Reflections on Two… a year of grow grow grow

Little Foot turned Three in what feels like a blink of an eye…As with each year, I take time to reminisce this motherhood journey, and find time to write my Little Foot a little note.

No one was kidding when they said the days are long but the years are short. It never fails to amaze me that it wasn’t so long ago that I had a little bundle in my arms, so tiny we were afraid we would break a bone of hers if we were not careful… and now? She’s more than half my height, and twice the personality I am. Everything has moved so fast, but I am thankful and grateful each day that she is growing well.

What a year it has been…

From Hello Kitty to Elsa

Remember how she loves Hello Kitty soooo much? Well, she’s kinda outgrown Hello Kitty, but still “alright” with the Sanrio character which I also love. And now she has moved on to being a big fan of Elsa, so we made her wish come true and got her the full works for her birthday party.

Just play….

It was also a year of play and play, as we cut back on enrichment classes and allowed her (and ourselves) time to roam free.

We went out to meet Mr Sun..

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We had picnics…

We took selfies…

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We sang, we danced,

We giggled and we laughed…

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We had so many “birthdays” because she loved it so much…

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And we went out to see the world…

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And through it all, Little Foot learned and we learned too.

It’s been a year of great self-exploration and adventures, I daresay.

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It’s was also a year where I was more absent… And also a year where we found it trickier to deal with her tantrums and antics.

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Through it all, we learned and she learned too. We grew stronger and closer.

Dear Little Foot, this year, we all had to adjust a lot to Mummy’s new work routine, which would take me away from you a lot more, and see me more distracted when I am around. I can sense how much you miss me these days, and I feel your anguish at my sporadic absence. And I thank you for your neverending, overflowing love for me.

As we approach THREE, things may not be easier, but hopefully you will be able to better understand and be more patient with me, as I try to be with you. Let’s continue to grow together!

Thanks for a year that was filled with so many Little Foot memories that I thank God over and over again for you. As always, Mummy and Daddy hope that your days be filled with happiness, and may you grow up well and healthy. Know that through good times and bad, you will always be my baby and I only have the deepest love for you.

Happy Birthday, my dearest girl… let’s celebrate all through December!

Love as always,

Mummy

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The man in her life

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In my last blog post,  I shared that this photo taken at Little Foot’s first birthday party meant a lot to me.

I didn’t elaborate why, but today I felt I should revisit this photo.

Growing up, I didn’t really experience this. Being a typical chinese family, fathers in those days hardly saw it as their duty to be carrying baby, changing nappies, burping babies. Kids were probably a byproduct of marriage. My father was present but absent in the better part of my growing up life. He was the one who would give pocket money, the one who drove us to school. That was about it. We only sat down for dinners together on occasions.

Growing up on a family of five kids meant that our parents’ attention would be divided… and they were busy making ends meet. Their marriage also had its ups and downs.

Growing up, I often felt a tinge of deep sadness when I see fathers carrying their children,  holding their hands, sharing a conversation,  having fun.  The last time my dad carried me was when I was nine years old. I almost fainted in Chinatown during the festive season. So he carried me out of the crowds. That was the last time. At my wedding, it was awkward to hug him. We had so many missed opportunities over the years that could have made us closer as father and daughter… time could not be turned back.

Today, when I was out for lunch, I saw a man carrying his son, and the boy protested saying “but I’m not a baby!” I wish I could tell the boy, “lucky you…”

Which is why I revisited this photo.  It carried what I really hope for my daughter to have – a father that will be completely involved in her growing up years. A relationship with us that is without invisible walls.

I didn’t want to have children because I couldn’t be sure I could be a good parent, or that the family we gave you will always be a happy one, and your childhood would be without worries. I didn’t want you to have a childhood like mine, where your parents were never in the crowd when your band performed, when you wondered why yours was the only family that didn’t have dinners daily together, or even travelled together. 

The family I grew up in gave me a great relationship with my siblings, making up for the absence of our parents’ outward expression of love. In their own ways, I’m sure they did and still do care. Just not as visible as others.

Little Foot, I’m happy your Papa had been so hands on…. he wanted you so much before I could even imagine being a mother. And he has walked the talk to date. I hope he will always be the involved papa, your first hero, your first idol.

This photo has washed away any doubts and fears that I may have had. Not a perfect papa,  but the best that he can be.

I couldn’t have asked for more. 

Photo credit: Matthew Photography