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Monthly Archives: January 2014


Dear Corwin,

It’s 1:45pm as I write this. You fell asleep on the car ride home. I usually carry you out of the car and up the stairs and lay you down on the bed, but this afternoon, you’re sleeping on me instead. We do this a lot less often now, and I miss it terribly. You’re snoring, and it’s adorable.

We had to get you a bigger car seat today. You just hit 15kg and it’s time to move up. You’re growing up so fast, love. You’re as tall as a 4 year old. You had a hilarious conversation with one tonight. You talked about lightning and thunder and stars. You played with one year old Liam, gave him cookies, and are slowly learning how to not take books away from other children’s hands. A baby cried on the other end of the room and you stood up, saying, “What’s that noise? What’s that?” You looked concerned and wanted to help soothe him.

I’ve written you so many letters, and while every word I write is true, always know that this isn’t all you are. You aren’t just words on a paper. You are so much more than these letters, so much more than the photos your father and I take. It isn’t to show you who you are and who you will become. You decide that. (I hope we raise you well enough for you to choose well for yourself.) It’s simply just to document little bits and pieces of your childhood. To be perfectly honest, I think I do this more for myself than for you.

I write and I take pictures because I’m afraid of forgetting. I’m afraid I’ll wake up one day not remembering any of this. It’s a baseless fear, but I do not want a life where I do not know this love. And if something should happen to me and I miss out on the rest of your life, I want you to have these memories and feelings to hold on to. Because they make up the best of mine.

It’s now 10:47pm as I finish writing this. Motherhood gets in the way of letter writing, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sleep well, my love.


Dear Corwin,

You were playing beside us tonight when you suddenly stopped and said, “I love you, mommy. I love you, daddy. So happy.” And then you hugged us. It was all I could do not to burst into tears. You’ve been telling us you love us for some time now, and you’ve been telling us you’re happy ever since you could sign the word. When you started speaking, you always said “happy” or “Corwin happy”, but tonight you included the word “so”. It’s a two-letter word difference, but it meant so much to me.

You make your own pirate boat out of pillows. You have a house lizard friend named George. You’re so imaginative, and so moved by music. You said the water in the fountain was dancing, so you danced with it. You love the piano, the violin, and all musical instruments. You ask daddy to play Coltrane on his phone a lot.

We went to Baguio as a family for the first time a couple of weeks ago. You watched a jazz band with such wonder in your eyes, and you clapped so enthusiastically. You rode a horse for the first time, too. His name was Avatar, and you liked that. I had to ride with you, and I was so terrified I prayed for your safety, but you loved it. You were so comfortable and, well, at peace. You sat on the horse like it was the most natural thing in the world to you. We rode on a trail for half an hour. I held on for dear life. You counted butterflies and said hello to the pony taking a bath by the trail.

Our trip to the pedia last week was very pleasant, especially after four months of crying with every visit. You talked to the doctor, and you tried on her stethoscope. I put the other end on my heart, and you looked up and smiled at me when you heard my heartbeat. It was a different kind of smile, and I think it was one of recognition. I like to think that maybe that’s what it sounded like to you when you were in my tummy, and that you remembered.

You are in my heart every single second of every single day.


Dear Corwin,

I had an allergy attack a few nights ago, and was all red and splotchy. You pointed at me and told daddy that I had “allergies”. I said goodnight, and asked for a hug and a kiss, and was met with a hesitant look. You quietly said no, before resuming playing. Your dad and I laughed, and I had to reassure you that I’m not contagious, that I’m just itchy and you won’t catch it, too. So I asked again, and you looked at me and thought about it for a few seconds before shuddering and saying, “Corwin itchy, too.” Hahaha. You are so much like me sometimes, it’s funny/scary. I’m sorry for creeping you out, little boy. I’m afraid it’s like this often for me. Also, you had atopic dermatitis when you were a baby and looked far worse at times, and I held you anyway, so you know, cut me some slack and hug me anyway, too.

It’s been a busy work month for us, but I did my best to space them well so we would still have plenty of time for you. It’s not easy, giving our all to both work and raising you, but it continues to be amazingly fulfilling. I think having you has been really good for our work. You inspire us. You have brought new depths to how we see and understand love. It’s an immense, overwhelming feeling that I don’t know how to put into words quite yet, but I see it in the photographs we take. You surround me. You light a fire inside me like nothing else.

Next year is going to be our busiest year ever. You’re also going to start preschool. I can’t believe you’re going to be a preschooler! I still think of you as my baby. I ask you often if you’re my baby, and when you feel like being kissed and snuggled, you say yes. And you close your eyes and squeal with glee and happiness as I shower your face with kisses. I’m so excited for everything that’s coming. You, me, and daddy, we’re a little team of three.

I took some pictures of us snuggling while waiting for dinner the other night. As you were walking away, you quietly said, “You look pretty, mommy.” It was something so completely unexpected, my heart felt like bursting inside my chest.

We had lunch out a few days ago. You sat in your high chair, and I felt you fussed a little bit while asking for a straw to play with, but it was a pleasant meal. We talked. You hugged and kissed me. You ate on your own. I noticed the table next to us had two ladies, a grandma and maybe her youngest daughter, who looked at our table often. For a moment, I wondered what grievous parenting mistake your father and I were committing that they were judging us for. It wasn’t always pleasant, our meals together. You would sometimes refuse to sit down and eat like a civilized human being, which is fine because you were a baby (a.k.a. a little caveman), but it was challenging at times. I’ve been sorely tempted to let you watch cartoons on an iPad just to get through a meal together, but we sucked it up and bore it.

At the end of the meal, I told you to say goodbye to the servers. They know us already, and it’s only polite. Instead, you turned around and said goodbye to the two ladies. They beamed back at you delightedly, and it felt nice. The grandma asked me how old you are, and I told her you turned 2 recently. She was genuinely surprised, and exclaimed, “He’s so well-behaved!” And it was my turn to smile from ear to ear. It was one of the best compliments I have ever received as a mother. I know you’re smart and funny and kind, but I have always wondered if we weren’t strict enough with you, if we are not as firm as we should be. And it was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. We’ll be just fine.

We spent New Year’s Eve with relatives. Tita Jenny and Lucas slept over, and you boys had the time of your lives. You rode a train, played Lego, read books, played hide and seek. You looked out for him and held his hand when he was scared. You hugged and kissed when you weren’t grabbing each other’s toys, and over dinner you hugged him again and told him, “I love you.” My heart swells at the thought that you’ll grow up together, and you’ll have each other’s backs forever.

Your dad recently made a video of the past three months of your life and made me cry. It’s beautiful. Seeing you grow up is the most profoundly beautiful thing in the world to me. I hope your childhood is filled with wondrous things, and that you always find magic here.

Happy New Year, little one.