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It always gets better

A month has gone by; a month of Miss Sunshine being unwell, hospitalization for a few days and gradual recovery. And once again, I am amazed by my daughter’s strength and resilience; that even in her suffering she is able to enjoy life, smile, laugh and play when I find it hard just to see her unwell. I must admit that this time it’s been harder than before, probably because it was so unexpected. I just figured we were dealing with her usual manageable symptoms so I had not even thought of a possible hospital admission.

But today, I want to focus on the bright side. The fact that Miss S has bounced back and even managed to go to school today. The fact that little by little she’s getting to experience her small joys- being with her cousins, going to play areas and just having fun.

The fact that we had almost a whole month together, mostly indoors, with nothing to do but just be. It was claustrophobic some of the time, maybe restrictive but we were together; no pressures, no schedules; only focusing on her recovery.

I appreciate the fact that I am practicing letting go, there’s nothing more I can do to protect her, I have to let her live her life fully and just do the best I can to minimize her symptoms when she falls sick.

I am so grateful that we are back to living our lives fully because it has reduced the frustration and overwhelming feelings that I was experiencing when all I was focusing on was her being unwell. I know as a result of the helplessness I felt seeing her suffering once again, I had so much pent up frustration which unfortunately resulted in a number of outbursts once we were back home when she was getting better. And I appreciate that I can now forgive myself for the outbursts and I am finding ways to react in such unexpected stressful situations. Another reason I’m grateful that we’re back to our normal routines is because the time together became our ‘normal’ so Miss S became so used to our time together, that she became clingy and irritable when I was even away from her for a few minutes when she needed me. And this separation anxiety was a bad trigger for us in the past week. But today has been refreshing, her having her morning at school- which she had missed so much- and myself at work.

The main reason I am grateful is that despite everything, I have Miss Sunshine. I have a happy, healthy, loving, bubbly, bright, funny, strong willed and fulfilled little girl. Nothing beats having her. Storms will come and they will pass. We’ll take whatever life throws at us. I have her and she has me, and that’s what I’m focusing on,

My precious Sunshine, I love you and will always love you the mostest and the bestest.

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The Big 3!

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Happy 3rd birthday princess!

My precious girl turned 3 exactly a week ago and it’s probably because the birthday week has been so fun- filled that I haven’t had a chance to blog.

I am filled with so much joy and gratitude when I think of the past 3 years. Miss Sunshine’s been a true miracle… When I think of her earlier years and how afraid I was because of her poor health and then I look at this robust, vocal, independent and very happy girl, I am amazed. And so thankful.

I know every child is unique, an angel and yet I feel this so wholly with Miss S. I look at her great ability to empathize and feel another’s pain and her need to make everyone happy, I think of how many times she has the ability to change my frown into a smile, I remember how many of her prayers are answered so instantly and I see how she can do anything to make the people she loves happy… Her generosity of spirit, her sensitivity and compassion never cease to amaze me. And that’s why I wish I could give her the world, because she asks for so little and is content with any little thing.

This year, her birthday had an animal theme. She has always loved animals- especially wild animals; but now she loves rabbits as well and loves playing with them at my work place. So everything, from the house decorations to her cake and activity for the day was animal related. And from the minute she walked down and saw the house, her face was euphoric; hearing her say ‘wow, God has given me so many gifts,’ was worth every hour spent preparing. For months she’d said all she wanted for her birthday was a tree, so for her actual birthday she had a flower tree from my parents to plant in a special pot; and she will still plant her trees so she can see them in years to come. Even now, I don’t understand where she got the concept of a tree from, and how that could be all she wanted. Her thoughts surprise me every single day. Needless to say, the rest of her day was perfect for her- visiting the animals at the orphanage, receiving birthday calls from so many people, seeing her animal themed cake and cutting it and having dinner with family… and still her birthday month goes on.

But I don’t mean to say that Miss S is not an ordinary pre- schooler with her own fights for independence, frustration and tantrums… she is. And I think because so often she’s so mature I tend to forget that she’s still a young child and has the right to behave like a small child. So it helps me to take time and remember that despite being mature for her age, she is allowed to just be 3. And her birthday week and birthday month give me a long time to celebrate her and be thankful for her and appreciate that I have the most special gift in the world.

