"...and they changed us. They gave us life, made us mothers...We are women who have travelled together to the well of life where each one found her child." - By Sheila Killian, Ireland, Only October in Common Webring
This article is three years late. Before I gave birth to Adi, I had planned on writing an article on my thoughts and experiences as a new parent. Well, since October 1996, my hubby and I have been busy with a thousand and one things that come with parenthood that I never got around to writing this article. Talk about busy!
Adi sure has come a long way. He just turned 3 last October 12. He has grown so fast that I can hardly believe that there used to be a time when I could carry him with one arm. He looked so small and fragile then, had blotchy skin, and my greatest worry initially was: "Will he go through life without any eyebrows and eyelashes?" Sleep-wise (or maybe lack of sleep-wise), he used to stay up practically the whole night, crying "na-a, na-a" through the wee hours of the morning. My hubby and I experienced first-hand what colic meant. Then there were the allergies, the cough and colds, his circumcision experience, and other medical worries. One should know that as a normal parent, "worry" becomes your middle name.
We read to Adi, quite early as a baby, even if he glared at us from time to time and seemed uninterested after a few seconds. I guess all that reading paid off as Adi now loves books and can memorize lines, titles, and even authors.
Adi is now in school. He knows exactly what he likes and what he does not like. He can recite a few verses, sing a few songs, identify some numbers and letters. He has started making up 2-3 sentence stories and constructs pretty long and complete statements already. He prays before meals. He enjoys playing around with words, then saying after: "Joking Daddy. Joking Mommy." He is now in the thick of preparations for his end of the semester school program where a star will be born.
We particularly appreciated and enjoyed Adi's birthday celebration this year. I guess that was the purpose of his bout with dengue, on his 2nd birthday, last year. Imagine Adi, confined at St. Luke's, very weak, receiving a blood transfusion, platelet count dropping and plunging and on his second birthday yet. Having delivered Adi, fully aware and fully participating, without any anesthesia, was perhaps a preview of parenting experiences to come. Fully aware, fully participating. No pain was to be left out.
We tried to cheer him up by decorating his room for his birthday but we ended up getting even more depressed when each time someone would come into his room, they would say: "Ay, birthday ba nya? Kawawa naman" (Translation: "Is it his birthday? What a pity.") What a pity, indeed. To this day, I believe that the purpose of that experience was for us to appreciate each birthday that he will have thereafter, healthy.
We write Adi a card or a letter on each birthday and we intend to continue this tradition for as long as we're around. It's important that we let him know how much we thank him for everything he has taught us. Patience. Knowing true and simple joys. Faith and trust in God and knowing fully well that no matter how much we plan, we will never be in full control. Ignoring life's little irritations and being thankful for the more important blessings. In three years, Adi has helped us discover our strengths and vulnerabilities. He has changed us, we know, for the better.
On your third year, Adi, we wish you happiness and health. May you realize all your dreams. May you have your feet on the ground and your heart in the right place. We love you. Always.
"When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. May you live your life so that when you die, the world will cry and you will rejoice." - Old/Middle Eastern Blessing
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Written October 15, 1999
Copyright © 1999-2001 by Angelica Bautista Viloria of http://www.viloria.com