Happy birthday first and foremost. You are now a full-blown 2 years old and I will stop counting your age in months. It’s been a whole year since I last wrote to you. So let’s do a quick recap of what has happened in the last year.
A global pandemic.
As we all waited with bated breath and watched the clock tick away, we all had our eyes glued on our different screens, 11:59 PM couldn’t come any faster, then suddenly, it was midnight and a brand new day. Not just a new day, it was the beginning of a new year, new opportunities and an opportunity to start again, this time, on a clean slate.
When we screamed “Happy New Year” at the top of our lungs, no one had a clue that 2020 wouldn’t be a typical year. The soothsayers, the “futurist” and “experts” missed this one by a long shot. The world was struck with plague; a once in a lifetime kind of problem. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives and millions lost their jobs. It was sad. The euphoria of the fireworks and happy cheers was quickly awash with fear, anxiety and uncertainty.
Life, as we knew it, changed forever. The whole world was shut down — churches and other places of worship, markets only stocked essentials and were allowed on some days, airports(global travel and tourism grounded to a halt), schools, offices, everything. It was almost as if someone pressed pause and we were all frozen in time — while scientists raced to find a cure for this strange ailment. Thankfully, through the miracle of science, we have a couple of vaccine that are currently being administered and the world is gradually opening up.
Development and Milestones
When you started walking and getting up and down the stairs, I was super worried. Your gait wasn’t strong enough, you walked everywhere while you crawled on the stairs. Today, the story is different, you don’t just walk up and down the stairs without any support, you match through the stairs. I am no longer worried like I used to. Girl, you have come a long way.
Thanks to your big brother, you have taken a huge liking to cartoons. Your favourite today is Peppa Pig. The soundtrack of this cartoon will wake you from a deep sleep. When you sit to watch this thing, nothing else matters. Your attention and focus are like a laser beam.
Your diaper size has also changed. You now wear size 5. A remarkable difference from size 4. Your clothes from last year don’t fit again. I have long converted your dresses to tops. Aunty Lola said it’s a dress, not a gown. Be patient with me, I am learning these things.
The hair on the back of your head finally connected. I think we have shea butter to thank here. A long way from the Afro I want it to grow into, but a lot better from where we were last year.
You can now eat regular adult meals with ease, consequently, this has had a dramatic effect on your human waste.
So, this hasn’t been a great year. To put things in context, you have done more hospital trips/admission in the last 3 months than all of the previous 21 months put together. It’s been a rough one, but we give God the glory.
Your last immunization is in a few days and we will say goodbye to immunization till age 9.
Thanks to your brother, you have taken a special interest in spelling, even though you can barely pronounce the alphabet. You can read from one through five and you have no idea how my heart flutters every time I watch you do these things. I have caught myself a few times smiling way too hard.
You are learning nursery rhymes quite well too, even though you can barely say the words. You hum the rhymes quite well and I love it.
And girl, you’re quite the artist. When you hold a crayon, you come alive. Nothing in sight is spared, you are like a bulldozer, colouring everything on your path. And you have a nice grip on the pencil. All that’s left now is for me to look for your MIT and Stanford University fees.
Speaking of fees, I was at your brother’s school the other day to gather information about your admission. Girl, I don’t think I have recovered from that experience. I think I am in the wrong career because that fee is something. What do they teach again in pre-school? Anyways, we will figure something.
Livy, you’re growing into this fine, smart and graceful young woman and I count it a privilege to guide you through life. I sincerely admire your bravery. Nothing scares you and I pray you don’t lose this spirit.
I usually leave your brother with a few words. Call it a guiding principle and today, I will share those same words with you.
Work hard. There is no substitute for this. While there is such a thing as luck, but the harder you work, the luckier you will get. Put in the work.
God. Keep God at the centre of all you do. It’s impossible to go through life without God.
Relationship. This is one of life’s best gifts to us. Keep and maintain a healthy relationship with people. And when you get into one, don’t abuse it. Don’t take undue advantage of it. Seek to contribute more than you take. Don’t become a parasite.
Fairness and Equity. Treat people first as humans, irrespective of their social standing. Be fair and just in all your dealings. Do unto them, what you will like to be done to you. I can’t stress this enough, respect everyone.
Mistakes. There will always be mistakes. You will make them, consciously and unconsciously. But when you make them, learn from the experience and move on. Don’t dwell too much on it. Never accept a pity party. NEVER.
Peer pressure. We will do our best to show you the right way, don’t deviate from it. Don’t let anyone make you do what you know doesn’t align with your values as a person. Be your own woman.
Finances. Keep an eye on your finances. Always SAVE. You will always need it.
Emotions. Watch your temperament. I haven’t done much of a great job here myself, but thanks to your mum, I am learning a lot from her. When you get angry, watch what you say. Never let anger get the best of you. There are always consequences when you can’t put your emotions in check.
Passion. Follow your passion, this will be your one true source of happiness.
Happy birthday Livy, live long and fulfil your purpose.
Love always, Dad.
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