Letter to Joya on his first day of school

Dear Joya,

Last year, I was so uneasy when I realized that you would have to go to school in June. You were just a baby… MY baby… and the thought of sending you to school just did not sit well with me. Months passed and without me doing anything extraordinary, you just bloomed. All of a sudden you were talking incessantly. You became more assertive, asserting your right as a member of our family (Read: You bossed your Ate around! Buti na lang anak you have a very understanding Ate.). Your hunger to learn became more evident. When I enrolled you for next school year, I was not as nervous as I thought I would be but still I had my reservations.

When I told you that you were going to go to school for three days for trial class, I saw how excited you were. Your eyes sparkled every time we would talk about going to class and you even asked me to practice several times. “Practice” meant I was going to ask you the usual questions like what your name is, how old you are, etc., and you would answer. We even practiced how you would shake the hand of your teacher and say “Good afternoon.” Every time I reminded you that you were going to school, you answered me, “Yes. Joya will not shout. Joya will not cry.”

The night before your class, I talked to you and Ate seriously about what is going to happen. Afterwards, you came up to my tummy and whispered, “Baby, Joya will go to school tomorrow. I will be classmates with Ate Jia.” I was sooo touched that you were including Baby in your journey. Kuyang kuya ka na. *sniffles*

[Read more…]

On your 2nd birthday

Dear Joya,

I know it is such a cliche but whenever I look at you, I realize that time really flies so, so fast! I cannot believe you are already two years old! Two years old! Hindi ka na baby, anak ko! 🙁

Ang laki mo na! You have grown so tall! Everybody says you will grow up tall like your Dad. I really hope so. You are my macho man! 🙂

The other day, your Dad was scolding me because he said that I do not teach you enough. I realized that it is true that I do not teach you enough. And I realized that it’s because all I do is hug and kiss you and tell you I love you! And the sweet baby that you are, you indulge your Mommy by kissing me back and hugging me. 🙂 I love you, baby. 🙂

You learned to walk this year. At first you were hesitant but you were sure-footed right from the start. Now you can run so fast, my heart stops when I see you running because I am so afraid you would lose your balance. Thankfully, you rarely do. Now, you can climb up the stairs by yourself without holding the rails nor the steps. Hay, don’t grow up so fast, anak.

Last week, we were in the bedroom and Daddy jokingly slapped me. You saw it and instantaneously cried. You crawled to me and hugged me. You thought that Daddy was hurting me and you came to me to comfort and be comforted. Daddy was amazed at how much you love me. You did not even want to accept Daddy’s explanation and apologies. You sure showed Daddy who’s the boss! 🙂

Mommy has a confession to make. When you were about 16 months old, we were playing in the living room when I remembered that I had to turn off the stove. You were playing with the car keys and I left you for a minute to go to the kitchen. When I returned, I could not see you anywhere. I looked for you behind the couch and under the shelves while I was calling your name. It was a small living room and I could not find you anywhere! Then I heard the jingling of the keys in the second floor. I ran up the stairs and there you were, two steps from the landing! My heart must have stopped when I saw you. I thank your guardian angel for keeping you safe. I am so sorry, anak, for leaving you. I promise it will not happen again.

Even though you don’t say it, I know you love me and your Ate and your Daddy. We can all feel your love. You like to be cuddled and to be sandwich-kissed (something that Daddy invented). When you wake up in the morning, you look around and ask for the person who is not there. I think though that your Ate is your favorite as you would always try to wake her up until I tell you not to. Oh yeah, instead of saying I love you, what you always say is “I… you!” and then you laugh! That’s your little joke!

Your favorite song to sing is Happy birthday. Your favorite animal is the “doggie” but you like roaring like a lion the most. Your favorite color is orange (I don’t know why). Airplanes and cars are your absolute favorite things and swimming is your favorite sport. Oh, and no one can contest that your favorite word is MILK!!! Hahaha! You love Mommy’s milk soooo much.

Let us go back to that swimming thing… Joya, you do not have a fear of the water! It has gone so bad that I do not want to swim with you alone. 🙂 You like jumping in the water with no regard for your safety! In the few times that I had to scoop you out, you would be laughing while coughing! You are simply adorable, my brave little boy!

