From a baby who blabbers to a little girl who aspires to write and illustrate books because that’s what she has imagined herself to be. This and more in Monica’s Year Five.
I remember when Monica was a newborn, I told myself I will breastfeed her for as long as she wants. Fast forward to today, she still breastfeeds and weaning is nowhere in sight. I remember asking her when she will stop and she would answer “on my birthday” only to extend until the next one.
I remember this year when Monica stayed home and did not have the chance to play with many kids. She lost the time to spend with family and friends. I remember her starting and ending the day in our little home because the threat of the pandemic is there. I remember us trying every activity possible just so she can get thru the day. I remember boredom paving way for your imagination to be limitless.
I remember you enjoying online school despite the challenges left and right. I remember you learning how to be patient and wait for your turn to sing or dance. I remember you cherishing your classmates and T. Lex because they mean so much.
I remember how happy you were with video calls and chat messages with family. It made you so excited knowing you can share your stories with them or play stickers and games on Messenger.
I remember us getting into plants; we would water them together, you will sing and talk to them. I remember setting up a very small inflatable pool in the balcony just so you will enjoy despite not being able to swim in the beach.
I remember when the condo admin finally allowed kids in the amenities area – it made you really happy. I remember going down to get some vitamin D — for you to run around and for mommy and daddy to exercise. I remember how this made us gain new family and new bubble. I remember you screaming, running, playing, and getting all sweaty with Kuya Jax and Riley. I remember the three of you being Super Speed, Speed Bubble, and Speed Weed and how you easily understood each other.
I remember when you bravely tried to “dive” in the pool; how you managed to swim on your own and overcame your fear of deep waters. I remember how it made you feel confident. I remember you composing a song based on the things I always tell you: “Don’t be scared, be brave. Don’t panic, it’s okay.”
I remember you looking for your books the moment you opened your eyes. I remember telling you I was never like that. I remember being honest to you when I don’t know a lot of things. I remember directing you to your daddy because he knows more than I do. And that’s okay with you.
I remember how your face lit up every time we give you a new book. I remember all the stories you wrote, but I remember more of how happy it made you feel. Your eyes sparkle with every word you formed and every idea you thought of. I remember making a blog site for you so you can make more stories you can easily go back to. I remember tons of stories made in a pad paper, with illustrations and dialogues.
I remember when you were crying and I asked you to stop. You said “mommy let me cry first because my heart is still sad.” I remember the very first time you got mad at me. You didn’t want to hug me right away because you want to calm down first. You said you still love me but you just didn’t feel like hugging me. I remember shouting at you many many times because you wouldn’t go to bed early. Only for me to shower you with hugs and kisses in the middle of your sleep.
I remember you reasoning out and standing your ground. I remember you being fearless of trying new things out but would scream frantically when you see insects flying around. I remember you being hard headed at times that it annoys us so much. I remember you finally eating on your own, and eating everything at that. But it does not mean it’s always stress-free because you eat soooooo slowly.
I remember you asking for “hug break” whenever your daddy is working. I remember you looking forward to Saturdays because that’s when you and daddy watch a movie. I remember your daddy reading a story every night even though he’s busy. I remember you hugging and kissing me 1000x a day because you want to show me you love me. I remember you asking me to play Scrabble, Pick-up Sticks, Whisper Whisper, Rock Paper Scissors, and Mommy-Monica game with you. I remember reading bible stories and devotions with you on most nights.
I remember when we finally decided to get a house so you can have more space to play. I remember telling you that you’ll have your own room and we’ll build book shelves for you.
I remember getting my time back — I remember taking 1-2 hours so I can workout and you understood why. I remember feeling good about myself but sometimes doubt if I am contributing just right.
I remember this year to be challenging but this pandemic proved that the three of us can live harmoniously (most of the time) in our small unit 24/7. I remember how our family has thrived to adjust and just accept reality as it is without getting bitter. I remember us looking forward to better days ahead.
I can try to remember many things for the past years but on your 5th birthday tomorrow, June 24, I want YOU to remember how life was for us through mommy’s words in this blog. I want you to always remember that you are loved. We love you so much, anak. May you continue to shine and spread your light. Happy birthday to our bright little star.