27 February 2014

as my eldest daughter turns 5

Dear Caila,

You’re already 5 years old!

I can’t believe that 5 years have passed since I set my eyes on you for the first time. The years have been going by so fast; it’s as if the days are passing like a blur.

Still, I’m thankful that I’m always there to witness your milestones and accomplishments. From the time you were able to roll over from your stomach to your back and vice versa, your first babbles and words, your first steps alone, saying goodbye to diapers, becoming a school girl, performing confidently on-stage, taking on simple responsibilities of being a big sister, helping us with some household chores, learning to read and write, helping me bake, and so many more!

At this stage, you can strongly express what you like and what you don’t. A few months ago when we were talking about your birthday, we sat down and you described to me (with the help of pictures from the internet) how you wanted your cake to look. You incorporated all sorts of designs from several different cakes, making me illustrate on my Note so that the person who would be making your cake would have a clear picture on the outcome you wanted. Fingers crossed that it’ll be perfect when we get it on Saturday.

I know you wanted to celebrate your birthday at school today; but because of the KHDA inspection, it had to be moved to Sunday instead. Don’t worry. This means that you’ll be able to celebrate your birthday longer!

At home we have a calendar that has a box that we can move to mark whatever the date is. And since Sunday, you been looking at it constantly, pointing out to whoever is at home that “There’s 4 days left” until your birthday, and “Only 3 days to go,” then “2 days na lang,” followed by “1 more day,” and finally “It’s my birthday tomorrow! Yay! Yay! Yay!” This morning, you didn’t remind us. You didn’t need to because from the time I woke you up, we were all either singing or greeting you “Happy Birthday.”

Aside from counting down using the calendar, you are learning to follow time. When we tell you it’s time to go to bed when the long hand is at 6 and the short hand is between 8 and 9, you obediently turn off the TV, put away any toys or pillows that are scattered around, and go to our room to sleep. In the mornings when you have school, you know it’s time to go down and wait for your bus when the long hand is at 9. And when Yaya delays in accompanying you out the door and down to the lobby, you become impatient because you feel that you’re late and the bus might leave you.

On top of these accomplishments, you are a very caring and protective Ate to Sophie. On several occasions, I have seen you approach her out of the blue and give her a hug or kiss…for no reason at all. When Sophie approaches you while you’re eating, you automatically feed her with your spoon. When you receive something from someone, if there’s more than 1 of the same item (like biscuits or stickers), you give one to your sister right away.

If you remember, late last month we took Sophie to the doctor and it just so happened you were having your afternoon nap when we left. When you woke up, you looked for Sophie in all the rooms and asked Yaya where she was. Yaya pretended that she didn’t know. After some time, you sent us a voice message telling us in a sad, desperate, and “naiiyak” voice that your sister was missing because you didn’t know where she was even though you looked for her everywhere.

And early this month, Sophie and I had to stay in the hospital for a few days because she was sick. Daddy brought you once to visit, and when it was time to go, you cried because you said you didn’t want to leave your sister and you felt sorry for her. You were crying all the way back home, and it took a long while before you finally stopped.

These instances are enough to show how much you love Sophie, and we couldn’t have asked for a better daughter to be a big sister than you. Your being caring doesn’t stop there. Whenever Daddy and I have to go out and leave the rest of you at home, you don’t cry anymore or beg to come with us. Instead, you tell us “Take care,” or “Ingat,” or “Be careful, ok?” At times when we call, you tell us “Come back home soon, because I miss you.” And when we arrive home, you ask us “Are you so very, very tired?” which is sometimes followed with a “You want me to massage you?” Such words are so sweet to hear, and we’re very thankful that we hear them from you often.

Anak, you are growing up to be such a sweet, intelligent girl who is learning so fast in having her own identity. And for this, I am just so in awe at the person you are becoming.

Daddy and I have so many plans and dreams for you, but of course we want you to make your own plans and dreams. Just know that whatever they may be, we will always support you every step of the way. Because we love you, and we always will...to the moon and back.

Happy birthday, Caila.

I love you sobra, too much, super, to the max!

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