To my firstborn, my darling angel, you were the one who made me step into the motherhood journey and showed me just how beautiful it can be. You were the one who chased away my loneliness when we were living in a foreign land and brought smiles and laughter every day. You were the one who had to endure my trial and error as I struggled and you suffered when I made mistakes. You were the one who gave me strength and helped me see the light in my moments of darkness.
No matter what happens to you, to me or to the world, please know that I love you so much and nothing will ever change my love for you. This is going to be a heartfelt, raw and most delicate letter I've ever written to you, but here goes....
Congratulations on surviving the first term of Primary 1! You have no idea just how proud I am of you and how happy I am to see you adapting well to the new environment, making new friends, surviving the early mornings and best of all, you really love to go to school.
Every afternoon, I look forward to seeing you when the school bell rings and it warms my heart whenever I look through the fence and spot you in the sea of students. That's my girl, my darling girl whom I love so, so very much that I can't even begin to say just how much.
You are very special to me, you know that? I know that life hasn't been really fair since your siblings came along because Mummy has had much less time for you. Well, at least we managed to spend the first three years of your life together, right? I'm not sure how much you remember of those years but those memories are still so vivid in my mind. We stayed in a cosy home of our own in Karlskrona, Sweden, we travelled around Europe, we spent 24 hours a day 7 days a week together, we went through the good times and the bad times, we snuggled and kept each other warm on cold winter nights, and we became the closest a mum and daughter could be. I count my blessings everyday and I'm thankful for how lucky I am to be a mum. To be your mum.
Now that there's three of you and only one me, I guess you guys just have to learn to share. You are an awesome big sister, you know that? No matter how you and meimei tend to squabble, fight or snatch over little stuff, the fact that remains is that you love your siblings so much and you have so much love in your heart to give. You have never been jealous of them, never pushed them away so that you can have me, never complained that I spent more time with them than you; instead you kiss and hug them every single day, you help to watch over and keep them safe, you wish for all good things in the world for them. I think Daddy gave you the perfect name because you are indeed my little angel.
That said, it's been a rough period for us, right? We've gotten into so many arguments and even fights that sometimes I wonder what I am doing wrong as a mum. Just the other day, meimei and I picked you from school and you showed us the erasers you won by being a good student in class. When meimei wanted to take them to show me, you refused. You tried to snatch back. You grabbed her by the collar. I know how precious these are to you but I got mad at your violent reactions. You refused to eat your lunch and when we got home, you started screaming, whining and shouting and got me frustrated. When talking to you nicely didn't work after half an hour, I closed the bedroom door because I had to put your crying brother and tired sister to sleep, then you started shrieking at the top of your voice, you kicked and punched the door and just created a awful din.
Yesterday, you were doing your homework when a piece of paper flew under the sofa below our Wii Fit board and you insisted you couldn't retrieve it. It's not that you couldn't, it was because you didn't try hard. Instead of asking me to help you politely, you whined and you lay down on the floor and threw a tantrum like a two-year-old. I was nursing didi and like I said to meimei before, I'm not the type of mum who will rush to your aid at every whimper or let you have your way every time you whine. I'm so sorry about that but I really can't and don't wish to raise kids who are overly dependent and give up too easily. If you had asked me politely with a "Please, Mama", I would have helped you but you chose to throw a tantrum over that so I'm sorry that things turned out the way they did.
I, the one person who dreads corporal punishment and detests the cane as a child, resorted to grabbing a stick I could lay my hands on and I hit you hard on the arm when your whines and cries escalated. when you didn't want obey my instructions and when you pushed me and tried to grab my hands. I'm not proud to admit but it wasn't the first time I've uncontrollably hit you recently and as much as I blame it on having to handle three kids on my own, I have to confess that I have a shorter fuse nowadays and my temper hasn't been great either. Forgive me, will you? I seriously don't know if I was hoping that the pain could bring you to your senses or that it was a means for me to let out my anger, but I knew it didn't do anything good except to make you feel hurt and make me feel guilty. Very guilty.
There, I feel better just writing it out and admitting that I'm not as good as a mum I hope to be. Last night, after the incident we had, I went out to the living room, saw you sobbing away while doing your work and I asked you to come over for a hug. It was more than a hug we shared. It was a moment unlike any we've had and a very heartfelt one for me. We embraced tightly and leaned our heads on each other's shoulders while letting the tears flow down. Yes, we cried together, long and hard. It was the first time I've wept so much in front of you, other than the time when I had a miscarriage in Sweden. You know what's the amazing thing about you? Sometimes I don't have to say a word and I think you know me. You know what I'm thinking. Still, I told you how my heart broke, how I felt the pain when you were in pain, I told you how terrible I felt as a mum, I apologised for not having enough time for you, I said sorry for being so impatient and horribly fierce, and we both promised that we will try harder next time. It's gonna be a better day today, right?
Like what I told you, I think it's okay to cry sometimes. Mummy admits that I'm also an emotional person who somehow tears easily and I believe that it's fine to let crying be a means of expression. Yup, it's something that Daddy will never understand because he's not a girl. But, we need to let the tears be worth their while and we need to learn something from it all. Don't repeat our mistakes, try harder the next time and don't lose our flare so easily. Both you and me. I'm learning with you every day on this motherhood journey, you know that?
Despite all the backtalk and defiance, which I'm pretty sure I will continue to face in the years to come, I'm still cherishing this year of your growing up. You are turning seven end of the year and in addition to being the big sister in the family, you are also a mini Mummy, remember? Yes, as the eldest, it probably means you have more responsibilities to shoulder and since you are the role model, we naturally have higher expectations of you. Sometimes, it will feel terrible, I know, when people ask you to give in just because you are the eldest. But you know what? Life isn't fair. It has never been and it never will be. Instead of dwelling on what it might have been or wishing for a different set of circumstances, let's focus and treasure on what we do have and learn to be contented with life. For one, we have a happy family and we need to be extremely grateful for that.
You will always be my firstborn and a special child in my eyes. Yes, all three of you are special in your own ways. For all the times I've said about throwing you out of the house, please know that I don't mean it and don't ever for one moment of your life doubt my love for you. I will always love you just like how I did when I first saw you - so truly, so madly, so deeply, with every beat of my heart and even when it stops beating, my love for you will never die.
P.S. Let today be a new start for us and like we promised, let's both try harder. I know that as long as we are in it together, we will be able to overcome any obstacle ahead of us. May you be the loving big sister that you are always and be my kind little angel forever.