A literary meme inspired by MercerMachine and his post that started it all (trackbacks can be seen via Tomorrow.sg).
I am the baby who was placed in front of the gate of his parents' three-room HDB flat so that the neighbours' kids walking by along the corridor could play with him while his mother juggled teaching and being a new mother.
I am the toddler who spent many days playing in his maternal grandparents' retail store in North Bridge Road and enjoying the grass at Katong Park.
I am the kid who took the school bus to Primary 1 without his parents, because they had to work, and wondering why the other kids were crying when their parents were there.
I am the boy who spent many happy weekends waking up to knocks at the window at 6am to play badminton, One Leg, and Dua Bei Long ("big balloon") with his friends, the neighbourhood children, at the playground downstairs.
I am the boy who came back from the school field every recess, every PE, and after school, with muddy shoes and sweaty shirt, after a game of soccer.
I am the boy who cannot do that anymore, because the playground and the school field have become multi-storey carparks.
I am the brother who fought with you all the time when we were kids.
I am the brother who got beaten for not getting full marks at school, and who got you beaten by mom too, because you happened to be in her line of sight.
I am the brother who is different from you, and yet the same as you in so many ways.
I am the son who cried beneath the living room table, when he saw you two fight and did not know why.
I am the son who made you cry for not choosing the path you wanted for me.
I am the son who now knows how hard it is to be a parent and how much a parent is willing to do for his children.
I am the boyfriend who called you every night from camp after booking in, to talk with you for hours, lining up for the pay phone or calling from the company line and risking the wrath of the Duty Officer.
I am the boyfriend who stayed as late at your place as he possibly could, and ran after the very last Number 8 bus, so that he could take the very last Number 51, so that he did not have to take a cab or pay the midnight surcharge.
I am the boyfriend you chose to be your partner for life.
I am the husband who lost the two teddy bears used to decorate our wedding car.
I am the husband who woke up at 3am one night, after you told him it was time, and rushed you down to the hospital with his dad.
I am the husband who almost lost you when you could not stop bleeding after giving birth to our firstborn.
I am the father who did not understand why his firstborn daughter did not call him papa, or play with other children, or look him in the eye, but who knows she loves him anyway, from behind the wall that covers her mind but not her heart.
I am the father who sees himself in his son's laughter and eyes, a child born of faith.
I am the father who awaits his third child, a girl, to arrive, and who knows he is going to fall in love at first sight for the third time.
I am that man. I am that boy. I am that child.