My dearest Coco bear,
Yesterday, exactly a year ago, I, at 38 weeks pregnant and ready to be induced, was admitted at St. Luke’s Global City. I would spend the next 9 hours anticipating your arrival. Knowing how greatly you would impact my life, and just how hard and fast I would fall I love with you; your daddy and I’s lives would be forever altered in many ways that I don’t think I will ever truly be able to explain.
Part of me is amazed that you are now officially a one year old. I can’t believe that we’ve already arrived at your first birthday. And I’m glad that for 365 days I’ve been by your side. But it’s not only your first birthday; it is also my first birthday as a mommy. So, happy birthday to me too! Hey, I’m still getting used to my new name – mommy!
I have always known that I was meant to be a mom. All these past years, I have dreamt of having a baby, a boy to be exact. I have wondered what you would look like (of course, I wanted you to look like me – and then it happened). I knew I will be someone’s mommy. And that faithful night that you were born, the moment they placed you on top of my chest (for your Unang Yakap), I knew everything was just it was meant to be.
Today, I celebrate the little boy you have become, but I’m also nostalgic for the baby that you once were. As rolls and chunks slowly melt but your chubby cheeks remain, I can’t help but give in to moments of anxiety, desperately looking for the pause button and yelling, stop! Wait! I’m not yet ready!
But that’s just it. There is no such button in real life. You will grow and be who you need to be, whether or not I am ready. I can only be thankful that I am there to witness each and every breathtaking moments as you blossom into that person. I don’t know who you will be in the next few years, but I know and am proud of who you are now. I am, because I am a big part of it.
It was not easy. No one said it was.
This parenting gig is tough. Tougher than I ever thought it would be, and that is saying something considering I knew that this would not be easy. You won’t understand just how tough it actually is until you bring a tiny life into the world, and I can only imagine it will get tougher as time goes on and you get bigger. No one taught me how to be a mommy. There’s no college course for this one. I knew nothing about taking care of a child. I didn’t really do some internet studying about child-rearing. I didn’t even finish my “What to Expect – first year” book. But I never questioned my ability to take care of you. I took it one day at a time, seems perfect for me and I’m getting the hang of it. Surprisingly, you’re one good baby. You almost never made it hard for me. You actually made it simple for me. When I held you the first time, it felt like I knew it all at once. But of course, everything is a learning process and every day, I still learn new things about you, about how to take care of you and about me.
You did not only learn a lot of things in a year. You actually taught me well too. You taught me that sometimes the expensive bottles aren’t always the best and to always carry not one but at least three changes of clothes. Don’ ever forget the wipes or the diaper cloth! You taught me that you won’t need hundreds of clothes or toys since you will just outgrow it in a blink of an eye and that you just need enough to last you a few months. You taught me that you don’t need every single item made available for babies, and that you’d still prefer to use whatever it is available (thank heavens for Buy-sell-trade of baby stuff in facebook). You taught me that patience is a virtue. You taught me of all the responsibilities I now have, and that you are number one in that list. You taught me to be honest, especially to myself. You taught me that it is okay to ask help. You taught me to not live by the books and follow my instincts. You taught me that it’s okay to sleep when you are tired. You taught me to ignore those negative forces coming your way. You taught me that with just one smile from you, I could actually make someone’s day. You taught me to be strong, especially when you are weak. You taught me about contentment. You taught me, not only to love unconditionally, but to love selflessly. You taught me to find joy in simple things. You taught me that parenting isn’t a competition. You taught me that I also have to take care of myself to be able to take care of you. And you taught me that this ain’t over yet, I still have a lot to learn, and it is just the beginning.
You changed me in many ways. You changed my perspective in life. You changed my happiness level. You changed my attitude. You changed my goals. I didn’t know that I could be patient enough. I normally complain when carrying heavy stuff, let alone a 10 KG baby, but I’d take you anywhere, anytime. I didn’t know that I could save money just to spend it for baby stuff and not on plane tickets or new clothes. These days, it’s all about you, baby. I’m all about you.
