Another year in this pandemic, another year of closely watching you grow. The world was slowly healing and we were given a chance to spend more time outside with friends and family.

I remember us finally visiting Batangas and spending time with grandma and family because things were relatively safer and we all have gotten our vaccines against the virus. It was spent with so much giggles, excitement, happiness, and sweat. Playing day in day out as if nothing else mattered. I remember visiting mamala and lolo Pol and letting them hug you and play with you.

I remember you entering Kindergarten and how it made you so happy despite the setup being online. It was your second year of distant learning and yet you managed to keep a happy disposition. I remember you being so excited to learn and “chat” with your classmates. I remember how you developed love for learning without being forced.

I remember the stories you wrote, the illustrations you drew, the imaginary world you built. I remember you coming up with ideas in an instant. I remember being so proud with how well you can put your thoughts into words.

I remember how your reading skills has improved and how you can finish an 84-page chapter book in just two hours. I remember going to thrift bookstores multiple times just to get you plenty of books that won’t hurt our wallets. I remember you being okay with not buying anything from the toy store because we don’t want to spend too much.

I remember us going back and forth to our future home because it took a long time to finish. I remember us dreaming on how our days will be once we move to the south. I remember us finally getting a car and how happy we were on road trips regardless of distance. I remember you having a hard time sleeping because of excitement for the the next day’s stroll.

I remember taking you to different places and how your eyes widen on every stop. I remember you being behaved and comfortable in your car seat as I earn my way back to the passenger seat. I remember playing your favorite songs and we didn’t have a choice but to sing along. I remember our travel to Boracay and Baguio and how it made us feel a little normalcy again.

I remember our first family camping trip. I remember so clearly how much nature made you happy and how Summer’s company has made everything the best. I remember going to another camping one after the other; one with your BFF Riley and another one with BFF Summer. I remember swimming in the river and sea even when the sun is too high and we didn’t care at all. I remember you never minding how uncomfortable sleeping in a tent was because you spent the day with so much fun.

I remember how dogs and cats made you so happy that you wished to have one.

I remember you finishing Kindergarten with flying colors. More than your awards, it’s really how much you enjoyed school and the company of your classmates and teachers. Thank you Golden Values School. I remember how elated we were when you finally had a face to face play date in school. I remember you being sad about leaving GVS but at the same time excited for big school.

I remember meeting friends more often and how it made you feel super delighted to play. I remember us going to the playground almost everyday so you can have at least an hour of socialization. I remember making time for my exercise as I watch you run around.

I remember you finally stopped breastfeeding because I ran out of milk. It was bittersweet but we were both ready for it. I was glad we lasted five years and a half.

I remember going back to work albeit freelance and homebased; I was happy but then there’s no job security so when client paused, I had to pause too. I remember stressing about getting another job so I can make money again. I remember turning down job opportunities because it required me to physically go to the office. I remember feeling so down for not being able to contribute more. I remember thanking God because your daddy can afford to give us what we need and want. I remember crying and thinking what could have possibly happened if I did not put my career on hold. I remember you hugging me and thanking me for not leaving you and for not letting another person take care of you. I remember, what a privilege it is to look after you 24/7.

I maybe confused and overwhelmed with all sorts of feelings but one thing is for sure, whatever happens, we will always choose you. I am sure this blog can make us remember how the year has passed but I do hope you will forever keep in mind how loved and cherished you are. You are God’s best gift to mommy and daddy, Monica. We love you so much.

Happy birthday, our shining star.