So this year my dearest Sunshine I wish you sunlight as bright as you, family and friends who are as loving and supportive as you are, dreams that make you soar… I pray you are always surrounded by God’s grace, love, joy, peace and utter contentment and that you will always see the beauty in everything like you do now. I pray that you will always have a song to sing and a voice that can be heard. My dearest S, I wish you success…your own version of success… May your light always shine bright, may your voice always be as sweet, may your heart always be as pure, may you always know unconditional love… I wish you the best of everything…from my mouth to God’s ears.

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Blessings sweetheart!
You are incomparably loved

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Reflecting on the past three years

The more things change, the more they remain the same…

My precious girl,
It feels like we’ve spent a lifetime together because I can hardly remember a time without you. And as I sit here I realize even though you’re growing older and so much has changed, a lot remains the same. Being almost 3 means you’re more fluent and vocal, more independent and strong willed, toilet trained, ready for school and you sleep easily through the night. And something new that amazed me about a week ago was watching you draw your 1st person. Looking at that picture makes me smile so much because it shows me how you’re steadily growing and learning so much every single minute.

Yet what amazes me even more is how many things remain the same as you grow:

I thought by the time you were this age I’d know more, be an expert on parenting…but what I’ve discovered is that even as you grow, there’s more to learn, more challenges to face, more growth. You’re growing daily, changing daily so I’m getting to know a little new part of you every day. So I’m sure, even when you’re 12, I’ll still feel the ‘newness’ of parenting.

Separation anxiety- thought we were through with that whole phase and then a couple of months ago, there it was again. One day I was getting ready to go to work and you insisted you didn’t want me to leave…and that became your usual mantra whenever I was leaving for work. For a few weeks it was so heart wrenching leaving you, it felt like we were back to a year ago. It’s so easy to forget the past until it happens again. Things are back to normal now but what keeps me going even during the periods of separation anxiety is the thought that you don’t want me to leave just because you love me and want to be with me. And as long as I’ve prepared you and you know I’ll come back, you will always get through this.

Your cries still have the power to break me. They still pierce me. It’s taken a lot of adjustment to accept that it’s okay and healthy for you to cry. To accept that not wanting you to cry is more about how I grew up, in an age when children were encouraged not to cry or told to ‘stop crying.’ I’m still learning to hold you as you cry and let you feel and let out whatever emotions you’re feeling without trying to distract you or ‘make you happy.’ I’m learning to accept responsibility for how I feel when you cry as opposed to unconsciously making you feel guilty for my helplessness in that situation. I want you to grow up knowing that it’s okay for you to feel any emotion, so as to deal with it and express it healthily.

When you were younger, you were sick a lot and you falling sick became one of my greatest fears. That hasn’t changed at all. In fact, I need to work on that. As a result of the constant sickness during your infancy, how much I love you and how helpless I felt each time you were sick or we were in hospital, each time you have even a minor flu or a recurrence of any of your previous symptoms, I’m helpless once again. My life stops, at least mentally. I go through the motions but internally I’m just suffering, trying to protect you, even when you don’t need protecting. I know that’s about me. All that traumatized me and I need to deal with that so I don’t project my powerlessness to you.

I love you so so much, more every day. I didn’t know that was possible but when I see you in the morning, watch you sleep at night, I’m still amazed that you are mine. I want you to know that I mean it when I tell you are such a special gift to me and it is an honour to be given the job to be your mama.

Your love, your warmth,your sensitivity; just grows in leaps and bounds. You have a heart of gold my Sunshine and that hasn’t changed, it just keeps growing.

You still love gymnastics and reading, but you’ve found time to nurture more passions- dancing, singing, gardening… Guess that’s why all you want this birthday is a tree. It always strikes me how you’re inherently your own person, developing interests that aren’t necessarily mine. I have little or no interest in nature but you love trees and animals. I cannot even somersault but you taught yourself that and much more. I hope I’ll always help you be the best version of yourself and not just a copy- cat version of anyone else. I love you just as you are.

You still make the biggest difference in my life. Time hasn’t changed that, I doubt it ever will. You made a difference when you were born, you still make a difference in My life. You changed and are still changing my world.

Even now, when you sleep, you want to hold my hand. That is the best feeling. Your little hand wrapped around one finger, or part of my hand. That is enough to make my day.

You still love giraffes. And you’ve added rabbits and flamingos to your animal loves.

I know there is still so much more I can’t remember right now, but the most important thing, you still are and will always be my precious baby, my Sunshine, my adorable girl and my blessing.

Happy Birthday Eve my love

I love you, always and forever

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Contentment :-)

It’s been one of those weekends… a great weekend… more so because I see it through my little one’s eyes… and everything seen through her eyes is always AMAZING!

