Aidan, Friends

The picnic that wasn’t

If you have been reading my blog long enough, you’d remember the fiasco that was our wedding.

Okay, to call it a “fiasco” is not to give it enough credit. It was a beautiful night and we did have loads of fun. But it certainly did not go the way it was supposed to.

We were meant to have a beach wedding but we got rained out 30 minutes before the ceremony started. It was, to put it crudely, a OMGWTFBBQ moment.

(Sidenote: I have a slight suspicion that the Universe NO. LIKEY. US. I mean, we planned for a beach wedding and got rained out. We planned to have children and were made to jump through crazy hoops for, like, two years. I was all geared for a natural birth and ended up on the operating theatre, being gutted like a fish. If I am living in a Taiwanese drama serial, I would be staggering at a beach, shaking my fists at the sky and shouting, “Why, God, why?” In the meantime, the rain would be pouring around me and then I’d get struck by lightning. Yup.)

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A few days before our little man’s birthday party with our friends, miss ene asked if we had any friends who wouldn’t be comfortable with having her dog Moon around their kids. Why would they? I asked. None of my dear friends are that sort of people. We don’t worry about pre-school enrollment years ahead of time, we don’t bother with flash cards. No, not my friends.

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So for Aidan’s first birthday, we decided to have a picnic. I didn’t want to have an elaborate party with magicians and whatnots. I just wanted to have a small and simple gathering of those who love us and, in turn, love our boy.

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We made pinwheels. And packed pretty wooden cutlery sets from Sucre Shop. And bought glass bottles with cheery yellow covers. And ordered yellow chevron straws to go with the bottles. And made little packs of snacks, crayons and bubble mixture for the kids. And fluffed out our lovely picnic mat in preparation.

The day started off beautifully enough. It was hot, so hot that we joked about getting a tan. I checked and rechecked the NEA website, which assured me that the southern part of Singapore would stay dry in the afternoon. I said a little prayer of thanks.

Then as we started our drive to Botanic Gardens, the dark clouds loomed low and threatening. Friends started sending us text messages, updating us of the weather conditions of their locations. My heart sank.

By the time we reached Botanic Gardens, it was absolutely pissing with rain. There was to be no picnicking at all.

In the end, we sought refuge at Food for Thought. Thankfully, miss ene was there to help us organise and arrange for tables. We were frazzled and completely exhausted from running around, ensuring that everyone had a seat and was comfortable.

And then, it hit me. As our friends and their littles gathered around the table singing Aidan the birthday song, I realised that he is very loved and so are we. And that it didn’t matter how we celebrated. It was who we celebrated with that mattered.

None of our friends complained about the rain on that day, just as they did not complain about the rain four and a half years ago. And just like on our wedding day, they brushed aside our apologies and told us not to be silly.

They came, despite the torrential rain, and celebrated our little man’s birthday with us.

And that’s what was important.

(You’d think we would have learnt that lesson four and a half years ago but nooooo…)