Letter to my little one

Dear baby,

I don’t know if I’ll ever stop calling you that. I know you just moved past toddler stage but it will be a long time before I get over all the transitions.

On this day, 4 years ago, I had you.I want you to know, and always remember that it was one of the best decisions of my life. I didn’t think I was ready and many times I still feel the same, but over time, I have realised there is almost no such thing as ‘ready.’ You were not an ordinary baby, in fact, you were anything but ordinary. Your star began to shine very early and I constantly marvel at the phenomenon that you are. One day you were crawling, the next you were running and then went back to walking; I have never been quite able to keep up.

I love it when you giggle, even better when you laugh. I am sad when I see your tears, I never knew that love could sometimes hurt so bad or make you so happy you feel like you’re going to explode. Anything that can harm you, I want to protect you from, but I am learning that somethings you just need to feel on your own, and I shall not always be able to shield you. You challenge me in ways I can’t explain and keep me on my toes like no one else ever has. By now you know I love you with all that I am, but I will say it again anyway, I love you.

Our journey has been blessed, as I am sure you know, by God and the people around us. Everyone has come around to help me raise you, friends, family and strangers alike. You found favour and because of that, I can sleep soundly knowing you will always have someone. It wasn’t always like that, many people asked me to abandon you, some still do. I don’t get mad at them so much anymore.They don’t see what I see in you, they don’t understand what we have been through. I hope to teach you many things my love, but one of them is that you should not always listen to the crowd just because it’s loud. Most of your grandest joys will come from decisions you made because you felt right, not because everyone was happy with them.

Do you remember those long months,almost two years ago, when we couldn’t sleep, when we felt like the world was coming to an end? My heart ached physically, I could have sworn it was going to jump out of my body. I didn’t want to blame you for my pain and I certainly couldn’t bear to give up on you. I did not want you to see what having you had done to me but the piercing pain often blinded me to all the joy that you brought me. We made it somehow; that is one of the reasons I am certain that God ordained you for me. We have stumbled and fallen so many times since but because of that gut wrenching experience, we were able to learn to celebrate our scars and all the battles they represent. I want you to know, how sorry I am, from the bottom of my heart, for the times that I have looked the other way, for the moments when I was too weak to fight back. I am a work in progress but I am glad that we have experienced all of it together. In future, I know you will remind me that we are more than conquerors, whenever I forget.

I am now just a few years shy of the big 30 and it is as scary as it is exciting. We started out young, I could never have imagined the responsibility that came with the decision I made but time has flown by so fast and I must admit, you continue to surprise me. Do you know how many times I have been asked when I will get you a little sister or brother? Some people are subtle but most (especially elders) are blunt with no remorse. I often have a comeback, but sometimes I just let them be, you know? I am sure by now you know that your mommy can be stubborn and you have taken after her in some ways. You also know that we serve a faithful God and his timing is always perfect. As the years go by, I think about it, more; our family and what it shall look like, how far you will be when the next angel comes into our lives and whether or not the many helping hands that raised you will groom you into adulthood. These thoughts do keep me up at night once in a while, but thankfully, when my human self has over analysed that which it has no control over,it finally gives in toΒ HE who isΒ omniscientΒ who’ll certainly take care of things.

Today marks the continuation of a journey we began 4 years ago during this beautiful season of lent. You have taught me so much! I am stronger and wiser,happier and more fulfilled than I ever imagined. Who knows where I would be without you?

Thank you for your patience and resilience, for your vulnerability and strength, for the chances you took and the dreams you allowed us to chase; Thank you for bringing people together from far and wide, and giving them a chance to give whatever they could offer.Thank you for being flexible, for surviving even when you had nothing and somehow managing to blossom against all odds. You are truly a miracle!

I hope that I have been as kind to you, as you have to me. I pray that I will not let you down and that our fire will continue to burn bright through every storm that comes our way. Years from now when all that we have gone through is a memory, may you look back with a smile, knowing everything I did, every experience, was a reflection of love and all the emotions it comes with.

I haven’t figured out how to commemorate today and I may not even do anything significant to the untrained eye, but in my heart and soul, I celebrate you everyday and look forward to the rest of our lives together.May God continue to be at the centre of your life, and may you always look to him.

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With love from the one whom you knew first, the one who will choose you every time,

me.

Xx

 

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I knew I loved you before I met you

The song ‘I knew I loved you before I met you’ by Savage garden has some of the cheesiest lyrics of the past century. As a teenager, I always thought ‘really, would I believe these words in real life?’

As I started to write this piece though, I realised that I did indeed love this being before I met her, in fact, from the very first moment I knew she was coming into the world- our love story began πŸ™‚

For nine months, this precious jewel was ‘carried’ around by her mommy. I have a ‘few’ things to say this little one.

Dear star,

I have a not so short tale with details about the journey thus far. You better learn to read by the time you are three. We plan on having you speak at least two other International languages so perhaps your reply to this shall be in French. Oui?

