The words you say now all make sense; you express what you feel, you say what you want. What a feisty yet sweet little girl you are turning to be.
I remember your first day in school as an official student, not “saling-pusa” anymore. I was nervous but you were confident – happy and excited. Never a trace of separation anxiety.
I remember celebrating your 3rd birthday in school which you vividly remember till this day – the Jollibee chickenjoy, the Red Ribbon cake with traffic signs as toppers, the birthday song from your classmates.
I remember feeling a bit frustrated because you never liked doodling, coloring, or even touching your pencil. I remember feeling a bit jealous about other kids your age because they color oh so fine. But I remember stopping myself from feeling the pressure and instead wait for you to be ready. I remember you writing on your own a month after your 3rd birthday. And you did it without any help at all. I remember that day so well; you held your pencil and paper and wrote the word CHEESE — just copying what you saw from a chips wrapper.
I remember feeling so ecstatic because you finally learned how to write. And since that day, you were unstoppable. You hated tracing letters and numbers but were always game to write freestyle.
I remember the first time you read sight words. You were 3 years and 2 months old. I purposely did not mind it because I know kids tend to memorize fast especially words they are familiar with. But deep inside, I remember feeling so proud. I remember you finally reading for real at 3 years and 6 months — from simple sentences to long paragraphs. I remember you reading 5 books a night and you just won’t stop. I remember getting a lot of questions from others on how we taught you how to read and all I could say was “we just let her.”
I remember all the school activities we attended. You became more confident in front of many people. You were not scared to dance and sing. You were not a very assertive child but you know how to express how you feel and what you want. I remember you being friendly to almost anyone you played with. I remember you being sensitive when someone is happy or sad.
I remember taking you out to a lot of Mommy and Monica dates. We would eat out, play around, window shop, try on clothes, ride Grab or jeepney together. You and I were always together. I remember going to the coffee shop with you; I will finish my article and you will color and play on your own. I remember bringing you to palengke or supermarket and you will just smile ‘to people we’ve come across with. I remember taking you to events, you would just behave and let mommy “work” while you play.
I remember having a much longer time for myself whenever I go out because I can already leave you with daddy without you making a fuss. I remember you being okay not to breastfeed for a max of 6 hours and just play with daddy the whole time.
I remember how our family would always go to the mall, but this time, no more stroller or carrier for you. I remember you walking in the mall like a big girl already. I remember bringing you to toy stores and allowing you to play but not buying everything you want. And I remember you being okay with that. I remember bringing you to the cinema. I remember the Frozen fever. I remember family dates, either just us three, or with another family.
I remember this year, we have successfully eliminated the use of gadget after almost a year of being a slave to it. It was not a good influence at all so we decided to cut it out completely and the result was amazing. You’ve never thrown a tantrum, your focus improved, and your imagination was superb.
I remember so many accomplishments and milestones this year and so are the kulit and away moments. You’re still a child and sometimes you test my patience so bad. But I remember you saying you love me as if I never shouted at you. You would still embrace me even after getting into a fight with you.
I remember having so many plans for the summer and your 4th birthday but the pandemic happened. The great outdoors suddenly became a threat to people especially to kids like you. I remember feeling bad about this but we had no choice but follow. We maximized what we have inside our small home. Every corner was utilized just so you not feel left out. Thankfully, you understood what’s going on but my heart still aches because we want you to have fun outside. All of a sudden, we’re forced to stay home and not meet our families and friends. It was hard for adults, more so for kids. I felt like you were robbed of your childhood but you thrived. You never whined, you never complained. You went with the flow. That’s how you maintained your glow.
I remember this year when I thought it was all just about read and write, but with the things that happened, you proved that you’re more than just that. And in just a snap, we will be entering Year Five.