Yesterday we went to the animal orphanage, Miss Ss, my sister, her daughter and I. Ss has been to the safari walk, which she loved, because she loves animals, but yesterday was her first time at the orphanage. So as we stood watching the lions, roaring with them and Ss spontaneously erupting into gleeful shouts, I could see how happy she was, how content, experiencing life to the fullest like she always does. And in one cage, there were two furious lions that were running, fighting, roaring; just looking angry. I imagine they must be, caged like that when they’d rather be in the wild. So my sister and I were hypothesizing on what we would do if they escaped and attacked. Even that thought itself was scary because they looked so angry…then I look at my lil’ one and she has no fears, in fact she was just shouting and talking to them, content because she knows as long as I’m there I’ll take care of her. It must be so liberating to always know that someone somewhere is always in control… I guess that’s the way I should be with God, put myself fully in His arms. I guess that’s why she’s so independent and experimenting, because she trusts there’s someone to catch her when she falls. Like yesterday, she was falling down so many times; she doesn’t like her hand being held when she’s walking or running, so she’ll sometimes trip on uneven ground. She will run on gravel, trip and fall, get up and tell me ‘pain’ as she shows me where she’s hurt, then she dusts herself off and knows that once I wipe her hands, kiss the pain away and we tell the offending floor ‘bad’ everything will be okay. And she’s good to resume her running 🙂 So the orphanage was a success, even though Ss had wanted to see giraffes this weekend (her favourite animals), she loved the lions, leopards, cheetahs…and it was great hearing her pronunciations of their names.

And today was another easy day, church then lunch…and again I grasped a little bit of heaven. We were sitting in a swing, swinging together, and as we go up she lay on me holding me and I felt utter peace. And the higher we go, she’s just lying contentedly and I’m enraptured by how something so simple and so commonplace can be so heavenly. Swinging isn’t a big deal, but today as we sat there swinging together in silence I just felt that nothing compares to that. That’s how she changes my whole life and makes every moment an event… she makes ordinary moments extraordinary…she completes my life.

I am so lucky, and I am grateful everyday because my little Sunshine, she has transformed me, transformed my life…and I’m sure she has no idea…

Sleep well my Sunshine, I love you

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Happy 18 months love!

Midnight…my time…time to just enjoy inspirational music,read something… I’ve just done little miss’ hair; I love doing her hair, I find it so therapeutic and I love trying out new styles to express her vibrant personality 🙂

And now I have time to think of the past 18 months…this beautiful journey we’ve had together…it’s been so memorable,watching my little one explore and learn her world,watching her love and laugh and live…watching her try new things, get past frustrations and make new achievements… It’s been a time of growth for me too, I’ve found so much solace and peace,I’ve laughed more and also had my share of tears…tears of frustration when I feel lost and don’t know what to do to soothe my little one, tears when she’s sick and in pain, tears when I’m just tired and overwhelmed… But I’ve also experienced so much gratitude, I am so grateful to have my Sunshine, so grateful to have the most perfect gift,to be mother, friend and companion to this darling girl, gratitude that I can have so much love and happiness such that even when there are bad days, it doesn’t matter because I know they’ll pass, gratitude to have re- discovered life and to have learnt how to live in the present like little Ss does 😀

Many times people wonder why I celebrate her ‘birthday’ every month when she won’t even remember. Here’s why… I celebrate her life…even though I try to make every day of her life special, I like to make the 12th extra special to remind her how much she is loved, cherished and appreciated. It’s not so that she remembers the day, it’s so that she enjoys the present moment with or without memories. The joy we experience in life is accumulated,so we may not remember what has made us happy in life but if our lives have been filled with a collection of moments in which we experience love, joy, laughter, then we feel content. That’s what I want for her. An opportunity to always live in the present and make every moment memorable so that she will always be grateful for what she has. And this doesn’t require much effort,just making do with what’s there. For example, I sing for her each birthday,look for special things to do together, dress her in nice clothes and keep reminding here how special she is. And because life is unexpected, I don’t know what the day will bring,I remember one of her 12ths she was sick in hospital, last month we lost my aunt… I can’t guarentee that it’ll be our best day, or that things won’t go wrong, what I can guarantee is that no matter what I’ll take time to celebrate her 18month life in any way I can and to make sure that I see her beautiful smile and hear get belly laugh as much as I can in the next 24 hours 😀

Sleep well my precious sunshine. Love you always and forever <3<3<3

 

Will post my message to you in the morning when I’m more coherent 😉