Friday, August 17, 2007

The sight of you

"Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart" ~ Kahlil Gibran

My dearest E.,

Yesterday, I laid eyes on you after 2 whole days of solitude and loneliness without your presence, your wonderful smile, your kindly eyes. I was at an event organized by the senior partner in my office- and your father was to pick you up and bring you to meet me there. The sight of you, it took my breath away, my heart was full with emotions. When I glimpsed you sitting in your stroller, your father standing behind you, my heart melted and I wanted to run to you and shout with joy.

Run, I did- but I was dignified enough to hold you close to me, breathe in your scent deeply and kiss you incessantly. And when you hugged me, your arms around my neck, I wanted to cry for joy, that you were home with us. And I lifted you up, into my arms where you belonged.

The light of beauty in your heart- which shines through and is magnified a thousand times on your physicality: that is what I missed most when you were away. If I could have things my way, all my way, I would never want you to be apart from me, ever again.

And we walked together, mother and daughter, and I found myself walking taller, prouder, that my beautiful, sweet little babe was walking beside me, charming strangers, smiling coyly, well-behaved. Pretty as a picture. My baby.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Your birthday is coming!

"Our birthdays are feathers in the broad wing of time" ~ Jean Paul Richter

My dearest E.,

It is now August, and I am very excited, because your birthday draws nearer (it is in October), and I can't wait to start planning for a little party for you!

We threw a big party last year when you turned 1, with much fanfare, expense and with many guests. How long ago that seemed-you were so much smaller and you could barely walk. This year, for your 2nd birthday, your father and I have decided on a small, intimate affair: a party at our home, with home-made decorations and food: yes, I will cook and prepare a scrumptious meal for your guests!

When you come to my age, birthdays are no longer a big deal: age is just a number. But when you are a child, make the most of your birthdays and parties, because it will be the most wonderful times you will remember when you are an adult.

Miss you like hell

"Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell" ~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

My dearest E.,

I am a weakling, I know I am. I am also a crybaby. Last week on Wednesday, your father had fallen ill with exhaustion . The task of caring for him, of course, fell on me. I was also exhausted because of the lack of sleep, and the decision was made for you to stay over with your grandparents to enable us to recuperate.

I don't have to tell you how terrible I felt that night. Your father and I decided to have a quick dinner outside, and as I sat at the booth there after we had ordered our food, and your father had gone to use the gents', I took out my mobile phone and watched videos of you on it. And felt tears pooling in my eyes when I looked at you. Those lively, carefree, sweet pictures of you. And felt that huge void in my heart. The tears came, faster and faster, I hadn't enough tissues to wipe the streaks that crossed my face.

I wanted to cry and bawl out loud, but I didn't. I continued watching my favourite video of you, dancing to my rendition of London Bridge and Baa Baa Black Sheep, and the tears continued to fall silently into my lap. Your father came back from the gents' and thought something terrible had happened.

And indeed, it was terrible for me, sweetie, to know that when I went to bed that night, you would not be lying beside me, and I would have no one to sing The Sound of Music to.

That pain of missing you filled me throughout the night, I barely slept, and the next day, and finally, when I laid eyes on you on Wednesday evening, my world was complete again.

Today, you have left to go to Port Dickson with your grandparents. I know that I will feel that terrible void again when I go home, so I intend to busy myself and go to the gym with your godmother and Uncle Calvin. I try not to think of your empty bed, with your sweet baby smell lingering in our room. I try not to think of your arms around my neck as you hug and kiss me good night.

You will have a wonderful time in Port Dickson, I know you will. But it doesn't help that I feel this way, and I'm glad, though, that you have no way of knowing now how I truly feel when we are apart. Because mothers are supposed to be strong role models for their children. And I certainly do not want to fail you and be a weak role model, simply because I hate being apart from my beloved daughter.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Bedtime Lullaby: The Sound Of Music

"The hills are alive with the sound of music...."~ Rodgers & Hammerstein II

My dearest E.,

The Sound of Music (TSOM), one of the greatest classics of all time, is a cinch when it comes to getting you to sleep. Three times, I'd sing this to you during bedtime: the first time, your eyelids start drooping, but you continue to twiddle about with your blanket, the second, your eyes are closed, you suck on your Minnie Mouse pacifier vigorously and you turn your body inwards closer to mine, the third, your pacificer drops out of your mouth and you breathe quietly, sleeping like an angel. I tell you, I have smiled and have not stopped smiling on the day I started singing this song to you, and realizing how much you loved it. And how easy it is to get you to go to bed once I start singing.

TSOM was a movie musical written by Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (lyrics) and the 1965 production of the movie musical starring Dame Julie Andrews, one of my favourite actresses of all time, and Sir Christopher Plummer, shot to phenomenal success. The story of TSOM was taken from a book written by Maria Von Trapp entitled "The Story of the Trapp Family Singers". The songs featured in the movie musical have become amazingly popular classics. I can bet that there isn't a person who cannot sing the first opening lines of TSOM. And then there are songs like Edelweiss, My Favourite Things, So Long, Farewell and the Lonely Goatheard (which has been "borrowed" by Gwen Stefani in her song, Wind it Up).

Here are the lyrics to the Sound of Music: I promise that when you are older, I shall buy a DVD and we shall watch this beloved movie musical together.

The hills are alive with the sound of music
With songs they have sung for a thousand years
The hills fill my heart with the sound of music
My heart wants to beat every song it hears.

My heart wants to beat like the wings
of the birds that fly from the lake to the trees
My heart wants to sigh like the chime
that flies from the church on a breeze
To laugh like a brook when it trips and falls
Over stones on its way
To sing through the night
Like a lark that is learning to pray

I go to the hills when my heart is lonely
I know I will hear what I've heard before
My heart will be blessed with the sound of music
And I'll sing once more.