This evening, I was so excited to find an e-mail from Peter, one of my closest Chinese friends. I expected to hear something about his work life, or perhaps his wife. But instead, I read this:
“We have some happy news to share with you. My wife just had a baby boy on February 15, 7 jin 3 liang. The mother is fine.”
Of course I was happy for him too, and I couldn’t wait to tell my Chinese husband about it. But then it hit me. Peter had only been married to his wife for about a year. And within that year, he and his wife had already turned double happiness into triple happiness. Fast.
Somehow, I couldn’t help but think of my mother-in-law’s talk after our own wedding ceremony, and how she told me to “have children sooner.” Did Peter’s mom give his wife the talk? Did the wife’s parents say it? Or did both of them have the “must have child sooner” pressure looming in their minds, from the moment they said “I do?” Is it the equivalent of checking something off a normal couple to-do list?
If it is, then I still have “homework” hanging over my head. I’ve been married for years, and still have no child to show for it. I’ve been slow to get in the baby race for a lot of reasons. Which is why I marvel at Peter, and his ability to jump right in.
Still, when it comes to the race to have that one critical child, Peter can’t beat my husband’s Chinese friend, Herbert. Herbert’s wife showed up to their wedding ceremony in October 2005 decked out in the ultimate bridal accessory — a baby bump. Maybe she figured the best way to get ahead of the baby game (and perhaps even sidestep that mother-in-law talk altogether) is to start well before the wedding. 😉
Have you ever been surprised by how fast your Chinese friends have had babies? Or did you waste no time in having your own children?