_ After a tiring 2 hour walking and biking at a park near our home, we were off to bed. All set to sleep, Aisha suddenly remembered that she saw a helicopter earlier that day.
“E-li-kan-ter talaga yun! (It was really a “helicopter”!)”, she was very happy telling us.
We laughed over Aisha’s “e-li-kan-ter” for helicopter. Then Eric said, “Aisha, it’s HE-LI-COP-TER.”
Aisha: He-li-cop-ter! He-Li-cop-ter! Heli- copter!
Yeheyyyy!!!!! We all cheered. That was quite a word.
Suddenly, I just wanted to test if she can say “ha and he” well.
Me: Aishe, say LU-HA (tears).
Aisha, thinking, paused for a while, then she said, “LU…. YA”.
We all chuckled. She couldn’t say “HA” correctly from Lu-HA. She kept on saying Lu-YA.
Finally, we were laughing too hard and she was almost giving up for not being able to say it correctly. Eric, Alia and I were trying to convince her to say “lu-HA” over and over but Aisha kept stuttering: LU—YA.
I told Aisha that she cannot go to school if she won’t be able to say it correctly. I told her that we won’t give her a fourth birthday party if she’s still “bulol”. She was furious! She threw her pillows from the bed. I just turned my back and left her like that- upset as she was.
I didn’t know how long I was already sleeping beside her but facing on the other side. I suddenly woke up and I heard Aisha whispering behind me. She was murmuring softly on a sad tone: “he-li-copter….lu-ya…lu…aaa…lu-ya….ang hirap naman… heli- copter….lu—aaa…lu---yaaaaa… di ko naman kaya”. She was practicing!!!!!
I didn’t know how long she did that. She just kept repeating the words and she had a hard time. I knew she was sad…I sensed it in her tone, but she was determined to say it right. I wasn’t sure how to react so I just pretended that I didn’t hear her and I went back to sleep.
Next morning, she woke up early. I was preparing for work and she came to me, smiling. “Mama, listen…. Lu…HA… luha! Luha!!!!” she said happily! “Wow! Very good, Aisha!!!”, I cheered.
I hugged her. My little baby sure did her homework last night and I’m a proud Mom as ever.
What makes me happy?
People. Everyone around me who believes and inspires me- my family, my husband, my two beautiful girls, my friends and colleagues.
Life itself is a happy experience. The world is a happy place.
I had my own share of struggles, life was not easy for us back then but my Dad taught me how to believe in myself, work hard , be kind and to be strong. He inspired me to go out of my comfort zone. He used to tell me that the possibilities in life are endless and so I believed him.
l Iost him quite a few years ago but he has left me with so much inspiration to follow my dreams - to visit places I have only dreamt of or have seen in the movies when I was little and to do things I thought were only for the privileged few.
Wherever I go, I always remember my Dad, wishing he could see me from afar and somehow be proud of me as I have always been so proud of him. Life is short and I promised him that I would make the most of mine.
Travelling makes me happy and in all other things, I choose happiness. We all should- always..