Dear Baby Lily,
I had all the feels to write something on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. But the festive season can get so busy. And just like that, the days have blown past me like a hot clammy breeze – they are gone now, never to return.
Now it’s almost the end of the second day of the new year. Like most ‘second days of the year’, today’s a bit of a letdown from the exuberant promise of New Year’s Day. After all that toasting and feasting, most of us don’t set out on anything resembling a grand adventure.
Life hands us a blank canvas. We write a few New Year resolutions on it. And then, we trek to the nearest cafe for a comforting coffee to resume the life we’ve always known.
Which is so scary. Because, the years pile on insidiously. Sometime in your 30s, time starts to chase you like a psychopath with a machete in a bad thriller – the kind with no clear plot and 2 hours of gratuitous screaming.
If you’ve watched a bad thriller, you’ll know that it’s a losing race. Each year, you can buy a new calendar, buy a new set of face creams, change your wardrobe and pretend you are starting afresh. But slowly and surely, time chips away at you with that machete. Each year, it takes a little of your energy, your glow, your body, and past a certain age, the lucidity of your mind.
If this sounds gloomy, it is not.
Because last year, you came into my world. Out of nowhere, you appeared and utterly flipped the script.
I named you Lily after your decreased grandmother not because I knew her well (she passed away when I was four). I named you after your grandma because to me that signifies life coming full circle; it signifies renewal.
You see, your grandma has been dead for 33 years now. She didn’t really bring me up. I didn’t really get to know her. All I know is that she desperately wanted to have me. She had fertility issues, and went to see several doctors. She later discovered something wrong with her fallopian tube, and had an operation before she got pregnant with me.
Because she had me, today, I have you. You carry within you, a piece of her DNA, her spirit and her hope. Because of you, she is never ‘dead’. She is renewed again in you – Lily.
To me, you are a daily reminder that the love we give blossoms in ways beyond our understanding. It reminds me that things that seem to have withered and faded may be infinitely revived.
As I turn the page on 2018, I would like to share with you what a crazy year it has been. I have never been busier in my life. When you first arrived, you were the klutziest little thing I’ve ever met. One time, you pulled your hair so hard, but didn’t know you were pulling your own hair, cried in pain, and pulled even harder… As I was trying to extricate you, I was so afraid you’d pull your scalp out.
Because you couldn’t help yourself, I made 2018 all about you. I dedicated 100% of myself to you. And that left me with so little for myself or anything else. I had to learn to let go of things beyond my control.
But you’re almost nine months old now – you’re a big girl. I can see you gaining independence and confidence each day, and I’m so proud of you.
And because of this, I also think it’s time to reclaim myself a little.
So in 2019, there will be lots of times mummy can’t be there for you 100% like before. Because mummy is not only your mummy. I am also a friend, wife, daughter, traveller, writer, and proud human to two cats and a chihuahua.
This year, my only resolution is to continue to nurture those things, so I can become more than I was before… so that when you grow up, you may get to know me as a multi-faceted person, not just your mum. That I should be able to have a meaningful and interesting conversation with you not just when you’re 5, but when you’re 25, 35 or 45 (if I should live long enough).
You’ve given me so much in 2018, baby girl. You taught me the power of hope, renewal and new beginnings. And because of you, I no longer fear time with its stupid machete.
I know the pieces of us that time chips away are renewed in ways beyond our imagination, and transfigured in beauty. You are a living manifestation of that.
Happy New Year, baby girl! I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for us.