As my baby girl Bea turns 9 years old today, I compiled a short list of interesting and not-so-interesting things about her:
1. She likes to wear socks all the time — at home. She prefers wearing socks over slippers and even wears socks to sleep. For her birthday this year, she asked some of her aunts and uncles to give her colorful socks as a gift. (At least they’re not expensive and not hard to find.)
2. If she’s not surfing the internet or watching TV, Bea is always reading books or writing short stories/fictional diaries. (She was never into toys because she reasons that she doesn’t have anyone to play with.) She has tons of books and notebooks lying around the house. Whenever we dine out, she always brings a pen so she can write her stories. But she has this weird way of holding her pen.
3. Every time someone gives her money, Bea deposits it straight to her savings account in the bank. She’s more kuripot (stingy) than I am. Her ambition in life is to be able to lie down on a bed of money.
4. Bea suffers from ailurophobia, also known as felinophobia or the irrational fear of cats. A few years ago, she had this bad dream about a cat that clawed at her neck until it bled profusely. Since then, she trembles and screams scandalously at the sight of cats even from 10 meters away.
5. Bea is obsessed with labanos (radish). She devours it the way I eat my dessert. Whenever we cook sinigang, which is her favorite dish, she asks me to choose the best-looking labanos in the market, and then she eats it all up after she’s done with her rice. She calls it “saving the best for last.”
6. She gets so excited over the simplest things. Labanos makes her happy. Steak makes her her eyes light up and sends her on cloud 9. American Idol makes her giddy with excitement, which is so palpable it’s contagious! She’s so easy to please that, in fact, the other day I surprised her with a small bag of chips and she squealed with delight, “Mahal mo talaga ako, ‘no? (You really love me, don’t you?)”
7. Bea is a certified fangirl. From Harry Potter to Taylor Swift to American Idol contenders, Bea is such an avid fan. “Fangirl-ing is my life!” goes one of Bea’s tweets. Whenever we watch a stage play or a ballet, she would wait until the end of the show to ask for autographs from cast members, even though they’re not really famous personalities. She once saw celebrity Saab Magalona at a bookstore and stood beside her for about 5 minutes before mustering enough courage to ask for her autograph. (Saab was so pleased and requested to have a photo with Bea, which she then posted on her Instagram.) During her Lolo’s wake, Bea couldn’t pass up the chance to seek the autograph of the Supreme Court Chief Justice who paid her last respects to Bea’s Lolo. Chief Justice Meilou Sereno even wrote a very nice message for Bea on her notebook.
8. Bea loves watching FRIENDS. When I was expectant with her, I was so bored during the last month of pregnancy that I did a marathon viewing of FRIENDS, from seasons 1 to 10. Not surprisingly, Bea has also come to love the show and knows nearly all the lines. She watches its re-runs everyday, sometimes twice a day. Her favorite character is Phoebe Buffay, who is considered the weirdest/craziest one in the bunch.
9. She’s not overly sweet, so every time she embraces me without being asked to or says “I love you, Mommy” it makes my heart melt. I know she really means it. Plus, she gives the best massages ever — for only one hundred pesos!
For all the laughter and headaches that she brings into my life, I only wish nothing but the best for my dearest darling Bea. Happy birthday, baby girl!