My Dear Gabriel,
This letter is rather late. It’s just that lately, my life as a career mom has been in great hullabaloo. I’m not going to talk about it though, as this is supposed to be my birthday letter to you.
As I am writing now, you’re already asleep right beside me, breathing quite noisily and coughing in short intervals. We went to see your pedia this afternoon and thankfully it’s just a simple allergic cough, though she said I must be forewarned that allergies can later lead to asthma. Please God, that will not happen. I didn’t have a decent sleep last night, as you stayed most of the night coughing and at one point, vomiting in the bed, soiling everything. The anticipation of the following day’s endless washing of the beddings was nothing compared to the great pain I felt as I watched you all red from too much coughing. I was so desperate for you to be well, I couldn’t stand watching you struggle like that. Yes it’s just a simple cough, but for a mother, anything that makes her child’s life difficult is a humongous tribulation. Exaggerated words, but they certainly give justice to my feelings.
A good friend recently shared with me while she was reading an article about the power of the sign of the cross. I remembered it while you were coughing nonstop and crying at the same time out of sleepiness and exhaustion. I prayed, asked God for good night’s rest for you, and healing, and made the sign of the cross on your forehead three times, and on your back three times. The coughing stopped in an instant and you slept till the next morning. You see, we are so blessed we have our faith. It is because of this faith, that I am determined to make things right with you, to choose what is good, what is righteous, to choose love.
This is not an easy world we are living in. In fact, everyday, you see suffering everywhere. Before you came, I only cringed at these sufferings. But now that you’re here I take these sufferings as God’s constant reminder of how much I am blessed, how much I have to give. I have you, and it’s more than enough blessing to share with others. You will grow in love, encouragement, discipline. We will not only be mother and son. We will be friends. Even best of friends. You will tell me what you think and feel, I will listen. And vice versa. This world needs faith, hope, charity. And we will be among its heralds. You, me, your Tatay. Our little family.
You have officially entered the ‘terrific terrible two’ stage. Terrific, because it’s in this stage that you get to learn, and show what you learn, really fast. Terrible because this is also the ‘me, my, mine stage’. You’re beginning to see how much you can do thus giving you ‘courage’ to get what you want. You’ve been really really terrific-terrible-two lately. Of course, when you get overboard, you get a good spanking. Sometimes I don’t feel guilty, many times I do. But that is the kind of pain I am willing to undergo every once in a while, just to make sure you grow up knowing that what goes around, comes around.
‘Lab yu Nay!’ You seem to be fond of telling me that lately. That’s more than enough assurance for me, that the language of my love will always be greater than what ‘terrific terrible two’ brings along. You will get spanked. But you will know why.
Happy birthday my dear Abe! With you, God has blessed me in so many wonderful, amazing ways. Your face, your voice, the touch of you, all the intricate detail of my Gabriel … here, in my heart. All the birthdays of your life, forever.
I have to give credit to my friend, Hannah for the term 'terrific terrible two'. Really brilliant.
(here is a link to gabriel's recent birthday celebration: http://annereinee.multiply.com/photos/album/32/ABE_TURNED_TWO)