An Open Letter To My Kids
I have always been very vocal to my kids in terms of the gravity of my love for them. I am a very expressive mom. But for almost nine years that we have been together, time seems swallowing our lives so fast in the blink of an eye that sometimes what’s on my heart and mind just can’t keep up. My busy schedules everyday simply makes me forget a thing or two of all the things I really wanted to say to my kids. The best way is to write it all down so it will never be forgotten anymore. So sorry, this would be a very long read my dear readers. I want my kids to read this article when they grow older so they can understand our life stories. How it began, how it grew, how we live today and how we want them to live theirs in the near future. This letter is really for them.
Bielle and Kate, here is what Mommy wants you to know and understand sooner or later….
My dearest Bielle and Kate,
Mommy has always been doing the best things with the best intentions in mind for the both of you. Ever since you two were born, my life has never been the same anymore. My life has never been about me anymore.
I had you when I was in my late 30’s already and 10 years after your Daddy and I got married. We were already hopeless if we will still be ever given the gift of parenthood. Before you came to us, our life together was never an ideal one. We have our ups and downs. We have our off and unguarded moments too. But still our love for each other was true. It surpasses every difficult stages in our married life, good or bad. We were happy and still so much in love. Don’t forget that. Believe that.
Then Bielle you came. I want you to know what happened to Mommy the day I learned that you’re really coming.
One afternoon I decided to go to my OB Gyne to check what’s wrong with my body. There’s this unexplainable dizziness and bloated feeling inside of me that I have never felt before. All through out my adult life I have been strickened with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and a pregnancy test is just a normal routine I needed to do before I have myself checked by her. I showed the pregnancy kit to my doctor. The 1st line was very visible, a result which I always get every before check-ups but the second line had barely noticeable line which you really wouldn’t know if I’m pregnant or not. And wallah, she told me I was almost 8 weeks pregnant. And a doppler procedure has proved that something’s alive in my tummy. A sound of your little heart was beating, Bielle. It was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. The sound was so new to me. I have never heard any sound of a human heart beating that fast and loud. Before I left the clinic, my OB and I cried a little because we know we have been working on my PCOS thing for three years and she said that she can still have me pregnant despite of it. It was an overwhelming feeling, my hands and feet were almost numb and the sweat coming out of my body was cold. It was unexplainable, unimaginable but simply a magical feeling. I’m a mom!
I hurried back home to tell the good news. You’re dad was still in the office at that time. But you’re Lola Merlyn was home in her sick bed and was in a good mood when I arrived. She was the first person who knew that I was pregnant, not your dad. We were both crying. She was seated in the side of her bed and she hugged me. I will never forget what she said. “Yan na yung dinadasal ko sa inyo ni Meng, (her term of endearment to your dad) nakong. Masayang masaya ako. Pero natakot na rin ako bigla kasi ibig sabihin nyan ako na ang mawawala.” A belief your Lola was holding on that if someone new or a new soul will arrive, another soul will pass this earth. And she thought it was her. Your Lola was very sick with breast cancer at that time. She was staying with us because every weekend she had check-ups at Medical City. And she knew she was very weak and that her time was getting near each day. But because of that good news your Lola felt stronger and was very, very happy for me and your Daddy.
I called your Daddy. He couldn’t believe what he heard. He asked me again and again for the nth time that day if it was true. I felt on the other end of the phone that there was a very happy soon-to-be-dad. When he came home I showed him my ultrasound result and I couldn’t explain the happiness that was showing off his face at that time. We both cried, Bielle. Finally, God has heard our prayers.
You were a happy child. You wore that special and cutest smile that melts our heart. Your moves were so refined and you were not that difficult to take care of. You follow every orders. You don’t cry a lot. You were a very curious child. You ask a lot of questions while you were growing up. And you like to hang out with Mommy all the time. I always carry you with me in the market, mall, banks, restaurants and to the factory. Because not long after you came out I resigned from work. The thought of you while I’m at work made me long for you more and more. And your absence for hours were the grueling part of my day in the office. And so Mommy left work to be with you. I worked instead at home doing online selling jobs and took care of you at the same time. It was very rewarding for me. I liked the set up more and more each day because I got to see you every minute of the day. And after Mommy’s online deliveries, we got to play in the house non-stop. We had lots of fun Bielle even in our own little room. It was our world.
And then little Kate came in to the family.
Kate, you came to us when your Ate Bielle was only one year and six months old. You arrived to us unexpectedly and not planned. Your Daddy and I knew that we still want another child but not that early. Nevertheless, it was the same happiness that we felt when your Ate came to us. You were a happy kid as well. You were our joy-bringer. You love toys so much. You love to role play with those toys with your Ate. You were able to walk early than your ate when you were only barely 11 months old. You were so “malikot” and loves to move around. You have lots of antics to show us. You bring out lots of laughter at home Kate. I didn’t mind our littered room full of toys because I know you enjoy them a lot.
There’s just one guilt feeling that I didn’t tell you yet Kate. You are still young and you might not understand it so well now. It was during those time when I already had you two that my life as mom became very difficult not to mention physically and emotionally draining. I could no longer took care of you two alone while I’m doing my online jobs plus an added physical store at the same time. I know my time with you Kate became so little, not enough bonding for both of us unlike between me and your Ate before. I see you less and less everyday. Your yaya were the one taking care of you most of the time when I go to the store every morning till late in the afternoon. I need to take Ate Bielle at the store with me so your yaya can take care of you in the house. I was very guilty with that arrangement. I want you to know that I regret the days when I always leave you at home with someone else when it should be me taking care of you. When I should be making our own memories together too. I left my work for your Ate and yet I left you because of a new work. I know it wasn’t fair for you.