No pressure.

Your mommy is the life of the party you know, and even when she was rocking her bump, she made sure to rock the parties too. She was always the one suggesting where we should go and what to do while everyone was thinking “Shouldn’t you be resting.” We even went to one of her favourite places, Bule island and took part in some pretty daring activities. Of course my heart was somewhere in my foot but I had to force smiles and scream ‘yaay.’ Nonetheless it was a lot of fun.

When you grow older, we shall surely visit so you can enjoy the breeze and later take part.

When we went for the scans, I longed for the part when your heartbeat was on ‘loud speaker’ then grinned like a kid at Disney World. I even got my very own autographed picture of you at about 5 months, to say I had fomo would be an understatement.

As for the day I found out you were a girl, hehe, let’s just the hospital almost called security- sheer excitement!

Random Side note: Mommy has OCD and I can’t help with that because it is contagious so oba we accept early enough and deal with it? Deal?

Fast forward to your baby shower at the beginning on this month. See your mummy looking radiant, special food plus cake Β and excited aunts πŸ™‚ It was a good day, and it was all in your honour. Stars are born or made or… I don’t even know where I am going with this but, you will understand the randomness with time.

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Your arrival was slated for Sunday March 16th, it was for sleeping with phone volume on 100 and practicing calm responses each time I got a call from your mom, but alas, you were nowhere to be seen. It was so bad that I even visited her twice during that week and she was just ‘chilling.’ I guess you were also chilling πŸ˜›

We accepted that you were planning a grand entrance and pretended to go on with our lives. Meanwhile your poor mother was getting messages of ‘anything yet’ constantly. The pressure was killing her. The ‘sharp ones’ decided to stalk other ‘sources’ for the info. Hihi, it was hilarious.

My system decided to slowly crash and I carried around a migraine for 96 hours prior to your birth. I made a mistake and told your mom so even when the labour pains began, she said nothing. We would text and talk like everything was ‘normal.’

Sadly for her, I am an afande (story for another day) and was soon in on it.

Friday 21st March is when she was finally admitted at the hospital and I had to stalk your aunt Damalie for updates. Poor girl was also far from the hospital but she knew a guy who knew a guy who was the doctor πŸ™‚ (another story we shall happily expound on)

When I finally sent your mummy a text I asked only one thing, that you wait till Saturday when I can be present. After planning to hold her hand through labour, how could I miss it? No please.

She barely slept that night, I was also there in between prayer, anxiety and excitement and before dawn arrived, I was up and ready to start my walk to hospital. Yes, you were born five minutes away from my home πŸ™‚ These are destiny things πŸ˜‰

Your mummy was in pain but I mastered the art of calmness. What my heart was going through, only God knows.

We had long awkward silences. At about 10 a.m the nurses said she was going to the theatre, asked me to get your clothes together. They later returned them ‘mbu we gave them a whole shop.’ smh

We said a prayer and then waited and waited and waited. The doctor finally came at 12.00 p.m and took your mommy in. That moment was pretty emotional for me but never to break (I practiced for this day)

I kept getting up each time a nurse came out carrying a baby, including a set of twins. The doctors told me to sit still. “How can you stand up after seeing a nurse in pink yet the one who went for your baby is wearing white?” Β I had to be fine.

The way your birth was being anticipated meanwhile, I was getting messages of ‘uh huh, any news?’ even from the diaspora.

Eventually the nurse came back to get your first clothes, socks and gloves and I knew it would only be a matter of minutes before I saw you. She obviously took forever but you were worth the wait!

It felt like hours but a little after 12.30 you were brought…to me!!! *shriek*When I held your not so little body (3.4kg) in my arms, the world became still for a moment. You were(are) so beautiful and peaceful and and…..sigh.

I asked about your mommy and the nurse said she would come out.

I handed you to one of your many grannies and she too was amazed. So we just sat and stared at you while complaining about your mum’s delay.

Eventually she came but was still drugged so we had to wait a little longer before unveiling her miracle.

When she awoke, the first thing she said was “Is she hot?” We burst into laughter and I knew in that instant, a wonderful story had began.

The first time she held you brought tears to my eyes, it was simply magical!

The bond between mother and daughter is surely the most amazing of them all.

Here we are, 8 days after your birth and I still think about you everyday. As for your mommy, you are without a doubt the best gift she has ever had.

Now let as talk about your names (coughs)

Estella Athena Karungi- Spanish origin, then Greek, then Ugandan πŸ˜‰

Do we have to spell out that Estella is a version of Esther? No? Okay moving on…

Together, your names mean “A beautiful goddess – a star.” What more can we say?

Here is to years of watching you become the star that you were born to be.

We shall keep your photo for when Times or Forbes asks. People should visit and see the ‘live copy’ πŸ˜‰

Much love from mommy, the endless queue of potential God parents, aunts and uncles.

Also, welcome to the 40-40 family πŸ˜‰

Xoxo