When we go to bed at night, I hum Brahm’s Lullaby to you. If I forget to pat your side, you would get my hands so I will remember. If I forget to hum, you would hum for yourself. 🙂

Hay anak, I can go on forever talking about you and telling you how loved you are.

I love you, Joya. I love you so much. When Mommy was much younger, I read about love so deep and so powerful that it echoes from one’s being. Having you made me understand what that means. My love for you and your Ate makes me strong and humble and happy and just grateful that I was blessed with you.

Your Daddy and I always talk about you and your Ate and how we can provide you with a good life. We talk all the time about how we wish you would be when you grow up. We have so many dreams for you. I pray that you and your Ate grow up to be good people with kind hearts. I want you to be happy, Anak, as happy as you are now whenever you see an airplane or a train or a dog. And I promise that I will guide you all the way so you can have that happiness always in your heart.

Always,
Mommy

Letter to Jia on her first day of school

Dear Jia,

It’s your first day of school tomorrow. And as excited as I am that you are starting school, a part of me wishes that  you are not so we can be together all day long. Yes, Mommy is selfish. Haha! I always am when it comes to you and Joya, you know. 🙂

I love you, Jia.

I look at you now and I see you, not as a pre-schooler about to embark on her greatest adventure, but still as a baby, my baby. How can you be old enough to go to school when it seems that only yesterday I was changing your diapers and I was pumping my milk so hard to nourish you? Hay anak! Ang bilis mo naman lumaki.

I just finished your school bag. It’s my surprise for you and I really, really hope you will like it. I cannot wait to give it to you and hopefully see wonder in your face.

I pray that you will like school and that you will have many friends. I know you will do good for you are one strong and smart girl. Plus with your charming personality, how can anyone not like you? 🙂

But still I worry. I worry about mean classmates, about playground bullies, about difficult lessons. I worry that you might get hurt. I worry that you will find three hours too long. I worry that you might not understand what the teacher is saying and you will feel inadequate. I worry that a classmate will not be nice to you. I worry about so many things.

I want to shield you from life’s bitter realities. I want you to just be at my side so I am sure that you are always always safe. But I also know that you have to learn some things on your own and that the best I can do is to watch you while you explore the world.

Lately, whenever you and me and Daddy talk, I marvel at how mature you have become. You can carry conversations and discuss so many stuff. You have a quirky sense of humor. Budo, sener, libac, bipi, etc. Hahaha!

I love you, Jia.

I have already made sure we have the baon you have requested for – banana, orange, crackers, Chuckie, and water. Kumain ka baby ha so you won’t get hungry. Learning many knew things is tiring, you know.

Tell your teacher if something is bothering you or if you need anything. Be nice to your classmates. If they are not nice, remember that YOU still have to be nice.

I love you, baby.

Hay anak ang bilis mo naman lumaki. Wag muna. Dahan dahan lang. Nahihirapan si Mommy. 🙂

I love you, Jia. Mahal na mahal kita.

Love,
Mommy

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,
Mommy

A letter to Jia (should be On your 3rd birthday)

To my everdearest Jia,

I am wondering what you are doing right now. You’re probably playing or watching TV. Me, I am in Ms. Cynthia’s clinic. I know you don’t want me to come here. Last night, you told me to stay at home with you. I tried to explain why I needed to come. I told you I’m a bit sick and Ms. Cynthia would make me well. I explained that I needed to do this for you and Joya. In the end, you said you understood and you allowed me to come after all.

Then you totally changed the subject and asked me if I was happy before I was married and had you and Joya. I told you that having you and then having Joya made me so happy. You smiled and hugged me.

I don’t think you understand how much happiness you and Joya have given me. Everyday I look at you and marvel at the fact that you are my daughter. You have such a good, good heart.

I am sorry that Mommy has been so busy the past few months. Imagine, this birthday letter is already four months delayed! But I think everything happens for a reason. And now I write this knowing that I really would go to any lengths to be with you.  I am now in the clinic eating all sorts of beans and nuts and grains, with the hope that these will make me well. I promise you that I will do EVERYTHING to help me be with you as you grow up. I so love you, Jia.

