You were seven months old when we ‘officially’ found out. We took you to hospital to see a neurologist, a nephrologist, a kinesiologist, an EENT specialist. After six slow hours your pediatrician finally saw us and said ‘we have a problem’
. Mom broke down and admitted she knew this from the get go. Everyone else didn’t suspect anything; we’ve all been too engrossed in your presence to notice – constantly biting your chubby cheeks and burying our faces in the sweet, powdery smell of your limbs.
Everyone seemed numb on the sombre drive home. I looked at you and saw it all at once. Your eyes slanting upwards. Your tongue protruding even as you sleep. Your broad hands, your tiny fingers, the single crease on your palm. Why yes, Dr T, I thought. The problem is that my sister’s exceptionally beautiful. How’s my dad going to get boys off our yard?
You had to attend school at eight months and I remember bribing the driver to take me to your classes instead of school (don’t ever do that!). Watching you was a thrill. You were one of the tiniest kids but your teachers said you had so much potential. You picked up things easily and improved quickly. Perhaps because yours was a mild case? I don’t know. Perhaps you’re just really special.
You’re seven now. And you’re still the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen.
I left when you were two, and I wrote you a letter hoping you’d become a brave, loving, amazing little girl when I’m gone. Five years down the line, you are hands down the best child any parent could have.
Everyone just falls in love with you. You’ve evolved into this delightful burst of sunshine, bringing joy wherever you go. I’d like to think you have a little bit of us in you – you’ve got Dad’s charm and Mom’s wit, our brother’s musicality and perhaps a bit of my cheekiness. Really and truly though, you’re the golden thread that weaves into the fabric of our being. I don’t think anyone of us knew exactly who we were as a family before you came along. I will always be grateful for that.
You’ve taught us more than what I’ve hoped you’d learn at this point. Your enthusiasm and zest for life is contagious and inspiring. Your ability to create bonds fearlessly is fantastic and I am proudest of you for showing and teaching us how everything and everyone has a purpose. I wish we can all be the same. But then it goes to show that you, my pumpkin, are special in more ways than one.
There’s so much more I’d like to say, but we’ve got forever to explore. So, as always, let’s end this with some sisterly advice.
It’s okay to not have peanut butter & jelly sandwiches on Thursdays. Don’t ever hit a girl again – if the sandwich came from her bag, it’s hers. Stay smart. Speak clearly. Take a break from you PSP and play with your your DVD player. There are other songs you can sing to me other than Bon Jovi’s Bed of Roses. Always respect the oldies and never call them out for having grey hair (you make them feel young). Never stop being sweet to mom, dad & Uncle R. Stay close to our brother, to Kuya J and family. Don’t forget the ‘thank you’, ‘sorry’, and ‘please’. Don’t forget me. Don’t forget to say your prayers.
I love you, beautiful darling. See you soon.