Dearest Zion,

You won’t be able to read this yet, but I am writing this anyway because I want to capture these moments I have with you. That in writing them, I can prolong these joys and make them last forever.

You move me, my Zion. You move me to smile. You move me to elation. You move me to tears of joy.

I will never forget the first time the OB-gyne made your dad and I listen to your heartbeat. It was the most amazing moment! The sound of your heartbeat was music to my ears! With just one thump you made me understand what being a mother is about. There was a life—that’s you—inside me. The realization melted me completely!

To feel you growing inside my womb was a profound joy. Each time you moved, I felt excitement! I imagined the things you, your dad, and I could do together: sing, dance, play, travel. We had only seen your ultrasound photos. We did not know how you would eventually look like and yet we were planning ways to make you happy.

As months passed, I talked to you. I played music for you. My love for you simply grew.

And when you were born, it was the most amazing moment of my life! I cannot begin to describe the warmth in my heart when I saw you for the first time and cradled you in my arms. You empowered me. I realized I was meant to be a mom.

Breastfeeding gave me a deeper connection to you. So much so that the sleepless nights of feeding you, changing your diaper, and attending to your needs came naturally to me. Gazing at you sleeping soundly was worth the struggle. I wanted to stare at your face for as long as I could.

Little did I know that there were more wonderful moments ahead.

When you started walking, watching you make your steps was like winning the lottery! Precious!

I cherish—and will always cherish—each and every thing that you do: from your appreciation of animals, to your attentive watching of National Geographic, to your fascination for fishes, to your sense of wonder every time you see a dog or cat.

I love that when we walk in the park, and we’d see a dog, you’d beg me to stop so you can pet it.

I love how you sing and dance Elvis Presley songs with your Grandpa or as you like to call him, “bubba” Eddie.

I love how you dance “Uptown Funk” with me.

I love that you fall asleep while I’m singing to you or hugging you.

I love that your eyes glitter each time you learn something new.

The day you came, my life purpose became clearer. I am here to…

Care for you,

Nourish you,

Show you the beauty of the world,

Keep you safe.

Four years in, I still doubt if I am doing the right thing. It still breaks my heart whenever I have to scold you. But I know that when you are older, you will understand.

I see you with your cousins and other kids, and I feel so proud. I know you’re going to be a great older brother.

You’re growing up to be a smart, kind, and fine young man, Zion. I feel I am doing something right.

This is just the first of many letters I’ll be writing you.

Here’s to more walks in the park, more animals to discover, more wonders of nature to marvel at, more conversations, more songs to sing, more music to listen to, more sunrises to watch, more hugs, more kisses…

Here’s to more love.

I never knew how much love I could give until you came along.

Mama loves you so much.