I have two boys and a girl. They’re certainly my life’s most precious blessings, and I love each one of them wholeheartedly. I always tell them that they will forever be my babies, and I knew right from the start that I would have a difficult time letting go of them when they grow bigger and older. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like when my babies are already living their own life and carrying out their daily tasks without my help and away from me.
Where is this coming from, you ask?
Just recently, my baby girl – the youngest among my three kids – told me that she’s ready to sleep in her bed and stay in her own room all by herself. Take note, she’s just six years old! (Her brothers share a room but with different beds, fyi.) You see, we’ve always been together during sleep time, and we observe a special routine before going to bed – that is, we kiss and hug each other and say the following:
Mommy: I love you…
Baby: I love you, too…
Mommy: so much,
Mommy: What’s next?
Both: Good night! (then we pretend to fall asleep quickly)
That’s our thing, and I look forward to that every single night. I know she does, too, because she hardly closes her eyes to sleep without me. She also made me promise to kiss and hug her even when she’s already asleep in the few times that I was out late for meetings or events. This is also why it’s always a struggle to leave for overseas business trips and out-of-town engagements. She’d make sure I knew how much she missed me through letters, Viber messages, and calls. Here are some of the letters she wrote for me during my recent travels. Aren’t they so heartwarming? 🙂
Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of her for being brave and for asserting her independence. It’s just that I wasn’t prepared for this time to come so soon. I mean, she’s just a baby for crying out loud! 🙁
And it’s not just about sleeping on her own, mind you. Compared to her older brothers, my not-so-baby girl was the earliest to independently take a bath, decide on what to wear, put on clothes and shoes, eat food using a spoon and fork, and brush her teeth. So you see, while this resulted in a less stressful child-rearing stage for me, it also meant that she stopped needing my help at an early age. It’s quite sad because I sort of wanted to be her go-to person whenever she needed something, but I guess she’s all grown up now (yes, with all six years under her belt 🙂 ) and she believes she can manage to do the basic tasks on her own. Whenever I ask her if she needs help, she’d always tell me, “Mommy, I’m a big girl now, remember?”, and proceed to kiss and hug me as if trying to comfort me and ease my sadness. Haha 😀
Perhaps you’re wondering why I’m making a big fuss over this. You see, I had the most difficult pregnancy with my baby girl. (Read here: One difficult pregnancy after another ) At one point, I thought I almost lost her. I went in and out of the hospital due to blood pressure surges and other complications. I also became unconscious for several hours with her inside my tummy, which understandably scared the hell out of my hubby. I gave birth to her prematurely (CS, at eight months), and she had to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit for over a month. It pained me to see her with all the medical equipment attached to her, and it broke my heart to hear her cry whenever she had to endure another needle in her delicate little body. She was fragile and strong at the same time.
When she was finally sent home with us, we had to take a lot of precaution because her pediatrician said she shouldn’t get sick. For the first few months, it was mostly just me (and occasionally her dad and older brothers) in her room. I wouldn’t let anyone else in for fear that she might contract a virus from other people (even family members) who could have been exposed to sick people outside. That was our life – I breastfed her, I carried her in my arms, and I put her to sleep.
So you see, I was so used to that kind of relationship and environment that this newfound independence of hers is driving me nuts! 🙂 I know this is a positive development – from a small and fragile preemie to a beautiful, smart and confident little girl that she is – but is wanting her to be my baby girl for a few more years too much to ask for? 🙂
Still, some things never change. She continues to be the sweetest person who loves me “to infinity and beyond”, like what she always says. And I can bet on that 110%! We still have our “unlimited kisses and hugs” session, and I’m still her favorite person in the world (sorry, daddy!).
I know someday she will grow up to be a strong, independent, and successful woman, and I would have to fully let go so she could explore the world and fulfill her own dreams. I promise not to be in her way and not to dictate how her life should be, but I will always be there to guide her and come running whenever she cries – silently or loudly – for help. For now, though, we’ll stick to being momma-sistahs (she treats me as her sister, too, because she doesn’t have one), shopping and pampering buddies, Uno cards competitors, and lovers of all things princess-y, pink and purple. 😀