My Dearest Dana
Somehow this year, you were really eagerly anticipating the arrival of your birthday, even though Daddy and I managed your expectations by telling you that there will be no big celebrations for you after you turned 7. But still on New Year’s Day, you set the wooden calendar on top of the piano to 05 Apr (your birth-date), starting the slow but sure count down to your 8th Birthday.
You have grown so much so quickly these past two years since entering Primary School, becoming your own little being, forming your own temperaments, with the occasional moodiness and sullen looks when the day didn’t go as well as you had intended. You are loyal to your friends and demonstrate such a strong sense of belonging to the school. You’re of one the most adventurous, spontaneous and independent 8 year olds we know, and possess a free-spirited, generous heart with a witty sense of humour – traits you’ve inherited from Daddy.
There were countless occasions where out of an overwhelming sense from the frustrations of life, I had expected too much of you – to make your own bed, to get yourself ready for school, to be tip top in your homework, to be exemplary in your behavior, to take initiative to babysit your brother, to leave no mess in your room, to make no mistakes in your spelling, to receive no negative feedback from the teacher etc. I wish you would not grow up so fast but yet I expect you to assume personal responsibility like an adult would. Whenever you make an error in judgement or wrong decision, I did not hesitate to make my disappointments and wrath known. So for all the times that I snapped at you, I am sorry. I am not proud of me. Mommy had forgotten you are still a child, that you were barely 8 and you still needed me to handhold you, guide you and parent you.
I forgot little as you are, you are entitled to your feelings…I saw you cry bitterly when Great Grandma passed and recently, you secretly teared after bidding our helper Lyn goodbye. I forgot you too, have complex emotions to juggle and demons to fight, yes even as a 8 year old.
This past week, I wept for the passing of #CourageousCaitie and I recalled how we defeated we felt when we buried your sister and brothers. God used Caitie’s life to remind me that you are His precious answered prayer, loaned to us only for a definite period of time. You gave me the honour of being a Mom when you were born 8 years ago (we even stored your cord blood till this day). What could have come over me such that I have lost sight that you are a Gift, not a liability? It was you who restored joy in my hopelessness and gave me renewed purpose. You are the daughter I had prayed for and always wanted – the one God had handpicked for us.
Your birthday has always been an occasion for thanksgiving but it’s also a time of reflection. In my 8th year as a Mother, I recognise I have fallen so terribly short. I am asking God for forgiveness and by His Grace, to empower me to become a more godly Mommy. And I will start by praying with you more and hugging you more this year. Because you mean the world to me, darling, yes you do.
Happy 8th Birthday, we love you more than you ever know.
So I printed this list of interview questions for Dana to do since she was too excited to go to bed earlier and some of her answers took me by surprise (only goes to prove that my daughter has grown up, right under my nose!)
1. Who is your favourite person in the whole world?
2. What is your favourite color?
3. What is your favourite thing to wear?
Jeans with my blue CSI T-shirt.
4. What is your favourite sport?
5. What is your favourite subject in school?
6. Who are your best friends?
Wei-En, Maegan and Meredith.
7. What do you want to be when you grow up?
8. What is your favourite book?
9. What are you really good at?
10. Where do you wish you could go on vacation?
To Hong Kong Disneyland.
11. What is your best memory?
That I went to the hospital with my parents to bring my baby brother home.
12. What would you buy if you had a lot of money?
a. Hover board and b. Samsung / Nokia mobile phone.
13. What vegetable do you like the most?
14. If you could have one wish what would it be?
That I could do real magic and go to Hogwarts.
15. What is your favourite flavor of ice cream?
16. Who is your biggest hero?
God + Jesus.
17. What do you like to do with your friends?
Go overseas with them.
18. What do you hope to accomplish by your next birthday?
To be wiser.