Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Precious Bonus

It took me a long time after I got married to conceive my first daughter. It was such an agonizing wait, with all the medical attempts I have tried proving to be futile one after the other. In my desperation, I bargained to God that all I needed was just ONE baby, and then I wouldn’t have to ask for anything anymore.

Then Bianca came, and what a bundle of joy she was and is to me and my husband. Truly an answered prayer.

Three years after, I gave birth to Danee. I didn't ask for her, she just came, unplanned but nonetheless wanted. Bianca is the gift, Danee is the bonus.

Today is Danee's 9th birthday and as I look at her, I am amazed at how she has turned out to be - a little lady with a big big heart.

We have given her the gifts she likes, taken from her long wish list prepared long before and plan to have a quiet family dinner later, which is what she wants. She hates parties. Not that she is anti-social, but her idea of a birthday celebration is a quiet time with the people she loves best. How charming for a nine-year old!

Opening the gifts one by one, she smiled so broadly at all of us, as a sign of appreciation. Little does she know that she herself is the greatest gift, touching my heart so gently yet profoundly, leaving a sweet aftertaste in my soul.

When I am ill, Danee is the first to come to my bedside, instantly dropping whatever it is that she's preoccupied with. We would inadvertently switch roles – she acting like a little nursing mommy and me acting like the big sick child. She would stroke me in the forehead, give me a massage, bring me my meds and why, even read me my favorite book.

When I am in such a lowly mood, Danee is the first person to notice and ask me what's wrong. When I cry, Danee would shed equal buckets of tears with me. At her young age, it is easy for her to feel my pain even if she cannot comprehend the cause. To own it even. Which makes me wonder: do we really need to have the breadth of experience to feel empathy for another person?

When I am not my usual self, like I am having a bad day and a bad mood, Danee is sensitive enough to give me space and just let me be. Even when I do or say crazy things, Danee never judges me as a bad mom. I would hear her quip to her ate "you know mom, she's just like that. sometimes abnormal but the real she is not really like that".

When I am away from home for a long time, Danee makes it a point to call me everyday just to talk about nothing and everything. She would sleep with the cellphone beside her, so she can readily grab it when mommy calls up. She never fails to punctuate our conversations with “I love you, Mommy”.

One time, I asked Danee what she wants to be when she grows up. She mumbled something about being a car mechanic, or a jet pilot, an astronaut even but wasn’t sure about anything of those. Out of the blue, she blurted out: “Why, I want to be just like you – pretty, intelligent and loving. I want to take care of you when you grow old!” I was speechless.

As an adult, I have my own baggages. Sometimes, pride makes it hard for me to apologize to somebody I offended. It will not take a second for Danee to apologize when she knows she’s at fault. And when she does get hurt, Danee readily forgives and forgets, even without the word “sorry” from the person who has offended her.

She is not all that perfect though. I can recall a number of occasions when she would have her own “moments” too. She can be as selfish and as naughty and as rowdy as any child could be. She would have her own annoying antics that really get on my nerves. She would constantly be in a brawl with her ate, with her Dad and even with me.

But with Danee, I have never felt so loved and cared for in my life. For all her innocence, the family has learned a lot of lessons from this nine-year-old who seems to have the wisdom of a ninety-year-old:

Love is not love unless it is shown or given.
Loving a person means loving him not just when he's good but even when he's bad.
It's easy to get hurt. but it's equally easy to forgive.

Happy happy birthday, my dearest daughter. Life had never felt this good, what with the love that you constantly radiate to each of us. You are one precious soul that we will all treasure. My geatest bonus!


Gina said...

What a beautiful bonus!

Happy Birthday to your precious daughter.

God bless her always.

Mel said...

hey, thanks gina.

Mel said...

hey, thanks gina.