I do this every year…but this time, it’s like the seasonal chore of putting away the girls’ old clothes that don’t fit anymore. Zi’s birthday.
Her 1st birthday was bittersweet. I just have such a hard time letting go of their infancy, but even if I don’t archive it verbally, I know the evidence is still there. Like traces of the wind, Zi’s progressive growth is in the subtle vessels of looks when I say ‘no’ or ‘give’, ‘kiss’, ‘hug’, ‘say this or that’, ‘sit’, ‘sing’, ‘high5’, ‘align’…etc. Not only is she physically growing, but her comprehension of words and commands are increasing, and even her mastery of certain speaking vocabulary is evident. She can say mamam, tatay, ate, that, uh-oh, ba-bay, hi, watsthat? She even starts to cry when I give her a stern ‘no’ to some desired act or object.
Her birthday was spent rising early for church, something I was thankful for, since she tends to like music, and service is filled with songs. She tends to like praise and worship, singing along with full vocals, and then choir practice. That day was also a special service for all the moms/wives for Mother’s Day, so there were a lot of people at church. It was nice though, having her greeted by everyone, and even sharing an ice cream cake with everyone on a warm day. Thanks everyone for the birthday song for our darling. Although somewhat confused, I’m glad she enjoyed the day.
I’m also thankful for Dr. Suzuki, who told me not to bring her in to get her shots so she can enjoy the day. He’s the first doctor who was thoughtful enough to recommend this. He’s often this practical when it comes to our family, so thanks Doc! That helped a lot since we were in SJ.
After choir, we rested and then met up with my sister’s family at Zi’s favorite restaurant. Could you guess? YES! Red Lobster. She absolutely devours their cheddar bay biscuits and mac & cheese. She had one biscuit in each hand, munching, and garrulous from all the day’s excitement. The 5 kids made it a challenging but very fulfilled meal. It was awesome having shared her birthday with her cousins. We’re very thankful for their company. Then we made it home sweet home, after such a busy day. Zienne seemed exceptionally pleasant, not too fussy, despite the commotion and packed activities.
But there was one more thing to accomplish, giving her her 1st birthday gift. Perze & I always have a hard time picking out that one special first gift, but one day, by grace, I walked into a store unexpectedly browsing, and happenstanced to fall in love with a baby bangle. Adjustable, secure, and baby-proof, Zienne opened it and knew exactly where it was to be worn. So with some help, I slid on her first gold bangle. She displayed it proudly, even holding up her arm, as to handle it with care. I hope when she’s grown, she’ll be able to pass that small treasure down.
Hopefully this blog will find its way to her as well. So anak, if you’re reading this, I want you to know how much you are loved by tatay, ate, and mamam. You are an amazement, always surprising your tatay and mamam, especially with not just booming abilities, but your emerging heart and joy. I see it in the way you nurture Ate when she’s crying, or give full attention and affection to your young cousin Sienna. I see it in your love for music as you beam with pure joy in the simplicity of a song, as you dance and sing, or even conduct. I see it in your elation when you see your tatay walk in the door from work. You are a joy, Zienne, and your tatay and I are incredibly blessed and humbled to have such the responsibility to raise you to become a happy individual that will one day truly find herself in definition to God’s will. Happy 1st year Zi; we wish you Jesus.