When I look at you smile and giggle at your little steps to becoming “old” – as you would say it – I feel so happy and proud for having a little girl whom I can actually say is my greatest achievement. Sounds cheesy and cliche-ish. And I never thought I would actually say that.

In the heat of the Mothers Day greetings and the flow of blogs, notes, essays – if you will, on moms and their hard work. I tried not to succumb to the parade of words of love and admiration but then here it is. It’s just that reading the notes brought me back to a time three years ago, when I was younger and you were way smaller. I loved you so much then and I could still remember feeling the love ooze from me. And if it is possible, I love you so much more now.

The nights that I couldn’t sleep because your kicks in my tummy would wake me up. The nights that I would wake up at 3 AM (Yes, babe, that is your favorite time to do it.) because I would hear your cries for milk. The nights that I would practically drop down after an exhausting day from school only to be up in a second if you would call on me to make you a milk before you’d go to bed. The nights that I would weep now, straining to muffle the sounds, because the time is looming and June is coming and I know I wouldn’t be able to be with you, to be there for you when you need me. I weep.

I love you, Belle. Be strong for Mommy. And in turn, I’ll try to be strong for you too, even with tears.