routine. It’s weird how that’s the only bonding time i seem to have with them these days.
As soon as the kids were sweetly snuggled in bed and fast asleep, i headed back to my work computer, but this time it was hard to stay focused. I kept hearing my son’s voice in my head. “Maybe if you had loads and loads of money, you would spend more time with us mummy”. I looked at my desk, there was so much to do, i had just gotten a promotion 2 weeks ago, and i do love my job but i’m definitely not a workaholic. At least i’m sure i’m not. So what’s happening? i thought to myself. I shrugged the feeling of pain and loneliness that was now starting to build up and tried to get some work done, but all i could think of was; how my life was now so different.
It’s now 12.50am and I’d manage to get a few projects partially completed. I hear the door knob turn. My husband is back, so i walk over to the living room and greet him with “hey baby”. “Hey” he replies. “Want some dinner?” i ask. “Nah thanks I’m good” he replies. I can tell he’s not in the mood to chat as he walks into his bedroom and closes the door behind him. Once again, that feeling of loneliness and pain starts to well up. I’m at the brink of tears and I’m not sure why. So i go after him into his bedroom (yes we have separate bedrooms like two old couples). I sit on the bed beside him and ask; “Do you remember the days when we would sit up all night and laugh?” he replies with: “yep! why?” “Nothing. Just wondered if we can go back to those days again” i say. “well we can’t go back, cos we both have, work kids and responsibilities to deal with, so if you don’t mind, i’ll like to sleep now, thank you” he mutters with a half sleepy voice. I give him a kiss on the forehead and say “goodnight baby”.
I fight the tears and tell myself its ok. It could be worse. it’s just another day with a perfect stranger that was once my lover..