This year has been full of adventure for you and me and Daddy! 🙂 The biggest adventure we had was having Joya! You know, Anak, when I decided to stop working, it was to be able to spend more time with you. When I learned that Joya was coming, I was a bit sad when I realized that I would not be able to do the things I was planning for you and me like go to libraries and museums and playgrounds. But you, being the generous person that you are, was just excited to welcome Joya. You showed no hint of insecurity. In fact the moment that Daddy told you that you will have a baby brother or sister, you refused to be called anything other than Ate Jia.

And then Joya arrived. You became a very giving and protective Ate. You have declared yourself as Joya’s personal defender and would not let us do anything which you believe will hurt Joya (including let his doctor inject him his vaccines). At night, even if I have already promised you a story, once I tell you that I need to attend to Joya first, you would give way immediately. Once I caught you looking at him tenderly and then you told him “I so love you, Prince” (well, that night you declared that Joya was the Prince, you were the Princess, I was the Queen, and Daddy was the King). Looking at you looking at him, my heart swelled with pride. Even at the midst of your worst tantrums, you become gentle when You talk to Joya. You make me so proud to be your mommy.

And now, I am looking forward to getting well so we – you, Joya, and I – can go to libraries and museums and playgrounds together!

Your favorite word is “remember”. Since you have a very, very good memory, every other sentence that you utter starts with “Remember last night…” And, I swear, you just remember everything! Hahaha! Most of the time you amaze us with your memories of things that have happened a few months ago (which you always refer to as “last night” even if it happened months ago! Haha!).

Speaking of things you do that amaze us, you amaze us with how you have learned to talk so quickly. You were barely speaking when you had your 2nd birthday but now you barely stop! Hahaha! I was right in my last year’s birthday letter, you are going to be okay. I can see how hard you’ve worked to learn how to talk. We are so proud of you, baby!

You love books! You love reading so much and that makes me so thankful. I can’t wait for the time when we can read the same books and discuss it. For now, I am just so happy when you choose to read over watching TV. With me teaching you for just five lessons, you have learned how to read and blend sounds that now you can actually read. As with talking, you really give it your best. It’s heartening to see you read. The wonder in your face when you read a word you understand is just priceless.

You love Rapunzel and Angelina Ballerina and Sound of Music. You love Rapunzel so much that you always put the SaYa (Joya’s carrier) on your hair and pretend it’s your “long, long” hair. You even climb up a chair, gaze  out our kitchen window, and force me to say “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down yor hair!” Haha! You love  Angelina so much that you dance ALL the time. You make pirouettes and turns and dips, etc. And you know Do-Re-Mi by heart! You are so cute, Ate!!!


And you are also so arte! You say you are “mawawa” (which means kawawa) and you want to grow your hair long and you want to wear dresses day in and day out!

You are such a loving daughter. I can feel how much you care for me and your Daddy and Joya. You love being hugged and cuddled and kissed. You revel at the love we shower. And you, all 36 inches of you, protect us whenever you feel that we are going to get hurt.

Hay, Ate, I love you so, so, so, so much. My heart fills with love every time I see you. Even at times when you are so kulit and I am so tired, I can still feel my overflowing love for you.

Like I always tell you when you’re asleep in my arms, I promise to fight this sickness so I can watch your first school play, bring you to (and bring you back home from) your first gimik, see you in your graduation, and give you the BEST wedding ever!

I love you, Jia. You are God’s most, most precious gift.

Love always,
Mommy

To my everdearest Jia,

I am wondering what you are doing right now. You’re probably playing or watching TV. Me, I am

in Ms. Cynthia’s clinic. I know you don’t want me to come here. Last night, you told me to stay

at home with you. I tried to explain why I needed to come. I told you I’m a bit sick and Ms.

Cynthia would make me well. I explained that I needed to do this for you and Joya. In the end,

you said you understood and you allowed me to come after all.

Then you totally changed the subject and asked me if I was happy before I was married and had

you and Joya. I told you that having you and then having Joya made me so happy. You smiled and

hugged me.

