When the first time I had laid eyes on her, she looked like a little plucked chicken…all red and shrivelled, swaddled in the folds of a soft blanket which I had washed so many times that it was as soft as her, if that was possible!! She was trying her best to open her eyes and get busy with the business of life. Years have passed and my “chicken li’l” has grown up. Oh yes, I still call her by that name. She’s always busy, picking here, pecking there…always, always on the move. Her hunger for living every moment is infectious, just as her smile. The room lights up when she smiles or is it because of the brightness of her eyes? I don’t know, doesn’t really matter. I call her my ‘Sunshine’. The big smile with which she wakes up makes my day. Her positivity and energy immediately spur me to move it and get on with it.

She’s always been like that. Hungry…hungry for knowledge, hungry to learn, hungry to know. The questions were unending, sometimes draining me, sometimes embarrassing me (since I didn’t know the answer then!), pushing me to reinvent myself. She was my constant companion, helping me around the house. Like all little girls, she loves to help in the kitchen. We have baked wonderful cakes and yummy cookies, made salads, and prepared soups and smoothies. The green thumbs would then move to the garden to tend to the plants. A conscientious worker, she took the weeding seriously, digging them out carefully with the small shovel I gave her. She would then collect as many of the dry leaves as her tiny hands could gather and put them in the pit. Watering the pots was what she enjoyed the most. And the incentive was that in the end, she could get wet herself!! It was so much fun. Because of her, I made sure I knew the names of all the flowers in our garden.

Though tiny in built, she’s a formidable organiser. Misplace one tiny little thing and be ready to hear it from her. She has been my advisor and consultant when arranging the cupboards or organising the kitchen cabinets. She’s my walking-talking reminder (oh…I don’t even need a Siri!). Ask anyone else in the family to get me something and I have to give ten other instructions as to where to find it and how to get it. Tell her and before I could even finish the request, it would be there. She knew everything, about everyone. there’s not a person around in the neighbourhood whom she doesn’t know or who doesn’t know her.

Today I felt a little sad as I saw her off to school. It’s her first day in the big school and she’s absolutely super excited. From now on, it’s going to be all about tomes of homework, assignments and activities. She’s grown up faster than I realised. From now on, we won’t get any special time together before the rest of the family joins us. No more playing together, just her and me. No one to help me with the chores. No one to tend to my plants. It’s not going to be fun in the kitchen too. Did she really have to rush and grow up this fast? Girls…always in a rush to grow up. Wish I could hold on to her for some more time. My little baby!! A daughter is a blessing for life!

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