1. You are named Emmanuel, which means God is with us. You were supposed to be named something else (my memory escapes me now) but I changed it to Emmanuel after experiencing long labor due to uterine dysfunction.
2. Your new born screen test showed that you're G6PD** deficient (prone to anemia). That's why mothballs, etc are a no-no in our house as these are triggers.
3. Your nickname is Maui since your dad spent sometime growing up in Hawaii.
4. You were not breastfed as I had vascular allergy right after your birth. I had to take antibiotics and I couldn't even hold you in the first few weeks.
5. You spoke your first word (mama!) at 8 months but then abruptly stopped speaking. You went to speech school at one and a half years old. Your developmental pediatrician said that your mind was too fast for your mouth, as your speech muscles have not yet fully developed.
6. You ran (and fell) first before you learned to walk.
7. You had night terrors and had to be driven around (held, looking at the road) to fall back to sleep.
8. Ever OC***, your yaya**** had to iron your Learning Activity Sheets (LAS) before you would do the homework.
9. Ditto for money when you were learning how to count them.
10. At Grade 1, you wanted to hire a lawyer and sue Ateneo***** (!) if they didn't make you second honor (because there was one quarter you were just 3rd honor).
11. But you stopped yourself from being 1st honor coz that was too nerdy and uncool.
12. You declined Magis/honors class several times for the same reason. As a compromise (to me), you took advance Math classes of Queena Lee****** every summer.
13. You wanted to be a JERD= Jock+Nerd, excelling in both sports and studies, be the whole package/ have all-around excellence vs being one dimensional.
14. Your first asthma attack was very bad and we were almost too late. It's one of the reasons why I wanted out of Metro Manila and we moved to Guam.
15. You always volunteered as long as I can remember.
16. You were afraid of the dark coz of that yaya who scared you so you won't go down the basement.
17. You can't resist a dare for money. You once ran in your birthday suit for P1000.
18. You are bad at dancing! Why?!?
... and finally, you are legit 18yrs old but you've been adult-ing for so long now.
Keep it up and always strive to be the best version of yourself. Happy birthday, anak******!
Love love love you!!!
* MauiWowie: a childhood nickname of Maui, my second son
** G6PD: a deficiency of the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase which helps red blood cells (RBCs) to function normally, and usually causes hemolytic anemia.
*** OC: Obsessive compulsive
**** Yaya: Filipino term for nurse maid
***** Queena Lee: a well-known Filipino math professor and author of several books
****** Anak: Filipino word for child
About this post: Originally posted on Facebook as my 18th birthday greeting to Maui. I've edited this a bit to make it clearer.