Please understand my children that when I decided to leave my work for you, both your dad and I know that soon it will have an effect on our finances. It was all in good faith and intentions that we have to make another arrangement for the family. There is still the need for me to work and help Daddy. I lost my fix income yes but I gained an online store and a physical store. But it was another whole story too. Sometimes the business is good. Sometimes the business is not so good. And while maintaining them, I also have you around. Mommy had sleepless nights when you wake up at night to feed you or change your diapers or if you are sick or if you simply just can’t sleep. The physical load during day time and the exhausted feeling after a day’s work and sleepless nights were also gaining up on me. Remember, you came late in our lives. Our physical strength is no longer the same ten years ago after you were born. Our body can no longer keep up with the kind of activities younger parents with children do. But your Daddy and I we make up for lost time, we make “bawi” moments once in awhile. We went out on weekends too and even every Sunday we go out, right? We go to mass. Somehow your Daddy and I get refueled, energized and get a sense of relaxation during our long or short road trips.
My Bielle and Kate, now you are getting bigger and wiser each day, understand things as they happen. Ask if you must for things that you don’t really comprehend. We will gladly reply to you with what we know. I will never get tired of answering back. We need to feed you with the information and knowledge that you need. We don’t know if our days here on earth will come sooner or later. But what I am very sure of is that as you get older, our hair gets whiter and whiter. You came in late in our lives, remember? If that time comes we want you to be equipped and ready for the world.
Please don’t get mad at us or make “tampo” whenever we scold you. Parents do get mad at times especially when their children are doing wrong or have not done things right. We don’t hate you for that. We get mad, yes, but only for the things and manners that you made or showed wrong. For you to know that what you had done isn’t right so you will never repeat the same mistakes again and again.
I also don’t play favoritism. It’s not in my make-up. If I buy a toy for you Bielle, I make sure Kate has one too. If Daddy will tell me he’ll buy you a “pasalubong”, I always tell him make it two. Ask him, I always tell him that. And he knows I will get mad at him if he only buys one. It should always be in twos. Reason is I don’t want any one of you feel unwanted, jealous, unappreciated, envy over the other for the wrong reasons and I don’t want you to feel we don’t love you enough. Whatever one gets, the other one gets something too.
I also don’t make comparison between you too. At least I never say it in front of you or in any occasion. I maybe describing you to someone else perhaps but I make sure I highlight each one of your strengths more than your weaknesses. I believe each individual are different in terms of personality, character, skills, capabilities and likes. That makes you unique. That makes you beautiful individually. If the other has it and the other one doesn’t, it does not matter. You will compliment each other in some other ways.
But I want you guys to support each other always and no matter what. Be each other’s back. Bielle, always look after your sister. Kate, listen well to your ate. Share what you have. Make room for understanding whenever there’s doubt, dissatisfaction, uncertainties, miscommunication and misunderstanding between your sisterly relationship. God has chosen you to be each other’s sisters for a reason. You became our children for a reason. Find that meaning and purpose together.
Don’t be jealous of each other’s achievements and success. Instead, uplift each other to do better. Help each other achieve the goal if one is less capable. Be each other’s constant reminder that no one’s alone in her own problems and that you got each other’s back all the time. Bielle, I know you are smarter and a goal-getter. Teach Kate everything she needs to know. Guide her. Forgive her short-temper ways and dramas. She just needs affirmation and appreciation sometimes. Kate, I know you are smart enough to know that you need your Ate. Your Ate may be the book-smart kid but you are the street-smart one. Know the difference between the two. You both have it to succeed in life. Grab every opportunities that may come your way.
Soon you will marry and have kids too, your own family to call your own. Teach them what you learned from us. Pick only the good ones. Avoid the unnecessary ones. Always have a family reunion between your families, even how small the gathering would be. Catch up and tell your stories. Never lose your connections even when you get busier in your own lives. Cook for your families. Cook what you learned from me. I’m sure you can remember one or two recipes from my cook book very well when that time comes.
At this point in your lives, you still don’t know what course you want in college and what career you’ll choose. Your dad and I are only here to support you and watch you reach your dreams. We want you to think and pray deeper that God may grant whatever you want and pursue in the future. We will do the same. Your dad and I will pray that He’ll grant all your heart’s desires and that you’ll be successful in your own career and family life. That’s the only thing we want before we leave you.
I wouldn’t promise too that the world outside will not be harsh on you. Evil are lurking around, there’ll be bullies who’ll continuously show their insecurities on you, jealous and envious eyes will stare and prey on you, you’ll experience unfair treatments at times and you’ll realize the whole world is not so perfect after all. But I want you to hold on to your values, good ways and manners you learned early on in school, remember my daily reminders when we were together and pray that no harm will come your way. Pray and pray that you’ll be able to overcome all these obstacles. Be strong and don’t let them rule you. Believe in God more than anything.
Lastly, be a good version of us. Be good to people you meet. Be genuine in your all your dealings. Be mindful of people’s spaces and boundaries. Be open to suggestions. Save as much as you want. Control your unnecessary expenses and be wise on your spending. Invest in your future. Be our greatest version instead.
We will never get tired of saying how much we love you, our Bielle and Kate. You have made our lives more meaningful and worth living here on earth.
Conquer the world mga anak!
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