My Dearest Elian,
Now, you are three yet it feels just like yesterday when you were a chubby squishy baby with wild, uncut hair standing up then later on falling flat as bangs. You still have those bangs today but Mama misses you as a baby already. You still call yourself a baby these days, a big baby as you say. You still want to be babied and both Daddy and I love babying you too with lots of hugs and kisses and cuddles and squeezes in between. But in truth, you’ve already grown up so much. You negotiate your way so strongly now, you speak your mind and you independently want to wash your hands, brush your teeth, go to the toilet (you’re now potty trained!), dress up and do things your way. You have strong preferences. You make jokes and tell stories and more. What I love best about you now is you’ve remained to be the sweet little boy that you were ever. You say “I love you!” countless times of the day, in moments we least expect, to me, to your Daddy, to your Noona and to your cousins and even to your toys. You’re so expressive and sweet and I hope you’ll always remain that way as you grow up. At three, you still sleep between me and Daddy, you still like to sleep on top of me even when I tell you not to, you want to wrapped with Mama’s arms and demands to be that way the whole night. You like making siksik to my side, holding my face, hugging me, insisting we sleep face to face. Oh my sweet clingy little boy!
This year is the year you’ll start going to school. You’re excited and we are too. Mama looks forward to it but at the same time, I get emotional thinking of how this will be the end of our daily routines, the official end of a moment in our life together when it’s just you and me, everyday at home. Once you start pre-school this year, it will continue on and on until the time you’re in college. I only have a few months left to cherish this time when you’re my baby, unschooled, just wanting to stay in Mama’s side all day long. Once you start schooling, it will be a new world out there for you, a chance to meet friends, a chance to grow and discover yourself independently. I’m excited for you love. Know that your Dad and I will always be here for you, will love you and will support you in anything. The world is yours my love, and you will always be our world.
Family portrait taken on Dec. 28, a day after your birthday, in Baguio, your happy place. Happy to have captured your laughter, your cheerfulness, your personality and our moments at this time.