Letter #21: What They See

June 22, 2020

Hi, Lia. 

People see a girl going out to hog snacks from a sari-sari store. 
I see a girl coming back with tons for her friends and always with one for me, even if I don't ask for it. 

People see a girl who vandalized our white walls. 
I see a girl whose art is infinite.

People see a girl interrupting her mother's client meetings. 
I see a girl serving me iced tea or coffee in the middle of it. 

People see a girl asking for too many biscuits at the grocery. 
I see a girl who gives one to every street kid she comes across with. 

People see a girl who "talks back" (because God forbid that children have opinions and worse, state them).
I see a girl who knows that important conversations take place when honesty and truth aren't set aside for politeness. 

People see a girl who cries easily.
I see a girl who gives her heart to everything that it hurts. 

People see a girl who is demanding and needy. 
I see a girl whose love language is time and affection; who often says, "The happiest moment of my life was when you became my Mama."

People see someone who is impatient, hot-headed, stubborn, and sometimes borderline perfectionist.

I see those too. 

But more importantly, I see the moments in between that are driven by passion, hope, determination, and kindness. 

There is a world of difference between what others see and what we, parents, see. When the world fails to see who you are, my hope is that you take comfort in knowing that I've always seen who you are, from the moment you took your first breath. May that knowing serve as an affirmation that you're always worth discovering, worth loving. May it embolden you to live your truth - boldly, openly, and kindly.

With eyes wide open, 

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