For every milestone you’ve reached, my heart has exploded with pure joy and delight. To be able to witness your first words, your first steps and the look on your face as you discover something new has been immensely awesome. For every sickness, every bump, bruise, cut and insect bite, my heart is broken. Being your mommy has taught me that the highs of parenting are incredibly high and also that the lows are heart-breakingly low. I can only wish for you that these highs will outnumber the lows as you grow older. And I, together with your daddy, will continue to do everything in our power so that this is the case.
I may not understand what you are saying, but I’m getting there. I’m trying so hard to learn your language and hopefully soon, you’ll learn ours. What my mind don’t understand, my heart will suffice. I could already see some traits that you might be having as you grow up. You wanted to have something, you’ll try your very best to be able to get it – just like your mom, me. But you also won’t do, whatever it is that you don’t like aka you are stubborn – just like your daddy. You want to go to places – just like me. You are a happy baby – just like me. But you don’t easily warm up to people, just like your daddy. And you are talkative and affectionate, just like me. Even before you were born, I have wished only the best for you, that you inherit the best of your daddy and I and that the world gives you nothing but the best of everything that it has to offer.
We can’t always protect you. You’re going to fall and scrape your knee, you’re going to run too fast, eat too fast and you’re going to learn that ultimately things are going to happen that are outside of our control. Hopefully these life lessons will strengthen your character, but always know that your Daddy and I will be right behind you ready to explain the Why’s, the How’s and the Why Not’s.
I never thought I would be that emotional mommy who cried on the eve of her baby’s first birthday. But like I’ve always said, “you never know the kind of mom you’re going to be until you’re wearing your mommy shoes, facing your first mom-stacle.” These tears I’m crying are not sad, regretful tears by any means. They are tears born from the happiness and thankfulness that I’ve been blessed with the chance, the opportunity and the calling to be a Mother. And not just anyone’s Mother. Your Mother.
Before I end this I want you to make sure that you’ll always remember these 3 things:
First, you’ll always be my first baby, my little pachuychuy. I’ll always be your mommy. I will love you unconditionally as long as there is air in my lungs and then even after that. I will support you and try to understand you and always, always be your number one fan, your bestfriend, your first love.
Second, I want you to know that from the moment we found out about you, you were wanted. You were wanted and loved and brought tears to my eyes long before you arrived. There are plenty of people out there who don’t feel wanted or loved, and who don’t have nearly as many people who love them as you do, surrounding them. Please remember that you are my greatest accomplishment and nothing you do or say could make me love you any less. I will always be proud of you. And you will always have a place to call home. Our doors will always be open, as will my arms. And if I need to, I will take you in my arms, no matter if you`re 16, 36 or 50 years old and hold you and love you. That is what mommy’s are for.
And lastly, remember, no girlfriends until your 30! 🙂
Every Night I thank GOD for choosing me to be your mommy. I can’t wait to watch you grow into the man I pray you’ll become. Being your mommy is such a privilege. All through out, I thought I knew what unconditional love is, but it wasn’t until you were placed in my arms that I truly understood its limitless meaning. You brought more love, joy and laughter into our lives than I could have ever imagined. Life is indeed better and sweeter when you came, even, crazier if I may say. Thank you for reminding us to take it slower, to live more, to love more, to laugh more and to learn more. Each kisses, cuddles, hugs and belly rubs, bed time stories, bath times, meals fed and nursing moments, cries comforted, shirts put on, toys played, song and dance numbers, every single laugh, smile and tear, every single moment has been a blessing and I can’t imagine what I did to get so lucky to have you in my life. Thank you for showing me how amazing life can truly be.
What a wild ride this year has been, Coco. You are such a blessing – not only to me, but to every one who knows and surrounds you. We hope that not a day goes by that you are not reminded of this and of just how much your Daddy and I love you.
Happy Happy birthday, my baby! I love you always. all ways. And I’ll do anything and everything for you.