MAY is observed as Child Month in Jamaica, and this year, even as plans for the usual suite of informational and celebratory activities had to come to a screeching halt because of COVID-19, the National Child Month Committee found a way to facilitate many of the planned activities — including a 'pickney' party online.
In the spirit of continuing with the celebration of our nation's children, we asked some parents to celebrate their children, with letters to their little loves.
Tashana Martin, 28, accountant:
My dearest sweetheart, Yanni,
I pledge to protect and provide for you in whatever way I can, and always remember that no matter how old you get, you will always be my precious baby.
Patrice Clarke, 30, make-up artist:
Bringing you into this world was the best thing I will ever do in this lifetime. You are love and light and everything good. I will always support you and stand firmly behind you. I love you infinitely, pumpkin.
Julien Baker-Francis, 34, teacher:
Dear Joel and Jordan,
This is the most important job, yet there is no manual. In a world that opposes the norms and principles with which I was brought up, I dare to raise boys. I live at “knee city” on your behalf as I speak life and blessings. I come against any entity that seeks to derail God's plan for your future and I'm intentional and deliberate about it. I nurture, and sometimes the reaction is bitter, but I dare to raise boys! I dare to steer a path that will produce men of integrity, ambition, grace and humility. In a world of chaos, I dare to raise boys the Godly way.
Oshane Williams, 30, soldier:
You're growing and learning and I know you might never follow my advice, but all I want is for you to follow my example. As you grow you'll disagree with me on many things — you will argue that you're right. Sometimes, you will tell me that I need to chill or just get off your back, but you will grow up to realise I'm the one who truly has your back. I know a time will come when I will talk and you will think I don't understand your struggles, but the truth is, I'm trying to guide you so that you will never have to feel mine.
Shaniese McLeggon-Jonhson, 27, loan officer:
My sweet Jenae and Jeshanae,
Every day you continue to amaze me. You are cute, confident and caring. Watching you grow has been many things, but above all, it has been the most meaningful part of my life.
Nadine Lindsay, 29, customer service rep:
You have taught me selfless love. Having a daughter is my greatest gift. I love your bubbly spirit, your kind heart, and witty personality. You've brought meaning to my life. Watching you grow into this smart, courageous human being is heartwarming. It is true what they say, “a mother and daughter share a special bond which is engraved in their hearts“. Every day I pray that the Lord continues to fill you with positivity and keep you on the right path.