By Michelle Ng
My husband and I went out for dinner with our 9-month old over Chinese New Year. Just our small family.
The restaurant was full. The tables around us had not been served, and so we knew that the wait would be long. No issue, we thought, as baby takes a long time to finish his meal anyway.
We found a seat and settled in, took out baby’s food and started feeding him. It took a long time for the waiter to take our order. By the time they came around, a Lion Dance percussions group had set up just beside our table. The lead percussionist advised that we take baby to the further end of the restaurant as it will be loud. My husband took him while I looked after the table.
The Lion Dance took about 20 minutes in total. Baby and husband came back after. The food hadn’t arrived though. We’re about an hour in by now.
Baby took a few mouthfuls of food, but started getting fussy. Very fussy. Would not sit down kind of fussy. By this time, the food had arrived. Oh boy. Perfect timing. There was only one solution to this, which is for us to take turns eating. And so we did.
Husband had half a meal while I brought baby around the restaurant, and then I did while he took care of baby. We brought him to look at the live crabs, lanterns, people, and spiders on the wall. We kept taking turns until we finished our meal.
By this time the whole restaurant noticed what we were doing. The husband got up, went to the cashier to pay.
Cashier to husband: “Oh that table for two. Wah, your meal looked tiring!”
“Yes it was”
“Had to carry your baby the whole time”
“It may be difficult now, but there will come a time when he wouldn’t want to be carried anymore.”
That hit home.
And so we learnt – to treasure even the difficult times, for even these are momentary; and even in difficulty, there are still moments worth appreciating. You cannot recover that moment once it has passed.
Exhausted after the two hour meal – we left the restaurant with smiles across our faces.
Thank you, Mr Cashier, for putting things into perspective. May this serve as a reminder to us all.