Right as you hit your fifteenth month, we closed another school year. It wasn’t without challenges, but above all emotions I am grateful that we got to spend it together.
We: you, dad, and me. We rose early and drove wordlessly and went about with our daily routines for eleven months. Your father was miserable most of the time, I was often unfocused with the mix of duties, and you were a trooper amidst it all. You were sick more times than a baby your age should be, but I sure hope the bright side is that your immune system is beefed up.
And now, we are at a crossroads once again. Uncertainties are staring us in the face again. Our minds are littered with questions: Should Daddy go back to Manila for work, at the cost of seeing you only on weekends? How will it be with just you and me at home? What if there’s a thunderstorm and the lights go out? What if I need time for thesis? How do I drive us to work, when you’re so used to sitting on my lap, and is it even worth the escalating price of gas?
In spite of it all, my dearest, you have started walking. Tentative at first, but now braver.
In spite of it all, you have started talking. Words are starting to spill out: Mama, Dada, Papa, Nana, baba, dede, tete, niyaw-niyaw (cat), ff-ff (fish), there, Amen, nah, added to the array of gestures you sign like please, thank you, milk, water, eat, cracker, read, shoes, socks, car, yes…these all make me beam with pride that you can make yourself be understood in your own little way.
You have actual favorite books now, and you have active participation in every one of them (though I think you prefer Daddy’s read-alouds over mine). You laugh in context, have silly antics, and you give kisses and hugs that just about clears all troubles away.
There are times when you assert yourself and it gets exhausting, so battles are fought. You vs Me. Me vs Dad. Dad vs You.The last more often that I’d like, and I pray you don’t resent him for it. I may not always agree with his ways, but in my heart I know he means well. He means so well, sweetheart, that in fact, his misery this whole time is rooted in the fact that he can’t give the world to you.
Still we go back to gratitude.
Because how many families can say they had the blessing of time in the same workplace?
Because whatever comes our way, you are one thing we will always be thankful for.