A missive for my expected child

Dear My Anticipated Child,

If ever this gets to you, it means that my life has turned out perfectly well after the heartbreak and the immense hope and you are the commencement of all the laughter, the tears, the pain, the pleasure and every word you can think of that comes along with love or marriage.

Congratulate me, your mom, on this. It was never easy getting you “here.” Before you think of anything else, what I meant was “this life”, “you”, and most importantly, “your father.”

He is the man I know I wanted to marry the first time I saw him. I remember perfectly that he was wearing a black, leather jacket, denim, and Rayban. He had a smirk on his face as he approached me.

And me? Well, I was wearing a gray shirt and denims and uh, I was just staring at him until he was whoa, on my face.

He lived in the North, I, in the South and we never celebrated even a single anniversary because we would always forget. Like all the time. On our 22nd month we decided to call it quits. He. Actually. But one weird thing about your father is that he never stopped being there. Although he became a jerk one in a while. But he never left.

It was like an unofficial affair we had and your dad got me confused for a couple of years more. And we never became official again—rhetorically, at least.

But here you are. And I am so happy that you are here because I have always wanted a “you”.  I am ecstatic that your dad is your dad and he is the love of my life.

I know that he has craziness in him and you might just actually be his exact replica and I don’t know if I can handle two of him… but I am excited!

But you can be whatever ypu. Want to be. I will never push you into something you don’t want to except if you don’t want to brush your hair or take a bath, well, that’s a different story but you are me and your dad so I am sure you are a bundle of everything that is wonderful in our world.

Just be who you are. Sing. Dance. Play the piano. Jump off a cliff. Fly. Do it! Do whatever will breathe life into your systems but most importantly be our baby.

Love your dad for aside from me, yes he is head over heels for me, you are his next most favorite person. Well, actually you share the same rank as Zean. But he is also a very cute boy, I am sure you’d love him as your kuya because he already is and I care about him too.

I love you baby.

I am happy you are about to come. Because I was broken and I only wished for us to end up together but here we are. Again. Together. With you.

Do not pressure yourself to fit in other’s standards because the only standard an you have to exceed is the standards you set for yourself.

You can make it in life because you have my genes. And your dad’s. So, life you are as smart as you are good looking and talented. Haha. Kidding aside, with persistence and a good intention, you can accomplish anything.

Don’t be disheartened at any point. You can make it life isn’t always fair and beautiful but it is normal. Don’t strive to be the beat but aspire to always be better.

Be that kid in this world full of fake grown ups

All grown-ups were once children…but only few of them remember it. – The Little Prince

As I was taking a ride to work early morning of a Thursday, I sat just beside the window by the right—the seat I always find myself comfortable in—the same place I get to see places pass by me and life unfolds into a new day as the sun peeps just a little bit from behind the clouds.

Then Christmas songs started playing. The Tagalog ones from my childhood and with the chilling cold coming from the thermostat, I gripped my hoodie closer to me and closed my eyes to an attempt for a nap but no—I was taken back to my eight-year-old self when I would run with my cousins and build temples out of blankets and when we would become ecstatic for Christmas: the music, the lights, the temperature, the food, and the people.

Childhood was awesome. It was the time when all I would be bothered about was an assignment or an exam and my favorite time of the day was the afternoon after school for it was my playtime with my friends.

Then I was plunged back to the thoughts of today. Kids wearing make up. Kids dressing like adults. Kids preferring to read romantic stories instead of the classics. Children falling in love at 11 or 12 and eventually becoming parents at 16.

Today is the time when children play together virtually, talk over video calls, and their self worth becomes determined by the number of likes their photos get or their intelligence measured by the number of who’s and what’s and when’s that they can recall. When happiness meant getting the highest score in a video game and art and play meant doodles of imagined colors on a tablet rather than actual ones and music played technically rather than physically.

Childhood is the greatest time in a person’s life as it is the time of innocence and no prejudice. The time when we all believed in the goodness of each other and looked at the world as a perfect home.

Childhood goes by so fast that suddenly, you are transcended to whole different universe that is adulthood—that means more responsibility, love with reservations, life that is worked hard for, goodness that is doubted, and happiness that cannot exactly be defined.

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I loathed at the thought that children no longer find joy in the feel of the rain against their skin, the patter of mud as they run through it, the excitement of whether the house made of cardboard box would hold itself together, when playing meant skinning knees for playing tag, and intelligence was appreciated and determined through the different skills one possesses.

If you are a kid reading this, be that child who squats to the sun’s rays that get through the crack on the wall, if only to check if there are fairies passing along; that who tries to catch the breeze and wonder why it’s only felt not touched; that who builds fortresses out of couch pillows and pretend to be escaping from dragons around the house. That kid who actually touches crayons not because the teacher tells you to. That kid who sings emotionally even without being scored.

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Be that kid in this world full of hinog sa pilit children.

Childhood is wonderful and eventually, it will be over.

And just like me, there would be a time when all you could do is reminisce the fun and crazy embarrassment you had due to your curiosity and laugh about it.

And I do hope that one day, when you find yourself on your way to work, you will remember a time when you really were outdoors playing with other kids and seeing things and not experiencing what life has to offer through the lenses of your latest gadget.

Being a child is a gift. Embrace it.