We have an eleven year old! We just blinked and suddenly Aria is 11. Where did time actually go?!

We always ask Aria what she would like to do for her birthdays, or at least make her part of the planning when she was smaller. This time, everything for her celebration she planned by herself, and we just executed and supported her decisions.

On the first of August, when the hard lockdown was once again in effect, we asked her what she wanted to do. The first thing she had in mind: a birthday concert! And that she wanted to play violin, me play piano, and daddy play guitar for her.

She also asked if she can have a party for her friends online, similar to what we did last year. We cannot do this on her actual birthday, aside from it being her concert night, it was a schoolday, so we had it done the Sunday before her birthday.

Daddy chimed in the idea of sending food to her friends, so we did, with the help of Mcdonald’s McDelivery Send to Many. And since it was our first time to do this, we did it late, with some orders being made on the day of the party, but nevertheless, all orders were sent out successfully! Everyone had food to eat while the games were ongoing!

The party was a hit, kids from our different communities got to know each other and played with each other. Each of us prepared and facilitated the games – Pictionary via Zoom whiteboard, Alphabet Soup, and Kahoot, which Aria facilitated and was a big hit, that some kids played several more rounds after the party. It was so fun!

Our theme was Japan, as Aria’s latest favourite is Rurouni Kenshin, which she and her dad watched on Netflix on weekend (sometimes weekday) evenings after dinner, while I was still attending workshops or working.

BIRTHDAY CONCERT

On the day of her birthday, we had online mass and her favourite food delivered. Mommy took a day off from the kitchen! After lunch we began setting up and preparing for the highlight of her birthday–the concert!

The repertoire consisted of violin music and songs. She chose her most loved Suzuki pieces, and songs she sung with Daddy playing guitar or singing with her. We had to perform something with the three of us, so we decided on You raise me up by Josh Groban. So proud of how she put the repertoire together, and emceed a bit as well.

To make the concert more meaningful, we put up a donation drive, where viewers may donate any amount for Aria’s chosen charities. She chose Hospicio de San Jose, Philippine General Hospital, the Trappist Monastery in Guimaras, and the Shrine of Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

She truly enjoyed performing! Far off from when I was eleven. I mean, I have played for piano recitals, even danced the Binasuan by myself at that age, but performing for me back then was more like a chore. Aria, meanwhile, enjoys performing and rehearsing for it.

I am just so proud of this little lady, how she’s thrived especially with this situation we have. Her creativity, positivity, and religiosity sparked all the more, and we, her parents, are just in awe.

Watch her concert here: https://youtu.be/DVDSX_8kMS8


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