Thursday, February 27, 2014

My Letter to Steffi on Her 6th Birthday

Dear Steffi,

Thank you for being our daughter.  You are our gem, our precious and our pride if you do not know by now.  Mommy and daddy tried for the longest time before we finally had you in our arms.  With a blink of an eye, you had grown from a tiny infant to a bumbling toddler and now, an aspiring dancer.

In less than a week's time you would be 6 years old, and I will have to find you a primary school really soon.  My Facebook is filled with lots of your photos, leading to many friends accusing me that I favor you over your brother and sister.  You love taking pretty photos don't you?  Even your mommy complaints that I am exceptionally bias against Leroy while overly lenient to you.  But the truth is, you are smart and you know how to "behave" when I am around, and most importantly you know when to stop while Leroy would just go on and on.  

However Steffi,  that's looking at it from the positive side.  From another angle, you can also be seen as being shrewd and manipulative and that's not exactly a nice thing.  Daddy wants you to know that in life, no one wins all the time.  Look at the bigger picture and do not gain happiness at the expense of others.  Daddy hope you can find true happiness in giving and sharing and hope you can practice with your own siblings first.

Daddy had gone through lots of firsts with you, and thank you for showing me how it is like to be a dad.  I still remember the time when you had your first fits due to high fever.  It almost drove your mom hysterical and I was truly scared too.  Luckily you are alright and had grown out of it!  Daddy also practiced sucking out phlegm through your nostrils when you had trouble breathing through them.  Changing your diapers, doing the night shift milk-feeding duties and bathing you were things I never thought I would do but I did.  In return, you rewarded me with the truly amazing experience of coming home to your loud happy shouts of "Daddy! Daddy!" as well as your wet kisses after a long day at work.

But daddy is also very sorry.  I am sorry that you only got to enjoy the exclusivity of your mommy and daddy for a short period of 601 days before your little brother Leroy was born.  You had to learn how to share from such a young age, from toys to our attention.  Now when I look back, I can almost feel your pain when I see the tears that welled up in your eyes when you are unable to get what you want or the attention you needed as Leroy or Stacci needed them more then.  You would always say "Ok lor..." but I think they were never really okay and I am sorry. 

When we brought you out just this Monday, it was just the 3 of us, mommy, daddy and you.  I have not seen you being so exceptionally happy for quite a while.  You were grinning all the time and wanted us to hold one of your hands each wherever we went and we can sense that you thoroughly enjoyed the moment of having us all to yourself.  I have haunted by a sense of guilt since, thinking of whether we did the right thing, whether we should only have you instead of so many kids.  Without a doubt, finances would have been much better and we will all have more time, whether for ourselves or for each other.  There would be better toys, clothing and perhaps longer and further vacations but I really don't know what else there would be.

Steffi, at times when you are rejected by daddy when you asked for that spin and towel-wrapped-flying-out-of-the-bathroom routine which Stacci gets, remember that it's not because daddy don't love you anymore, it's because daddy had aged and is afraid of getting you hurt if I can't handle your weight.  Daddy is sorry if you are treated differently because you are already "grown up", and had to give up your favorite toy to a bawling Leroy or Stacci on many occasions.  At times when you even have to give up your sleeping space beside me to them, remember that daddy misses your cuddle too.  Daddy is still trying hard at learning and becoming a better daddy, and I pray that one day you would truly understand all that I have written so far.  But for now, never forget that mommy and daddy loves you no matter what!  Enjoy life with all of us and Happy Birthday my love!

Love always,


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