Monday, December 19, 2011
1999. 21st of December. Tuesday. Looking at the calendar, it suggests we’re being just a few more days before the turn to a new millennium. Jackie and I geared up for work, drove her to her office, and then proceeded to mine. Nothing unusual. Just one of those another ordinary day.
Came 10:00 AM, I received a call. Said she’s back home to pick up the stuffs she particularly prepared for the day we had been anticipating about. She’s feeling it; she was already to give birth anytime. I took off and rushed back home but found no trace of Jackie. Neighbors would tell me they are gone. Pretty sure, it must be taxi I met at the crossroad.
I proceeded to the hospital with my heartbeat pacing like the beat of the car engine. And as soon as I had parked, I sped inside. I was met by her OB, told me it was a swift delivery – 20 minutes, tops! Reading the aura of excitement and eagerness on my face, I was pointed to the nursery. There I saw a thinly wrapped child so delicate, sleeping so calmly with her distinct sunken pair of dimples. Undeniably so beautiful. Very adorable…
Looking at her pink face, I guess I shed tears of joy. For 4-years and 10-months, the waiting is finally over. I closed my eyes and thanked God, in the highest spirits. Another blessing to thank for. Another reason to be motivated. Another inspiration to a happy family life.
I went to my wife in the recovery room, still sedated but half conscious. We held hands and kissed. It was a very ecstatic moment. I told her how beautiful our new baby is. She just dizzily smiled back, and slept. In 2-days we would return home. Everyone would be very happy to see her. And after 3-months, we christened our daughter “Joanna Carolina”, with her second name after my mother. And we fondly call her “Yohan”.
To date, just a few days more and she will turn 12. The years rolled so quickly that we almost did not notice her grow so fast. Well, at least to me – because if there’s a list she keeps where I would certainly topnotch, it must be the number of times I am away during her birthdays.
Among our three daughters – which is all we have, Yohan is our middle child. She holds the most difficult spot among our siblings. She has a 4-year 10-month gap with both of her sisters. When she converses to her elder sister (Carla Janina), she must elevate her mind half a decade over her age to cope up with Janina’s mind frame. And when she talks to her little sister (Carla Juliana, or Jia), she must reduce herself to another almost 5-years to alleviate their stance.
Not provided of any choice, either she plays a forced adult, or a temporary toddler. For her to be comprehensive, she must be able to lithely swing within that almost 10-year span between her sisters. I really have no idea how she does it. Either it is a skill, or something she is bound to be outstanding at. It is tough, but she knows it is the only way that she can aptly communicate with her sisters.
That’s why sometimes she’d rather choose to be alone and be vividly quiet. She would lock herself up, or would choose to be distant from our sights. I must know, at times she’d just want to be herself; of her age, of her own mind structure, and just be naturally by her own habitat. Because the moment she strikes a conversation, she’d end up playing in character again.
This must be the reason that she is never a Papa’s girl, neither a Mama’s girl too. There are indirect strives between us. We, her parents, would always want to comprehend. That’s what parents are expected to do anyway. But sometimes, the intangibles are just too vague to understand. Just so profound and delicate and fragile, but must never be ignored.
She would never reiterate asking favors. Once shot down, she’d just weep by herself. That’s when I and Jackie have to be mind readers. We have to really dig her to speak her mind. Not that she is unspoken, not that she is shy. She just doesn’t appreciate repeated conversations.
Yohan is not as bubbly as Jia, nor as eye-catcher as Janina. She can be as funny as hell, and can be noticeably jolly. But her personality would usually situate her to take the backseat. She normally spares highlight moments. She has a big heart for that. She doesn’t care much about accolades. She can just be a calm and quiet supporter.
As parents, particularly to me, it pains my heart that our Yohan is just unique as compared to her sisters. She may yet to speak her heart out, and just be vividly open. But in delight, she is still young. And since she just recently turned ‘from a child to a lady’, now she has all the time to mature, and see what her world has to offer. Maybe it is just one of those stages where a middle child must undergo. Surely things will be processed as she grows. And we will never stop to show she is no different among her sisters in terms of our love, support, guidance and compassion.
But make no mistake, there are things she does best that are so distinct of and very particular about her. When down, she would exactly know how to cheer us up, and catch us before we even hit the ground. She is a very loving person. She is always around when love is quiet. How she cuddles me is just superb. How she holds her Mom speaks a lot. She would strategically exist at the midst of every silence. She would always fill the missing link.
And she is also full of surprises. She sends me e-mails about any good thing she is sure would paint a smile on my face. She is also a good artist that each time I go overseas, and as soon as I arrive elsewhere, and as I unpack my things, I would find her self-made cards. And yes, her messages are so simple yet so deep that you would not expect it came from the heart of a growing young lady. She chooses her words so profoundly. She is a very caring child.
To imagine her pretty face is always easy – as if her dimples and wide eyes are just affront smiling. God thanks heavens, I could never picture not having her as our child. Her dreams largely speak how much love is in her heart as it would always include her siblings and not just for her own self – it’s always “we”, too seldom for “I”.
Yohan my child, we may not swear too much promises to you. But you know within that you are much loved, equally same as your siblings. But it is your special day, and actually your last birthday before turning into another dazzling teenager. There’s just one thing I can assure you though. However things go, whatever happens in the future, always remember; me and you, and Mama too - we will always be a team. We will focus on track of your big dreams. And with your overwhelming insights, there is no way we shall ever go backwards. That will never be an option. Because life will be easy - as you will be there to carry our spirits up high.