Baby Bear writes to Papa Bear 2

Dear Papa Bear,

You always joke that you want to be a detached father, watching your heir from a distance until he is ready to inherit your kingdom. You joke around a lot and Mama Bear and I love that about you but the type of father you joke about as an aspiration can’t be farther from the truth.

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Since the day I was born, with Mama Bear in too much pain and under too much medication after C-section, you had to care for me a lot. Remember when my bilirubin levels were too high and I had to get phototherapy and formula milk for two days and two nights? You had to take me out of that UV machine whenever I became hungry or too irritable. You had to put back my pacifier every time it fell out my mouth. Plus the machine was so annoying because an alarm sounded when its door was opened. Before we left the hospital, the nurses were saying the same thing about you that I want to say again now: You are the best dad ever.

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Mama Bear’s recovery from my delivery was slow… largely due to her recurring biliary colic from a gallbladder which had to be taken out eventually. It must have been tough for you to coordinate care for me, sister cats and the house while worrying about Mama Bear’s health before, during and after her surgery.

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Fast forward to a month ago when I started daycare. In one month, I already managed to get sick twice. You rarely used to get sick but because you couldn’t stand being away from me too long, I’d been passing my sickness on to you. I’m so sorry yet so grateful that you sacrifice your health to look after me.

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Thanks for playing with me, for making me smile and laugh so much. For taking me to daycare and picking me up. For carrying me when my stroller/car seat is too uncomfortable/boring. For always stepping in to watch me when Mama Bear is sick, tired or working. I am 7 months and 4 days old now, and I am the luckiest baby in the world because you are my father.

Thanks for everything so far and still to come. I love you so much and Happy First Father’s Day since your baby popped out!!!

Love,
Baby Bear

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Baby Bear writes to Papa Bear

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“Dear Dad,

It’s me, the baby from Mom’s belly. We’ve been sending each other our thoughts back and forth and we agree that people don’t see how much credit you deserve for this pregnancy.

Well, first, I want to thank you for giving me to Mom. She told me that you’re a very fun guy that enjoys playing video games, traveling and staying out with friends. I know deciding to have me must have been tough for you because caring for me would take away time from your favorite things, including sleep.

Second, I want to thank you for looking after Mom and me. You’ve been doing so much around the house while she feels sick or tired from carrying me. You’ve been driving around to help feed us both essential food and wild cravings. From Moo-moo milk to pandesal, from fruits and peppermints to carrot cheesecake, from Asian stores to Jollibee, you’ve been really supportive of us.

Finally, you comfort Mom by being there for her during her tough pregnancy. You accompany her on most of her important tests and doctor visits. You try not to upset her by cooking smelly foods outside the house. You stay at home with her to watch movies and Friends marathon. You take her out when she feels well enough to get out.

You’re a really great husband and I already know you’ll make the best dad. Thanks for all you do now for me and Mom. I promise that when you meet me, I will love you so much and make it all worth it.

Happy First Father’s Day!

P.S. Mom also thinks you will be the one to spoil me so I’m even more excited to meet you already.”

The Family Photographer

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My life on earth is reasonably well documented in photos, thanks to my father, who had always owned some kind of camera and had been snapping away since I was a baby.

Growing up, I realized the value of capturing memories through images I could readily access and look back on. So, when I was younger, I collected older photos in print. As I got older and as technology progressively allowed, I stored digital albums in one platform or another.

I never had the discipline to learn the basics of taking a good photograph like my father could. But I do credit him for my acknowledgement and love of pictures as reminders of life’s greatest moments.

More importantly, I credit my father for being there not only during most of my life’s greatest moments but also many of the little ones. The ones that are too small to be photographed but are engrained in my memory nonetheless. Like when he soldered some wires into overlapping sine, cosine and tangent graphs, so that I would have the most banging project in Trigonometry class (nerd). Or when he randomly initiated popsicle and ice cream bar pickups from convenience stores. Or when he set shopping budgets for me and my sisters, allowing me to waste money on stuffed toys as my older sister bought books and my younger sister kept the cash to save for bigger, better things.

I believe a lot of my weirdness comes from my father. But I am thankful because having him as a father had given me stories that go beyond what pictures could tell. Having him as a father had both literally and figuratively made the snapshots of my life… a lot more colorful.

Happy Father’s Day, Papa. I miss and love you!