“Lola Belay”

HPIM1486I never knew who Lola (Grandma) Belay was. All my mom would say was that I looked like her in this picture. I did not know if that was a compliment or an insult, considering that at the age of four, I already looked like a lola! But of course, it’s my mom. She loves me to pieces. She said I looked like a lola with her most endearing tone.

Maybe I was the earlier version of Aleng Maliit (small lady). Ryzza Mae Dizon only took after me. 🙂 Ha! But seriously, my parents would say I have an advanced mind for my young age back then. I’m a curious child with lots of questions and tricks. I play blocks and make colorful geometric designs with it. I love my animal toys. I swing at our back yard. I play hide and seek with my neighbors. I play kitchen-kitchen. I pretend I’m the bus conductor. I act as teacher to my playmate-students. I read my storybooks. I put color in my coloring book. I play in the sand. I dance to the bubuka ang bulaklak, sasayaw ang reyna (the flower will open, and then the queen will dance) song.

Needless to say, I have a very happy childhood. 🙂 I did what I loved to do as a child – play! Isn’t that my job as a child? To play endlessly. Because that’s when I learn best. That’s when I grow to be smarter, not only intellectually, but also physically and socially. (Uh-oh, my inner Early Childhood Development persona is creeping out. I’d let you in on that side of me some other time.)  

I wish that I will be able to give the same happy childhood memories to my future child. Only then will I be able to say, I’ve come full circle. 🙂

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