Friday, April 5, 2013

The Little Princess

Dearest Ally,

You turn four years old today.


And I'm crying just reflecting on the past four years and how you've turned my life turned upside down in the best possible way.

I look at you now and random memories flash through my mind. I remember the instance when you first smiled and when you said your first word. I remember the sheer panic and helplessness I felt when you vomited all over me after a feeding because I forgot to burp you. I remember laughing out loud when you were barely a year old and already singing the chorus of Justin Beiber's song Baby. I remember your squeals of delight when you first rode a bike, when we brought you to Disneyland and you saw Mickey Mouse for the first time, when you played at the water fountains in Singapore Zoo. I remember the apprehension I felt when you first attended school, how proud I was when you didn't cry like the other kids, how sad/happy I was when you entered the classroom without glancing back at me. I remember how I smiled when you talked so fondly of your classmates and what you did at school that day. I remember how I fought back tears when I watched you sing and dance onstage at your school program and when you went upstage to receive your award on moving up day.

All these memories still are crystal clear to me, as if it only happened yesterday.

How did time fly by so quickly?

You are my baby, but you now talk (non-stop) about nail polish and up shoes (what you call high heeled shoes). You know make up terms like eyeliner, lip liner, lipstick and eye shadow. You don't want to have your hair cut short and refuse to have bangs ala-Dora, which used to thrill you when you were younger. You are very opinionated on the clothes and shoes you want to wear. You get very picky about the colors and style of the clothes I buy for you. You love Disney princesses and the colors pink and purple. You love wearing dresses and you hold one side up like a princess when you go down the stairs. You are now, in all essence, a little lady, a very prim and very girly little lady.

I feel my heart breaking a bit, saddened at my baby growing up so fast. Come June you will already be studying at a big school and will definitely be moving on from your life that used to revolve around me almost exclusively. Before I know it, you'll be refusing to be seen with me in public and I wouldn't know what goes on in your life anymore. My heart is aching with the mere thought of it.

So my dearest Ally, bear with Mommy a bit when I hug you extra long and extra tight. Bear with me when I always want to hold your hand even if we are just seated inside the car or lazying on the bed. Bear with me when I shower you with incessant kisses throughout the day. Bear with me as I try to get you interested again in kiddie stuff like Dora and Pocoyo. Bear with me when I refuse to buy you up shoes and when I forbid you to put nail polish or make up on. You are growing too fast for me, and my heart and mind can't seem to keep up with you.

Ally, you have and will always be a delight to me, my number one source of pride and joy. You have so many, many wonderful sides to your personality, it is hard to detail each and every one of them. All bias aside, you are an amazing little girl.

You amaze me everyday with your wit. Oh how you make me laugh so hard with your quips and one-liners! You think fast and you have excellent comedic timing. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that you come up with them all on your own. Grandma wants me to compile them all and have it published. You are that good.

You amaze me with your intelligence, how quickly you learn and how much you desire to learn more. You love doing homework and worksheets at home and you always beg for more. You listen attentively when I teach you something. And you absorb everything, including song lyrics, like a sponge! Seriously, you hear a song a few times on the radio or on TV and and the next thing I know, you are already singing it on your own. You know more song lyrics than Daddy does, and I am not even exaggerating.

You amaze me with your sense of responsibility. You are a mini-mommy to Sofia and to Daddy, always looking after them, making sure they are okay and that they are obeying Mommy's rules. I love it when you say things like "Daddy, don't do that again" or "Daddy, be careful next time" or "Sofia, that is not good" or "Sofia, Mommy said no". Daddy sometimes complains that you are a killjoy like me. That's okay baby. It only shows that you are disciplined and you already know at such an early age what is proper and not proper behavior. It is an amazing trait, and one that we are very proud of, despite Daddy's grumbling.

You adjusted very, very well to being an ate to Sofia. There were a few moments here and there where you seemed to compete our attention by being KSP and OA, but you never took it out on Sofia. I always see you hugging her and kissing her and seeing to her needs. You share your toys with her and tell her stories. You teach her all the songs you learn from school and you also demonstrate your latest and craziest dance moves. You are such a sweet and loving ate. Sofia is so lucky to have you.

You amaze me with your creativity and artistic talent. Your drawing and coloring skills are really very good, and you love to create and decorate any artsy project. Teacher LA said that she and the other preschool teachers always get you to color or to decorate whenever they have a card or a poster to give out. And you loved doing what they asked of you. That is why they awarded you with the Creative Cat award at your Moving Up day. Well done! One slight problem though. You have so many beautiful artwork, it is so hard to choose which ones to keep!

Further to your creativity, you also amaze me with your imagination. It is an absolute delight to watch you play by yourself. You entertain yourself with stories and dialogues that actually make sense. Sometimes you put on a cooking show and sometimes you have a mini school with all your Barbies lined up. Sometimes you pretend to have a make up demo, and sometimes you are a little mommy disciplining your babies. You tend to stop and get conscious when you catch someone watching you, so I have to be sneaky just to be able to see you let your imagination let go.

You amaze me with your independence. You love doing things "on myself" and more often than not, we let you. You are a self-reliant little girl, and I am so proud of you for that.

And most of all, I am amazed at how kind and compassionate your nature is. You are innately good and how you care and take care of other people is way beyond your years. Auntie Clemen often says that you are "parang matanda" because it is so true. You think and act way beyond what is expected of a normal 3-going-on-4 year old. So I tend to treat you like a grown up and expect much from you. Daddy had to remind me on several occasions na bata ka pa because I do tend to forget that sometimes when I get angry or frustrated at you. But Ally, know that you are living up to and have constantly surpassed all my expectations of you. It is actually a wonder that my heart hasn't bursted yet from all the pride I have for you.

Yes, there were times (okay, maybe one too many it would seem) that I was too strict or too hard on you, pressuring you to do something or be someone you are not comfortable with. I am sorry baby. I can't promise I won't go all Tiger Mommy at you, but I will try to allow you to be your own person, to set your own pace and pave your own path. Note the operative word, okay? I will try. And if it would seem that I am losing that battle, please know that I am like that because I care and love you too much. I want you to be the best version of yourself, and I will nudge (and push) you to what I perceive to be the right direction. At some point in the future, I know we will butt heads about this, but I am sure this is part of a mom's job description. Sorry.

Thing is, you are very shy and cautious. You tend to absorb your surroundings and observe the people around you before you are comfortable enough to let loose and be yourself. But you still always hold some part of yourself back. Very few people have seen how vivacious and funny you can be, how you talk non-stop, how amazing your dancing and singing abilities are, how you enjoy entertaining us with your model poses and antics, how so kulit you can be. If I have one wish, it is for others to see and know the Ally that you show your Daddy and me. Then they will understand (if they haven't yet) how utterly unbelievable and amazing you are.

Other than these, I have very little complaints about you. The times I got mad at you, usually mainit lang talaga ulo ko and I got annoyed by your kakulitan, which on any other day would have entertained me. Sorry for my impatience and short temper.

Happiest of birthdays to you, my little princess. May all your wishes and dreams come true. And may love and happiness always be abundant in your life. You deserve nothing less and nothing but the best.

Mommy loves you very, very much!

PS. Been having problems uploading photos so I will just post the text now and add the photos when I can

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