I don’t think you understand how much happiness you and Joya have given me. Everyday I look at

you and marvel at the fact that you are my daughter. You have such a good, good heart.

I am sorry that Mommy has been so busy the past few months. Imagine, this birthday letter is

already four months delayed! But I think everything happens for a reason. And now I write this

knowing that I really would go to any lengths to be with you.  I am now in the clinic eating

all sorts of beans and nuts and grains, with the hope that these will make me well. I promise

you that I will do EVERYTHING to help me be with you as you grow up. I so love you, Jia.

This year has been full of adventure for you and me and Daddy! 🙂 The biggest adventure we had

was having Joya! You know, Anak, when I decided to stop working, it was to be able to spend

more time with you. When I learned that Joya was coming, I was a bit sad when I realized that I

would not be able to do the things I was planning for you and me like go to libraries and

museums and playgrounds. But you, being the generous person that you are, was just excited to

welcome Joya. You showed no hint of insecurity. In fact the moment that Daddy told you that you

will have a baby brother or sister, you refused to be called anything other than Ate Jia.

And then Joya arrived. You became a very giving and protective Ate. You have declared yourself

as Joya’s personal defender and would not let us do anything which you believe will hurt Joya

(including let his doctor inject him his vaccines). At night, even if I have already promised

you a story, once I tell you that I need to attend to Joya first, you would give way

immediately. Once I caught you looking at him tenderly and then you told him “I so love you,

Prince” (well, that night you declared that Joya was the Prince, you were the Princess, I was

the Queen, and Daddy was the King). Looking at you looking at him, my heart swelled with pride.

Even at the midst of your worst tantrums, you become gentle when You talk to Joya. You make me

so proud to be your mommy.

And now, I am looking forward to getting well so we – you, Joya, and I – can go to libraries

and museums and playgrounds together!

Your favorite word is “remember”. Since you have a very, very good memory, every other sentence

that you utter starts with “Remember last night…” And, I swear, you just remember everything!

Hahaha! Most of the time you amaze us with your memories of things that have happened a few

months ago (which you always refer to as “last night” even if it happened months ago! Haha!).

Speaking of things you do that amaze us, you amaze us with how you have learned to talk so

quickly. You were barely speaking when you had your 2nd birthday but now you barely stop!

Hahaha! I was right in my last year’s birthday letter, you are going to be okay. I can see how

hard you’ve worked to learn how to talk. We are so proud of you, baby!

You love books! You love reading so much and that makes me so thankful. I can’t wait for the

time when we can read the same books and discuss it. For now, I am just so happy when you

choose to read over watching TV. With me teaching you for just five lessons, you have learned

how to read and blend sounds that now you can actually read. As with talking, you really give

it your best. It’s heartening to see you read. The wonder in your face when you read a word you

understand is just priceless.

You love Rapunzel and Angelina Ballerina and Sound of Music. You love Rapunzel so much that you

always put the SaYa (Joya’s carrier) on your hair and pretend it’s your “long, long” hair. You

even climb up a chair, gaze  out our kitchen window, and force me to say “Rapunzel, Rapunzel,

let down yor hair!” Haha! You love  Angelina so much that you dance ALL the time. You make

pirouettes and turns and dips, etc. And you know Do-Re-Mi by heart! You are so cute, Ate!!!

And you are also so arte! You say you are “mawawa” (which means kawawa) and you want to grow

your hair long and you want to wear dresses day in and day out!

You are such a loving daughter. I can feel how much you care for me and your Daddy and Joya.

You love being hugged and cuddled and kissed. You revel at the love we shower. And you, all 36

inches of you, protect us whenever you feel that we are going to get hurt.

Hay, Ate, I love you so, so, so, so much. My heart fills with love every time I see you. Even

at times when you are so kulit and I am so tired, I can still feel my overflowing love for you.

Like I always tell you when you’re asleep in my arms, I promise to fight this sickness so I can

watch your first school play, bring you to (and bring you back home from) your first gimik, see

you in your graduation, and give you the BEST wedding ever!

I love you, Jia. You are God’s most, most precious gift.

Love always,

Mommy