Simply God-made (Happy birthday, Sunshine!)

So grateful to be her mama...
I missed the fifth birthday of my little sunshine. My second, actually. Last year as she celebrated her birthday, I was in Korea and she was in Russia. This year, she is in the Philippines and I am in Russia. Besides that, I couldn't afford to give her any gift this year. I feel so sorry, yet knowing her, I know she will continue to be a ray of sunshine to those around her. And that's why I couldn't help but count the many gifts that she has brought into my life since we were together (almost 9 months of being in my belly, 5 years and a few days since her birth).

Thank you, Angelika, for the joy of talking with you. You simply know how to respond, even when you were in my tummy back then. You are fascinating. You know how to engage me in a conversation. Right now, I have tons of things that I want to talk with you about, which I know you will be so interested in to listen. And after being away from you, I can only guess that you have lots to tell me, too. I can't wait to listen. Always remember, my dear, that I will always be happy to listen and talk with you. About... anything.

Thank you for bringing oodles of smiles and laughter into my life. Don't I call you my little sunshine for the ability of making me happy, even without trying? Thank you for the cuddles, the tickles and the giggles. Thank you for the belly laughs and the roll-on-the-floor laughs too. I can't get enough of your funny, unaffected humor. And I will always look forward to seeing your smile. Every time, my dumpling.

Thank you for being nice. Not only to your little sister sometimes, but also to your big brother most times. I also saw you comforting a friend at school one day. She fell down while running and scraped her knees. You cared. You hugged her, tried to comfort her, and helped her up to go ask help from your teacher.  As your mom and seeing that, I was bursting with pride and happiness for seeing my girl so kind. I will always be proud of you. You are awesome!

Photo courtesy of Riza Gay Estores-Estocada
I just go crazy over your made-up songs. They are so silly, yet so right. Remember the song that tells kids not to watch TV all the time and instead read with their moms when it's rainy outside? My, I love the ending. "It's raining outside, it's raining outside, it's raining... outside," you crooned. You are wise even at four. I wonder what wisdom I will learn from you in the coming years. Thank you for being such a sage at a young age. Thank you for all the lessons. I will be willing to learn from you, so keep that wisdom coming.

Thank you for not being a picky eater. My, how you make being a mom pure joy. You eat beans. You eat broccoli. You eat spinach and any leaf that I cook and leave uncooked. You eat what I cook... and that's good enough for me.

Thank you for being such a tough cookie with a very soft and big, big heart. I can always count on you to do what you have to do. And when you do it, it is always the best. Ever since you were born and even when you were still in my tummy, when things go tough, I never heard you whine. You understand. You cry when I cry.You smile when I do. You forgive when I'm so much in guilt and give me a hug when I need it. I wonder at such empathy. I love your heart. And you will always be in mine.

You have a way of diffusing tense moments by infusing them with your brand of Angelika-ness. And you even don't know it. I will always treasure that moment in the car. That moment in a pedicab, too. I'm still laughing even now. But can't remember the pain. Thank you.

You are God's gift. And I will always be grateful to Him for blessing me by having you.

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