When asked what we do during Chinese New Year, I often begin the lengthy recount of our culture and tradition with a reunion dinner that happens during our Chinese New Year Eve period. Family members get together in a dinning table (or a dinning hall depending how big one’s family is) to celebrate and to catch up, especially with the elders of the family. How often do we get to meet our relatives?
A lot more often when we have a baby in the family.
Ever since my little niece Bethany landed on Earth, I see her mother – my sister – almost daily. And her daddy – my good buddy – too. Not only that, my mother has also decided to travel from Hong Kong and stay with Cynthia and I because of little Bethany. She is a little magnet that pull this small family together. I cannot remember when was the last time we have a reunion dinner together. It would be nice if my dad could travel to Singapore too. Perhaps when Bethany is old enough, we shall travel Hong Kong and celebrate our reunion in our birth town.
I often think that babies are sound polluting machines. Little Bethany seems calm and well-mannered when she is in my home, or in my car. Most of the time, she sleeps like a baby. She is a baby! This is her second long visit to where I live. And I have to admit, the more often I see her, the deeper bonding I am developing with her. Imagine parents who see and handle their babies every minute of their waking hours. That bonding must be strong. It is something that is hard to explain, best to experience.
Observing things that we do with Bethany, I ponder upon the necessity of daily routine act of affection with your loved ones. Something that we may have overlooked, something that may have been overwritten by other daily routines. As I was holding little Bethany in my arms, the first time after she was born, I could not help but to think …
… I reckon if she was to camp to my home for a few days, I could still play computer games while she is sleeping in my embrace. Her daddy Benny doesn’t seem to be convinced. I should do a live demo the next time they visit us.