Here we are. The day is finally here.
ALE TURNS 12 TODAY.
My little girl is not so little any more.
It is hard to believe that 12 years ago I was eagerly anticipating her arrival in the maternity ward. The precious infant that I held in my arms then is now officially 12, one year away from becoming a teenager and a few more years away from becoming a young lady.
She is no longer my baby girl.
Where has the time gone!?!! I guess we were having too much fun all these years! 😆 After all, I had the same feelings when Ash and Ayd turned 12. But this feels a tad more bittersweet, probably because deep in my heart, I know that all of my kids have truly grown up with Ale turning 12.
But as tradition dictates – just like how I wrote letters to Ash and Ayd on their 12th birthdays – here is my letter to Ale:
Yo, wassup! 12 years old, man. This is totally INSANE!
I am in disbelief that you are one year from being a teen. You are growing up way too fast! But I wouldn’t have it any other way because I could not be more proud to be your Dad.
The past year has whizzed by too fast. I still remember penning a post for your 11th birthday last year but look what happened.
I’m glad that you still share the same love for manga and anime like me.
I’m relieved that you still laugh at my jokes (sometimes).
I’m amused that you still smirk whenever I make fun of Mummy.
I’m delighted that you still continue to learn and upgrade new skills, like video editing and doing crochet – all from watching YouTube videos!
I’m content that you still find it cool to hang out with me, and long may that continue.
Above all, I’m proud of the hard work you put in and how focused and determined you were for your PSLE this year.
The PSLE year has not been easy and smooth-sailing. But you buckled down and in Mummy’s and my eyes, you were far more disciplined than your two older brothers. Unlike their PSLE years when I had to nag and assign them exam papers to practice, you did the papers on your own AND MARKED THEM TOO! I cannot fault you for the effort shown. 😍
And of course, I beam with pride whenever I see how an awesome sister you are to your brothers. All of you may argue at times, but you always think of them and make sure they are taken care of. Likewise for all of your other cousins, no wonder you are the go-to playmate every single time.
But I get it, turning 12 and being on the cusp of teenagehood is a big deal. It’s the age where you are trying to find out who you are and probably yearn to be accepted among your peers. You will have to make your own choices and learn that some of those choices will be good while others will be bad. And sometimes, the consequences of those choices may last for years.
While Mummy and I promise to support you from the sidelines and let you learn from your mistakes, your dad and I will be there to help you make choices whenever you need us. But for certain decisions that we have to make for you (because you are still not an adult legally), we understand that you won’t always agree, but know that they are made with love, and only the best of intentions. Try to be patient with us and we’ll try to be patient with you.
You’ve never been a tween before, and although I have been a parent of two tweens (aka your brothers), I am still learning. 😅 But here’s the deal: know that even when we disagree, I will always love you. That nothing you can do will ever change that.
As you step into Secondary School life next year, my wish for you is to HAVE FUN. Make new friends, learn new things and enjoy new experiences. And while doing all of that, always believe in yourself – no matter how weird you might think you are! Because you are such an amazing girl, daughter, sister, granddaughter and cousin!
Thank you for allowing me grace when I make mistakes, for teaching me the true definition of patience. Thank you for still wanting to snuggle on my tummy whenever we watch anime together. Thank you for holding my hand as we navigate this Daddy-daughter journey together.
Happy Birthday Ale!
You are a gift and you have my heart, always.