On your first birthday

Dearest Joya,

You are now 1 year old. That means we have been together for 366 days. That’s 366 days worth of happiness you have given me, your dad, and your Ate.

I always tell you I love you. I tell it to you every chance I get. I hope you grow up knowing that the essence of my being is all about loving you and your Ate and your dad. I never thought I would say this to anyone but you, my baby, complete me. The happiness you have brought to my life is beyond anything words can express. Seeing you and your Ate together brings peace to to my heart – peace that I did not know before you came into my life.

The past year has been an adventure for you and me and your Ate and Daddy. I remember waking you up in the hospital because you needed to drink more milk. You kept on sleeping, anak! Hahaha! I did not know what to do because you did not want to wake up to eat. I was begging you and I kept turning you over and over so you will eat. But now you keep on eating and eating and eating! Hahaha! You love your fruits and your veggies and your cookies and you even ask for more when you finish what yaya gives you. You’re adorable!

When you were a little baby, you were always with mommy. You liked resting your head on my chest. You slept so soundly amidst all noises as long as you were ensconced in your sling, listening to my heartbeat.

When you were a little older, I let your yaya take care of you because I needed to focus on your Ate but I was confident that the bond we shared will not be broken. EVERY TIME I put you in my bosom, I am in awe at the sense of connectedness I feel with you. When you get older and you read this, you would probably laugh at how exaggerated you would think I am. After all, milk was just your food, it wasn’t something extraordinary for you. 🙂 But it meant so much for me knowing that I was able to nurture you the best I could.

You are such a happy, happy baby. Your smile lights up your whole face. You love being tickled so much you look up so we can kiss your neck. You would get that expectant look on your face and then once tickled, you would laugh your heart out. I remember once I asked you “How big is Joya?” You raised your arm high and I kissed and tickled your armpit! You laughed so hard. Then I asked you again, you raised your arms again, and I tickled you again! After that you refused to put your arms up anymore while laughing so hard. Haha! You learned so fast. I will forever not get tired of hearing the music of your laughter.

I can feel how much you love us – especially your Ate Jia. Your first word being “Ate” speaks volumes about how much you care for her. And Ate loves you so, so much, baby. She protects you and puts your needs first before her own. When you get to read this, I do not know what kind of relationship you two will have but I pray that you will still know the love and the connection you have now.

From the time I first knew I was carrying you up to this day, I thank God that He has trusted me with you. You are so precious. I pray that you never know life’s hardships and yet learn how to be strong. I pray that you discover your own person and learn how to be independent. I pray that you and your ate will forever share your special bond. Most of all, I pray that you grow up happy and content and at peace with your life.

I love you, Joya. Life without you is unimaginable.

Always, always,

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  1. Lynn ni Geofd says

    That letter was just wow Clarice. I hope one day I’ll be able to write down what I feel for our own children (pero siyemore bago yun kelangan magka-anak muna, hehe.)

    Happy birthday Joya. Thank you for being good and staying put and sharing your mom with us. I hope someday you’ll get to know how super your mom is. And if ever you find a day in your life wondering why God made your mom so OC (I’m sure someday she’ll tell you to keep your socks in the socks drawer and your undies in the undies drawer), know that it’s that trait of hers that has helped so many achieve their lifelong dreams of memorable beginnings and happily ever afters 😉

    Oh and i wish your mom would post videos of that hysterical laughter she’s talking about, i’d love to see and hear that 🙂

  2. Cleo says

    Belated happy first birthday Joya! Ang bilis, 1 year old ka na. 🙂
    Hope to see you and Ate Jia on Dec/Jan, playdate with Bree. 🙂