On the occasion of my son’s upcoming 8th birthday, I thought a love letter is in order. As my friends and family can attest, I am not the mushy, sentimental, love letter type. I actually hate writing ‘musings’. I wrote mostly editorial and comic stuff when I was in school. But motherhood changes you. So when I started writing for CT Working Moms, I did a lot of ‘musing’. I found out that some contemplation is actually good for the soul. So here it goes.

Dear Z,

Happy 8th Birthday to the best Christmas present I have ever received in my entire life! I can’t believe it has been 8 years. I remember finding out I was pregnant like it was yesterday. I knew immediately, without a doubt, that you will be a boy (by the way Ninang* did too, but she is psychic and that’s par for the course for her). I also told Daddy that you will look exactly like him (and I was right).

The day you were born was the most exciting and terrifying day of my life. It wasn’t easy, as I told you much later, as I had many complications carrying you, so much so that they decided to do a C-section a few days before I was actually scheduled to have you.

I never knew that anyone can love another person so completely, so selflessly until I laid my eyes on you. I remember bringing you home and leaving the light on the whole night to make sure you were okay. I read all the baby books I can lay my hands on to learn how to take care of you. I inundated the pediatrician’s office with countless phone calls for every little sniffle, fever, or bug I thought you had.

When you went for your first surgery at 6 months, I never prayed as hard as I did that day. I prayed doubly hard when you went for your second surgery at 14 months. I am so glad that business is over.

When you became a toddler, I worried about other things. Yes, I worry, although you and Daddy hardly see it (I was never an overt worrier). Are you reaching your milestones? Do you need vitamins? Am I feeding you right? What is this rash? Am I making the right decision about putting you in daycare? Am I being a good mother?

It was a different set of worries when you started school. Are your making friends? Are you being a good friend? Am I doing enough to challenge you academically? Are we pushing you to too many sports? Am I being a good mother? Are you okay?

Yes, you are okay. You are more than okay. You are growing up to be a smart, funny, loving, brave, confident big boy. And although I will have a new set of things to worry about as you grow, I will also embrace each day with a hug, a kiss, a joke, a word of advice (or caution), and a sense of adventure that would closely match yours.

I have become a better person because of you. I love you truly, madly, deeply forever.

Happy birthday.


*Ninang means Godmother in Tagalog. My sister is Z’s Godmother.