It has often been shared that your first born will always be special in your heart.
When we first had Kyra, we did not plan on having 5 kids nor could we imagine having 5. We had over 2 years of being with her alone, before Nessya came along. It was this period of having just her with us, that makes it special. We couldn’t have that with our other kids. We learned so much through her.
I remember the day Kyra was born vividly even now. I had shoots over Saturday and Sunday. After shooting on Saturday, I fetched Beth from her parents place. That night, at about about 3am, Beth woke me up. It was time. I remembered not feeling sleepy (when I should!) or nervous. I think it was all adrenaline at that point. We were both excited! We had waited long and couldn’t wait to meet this baby growing inside of Beth in person. We checked-in at the hospital and settled down. Nothing much happened and the nurses said, it would probably take a while before Beth was ready to deliver. I did what I had to do next – I left to shoot a wedding. It was 6am. I was still on adrenaline and I don’t recall feeling tired. I was just way too excited. I finished shooting the day’s celebrations and rushed back to be by Beth’s bedside. To my relieve, she still hasn’t given birth. We waited a while more and soon realised the nurses weren’t kidding when they said it would take a while. I ended up doing what I had to do next – a same day highlight for the couple! Now and then, our gynecologist would check back to see if Beth was ready. Coincidentally, he was also the guy who delivered Beth (and her sister and cousins!) How about that? Beth and her mom shares the same gynecologist.
I completed the highlight and with perfect timing, Beth was ready! It was about 530pm and I witnessed the birth of Kyra. It was a feeling of pure joy. It was also surreal. I was now a father and Beth and myself are now parents to a child! That said, I had to leave to shoot the dinner banquet! I left the hospital to continue my shoot. Admittedly, that evening was all a blur for me. I kept seeing images of Kyra as I shot. You know how big a moment is for you by the way it touches you and lingers on. This was a big moment for me. It made a huge impact! Everything was different from this moment forth.
The weeks to come was a complete chaos. As first time parents, and first time grandparents for our parents, it was frantic. Everyone wanted what was best for Kyra and everyone had an opinion and it wasn’t easy. We all had to compromise. We also made the foolish mistake of not hiring a nanny back then to help out. It was a real struggle for us – juggling between a newborn child and running a new business. We had registered our company just months before she was born. So Kyra and Lightedpixels share the same birth year. That said, we eventually cope. That’s how the human spirit is, isn’t it? It manages and it expands when needed.
Our lives obviously changed. We now had our lives revolving around this little child. When she slept, we all had to walk quietly around her lest we woke her up. My mom, being the Peranakan, remarked that we were like thieves around her! (Nowadays, we don’t bother anymore. The kids can sleep through almost anything!) I was traveling for my shoots quite a bit even back then, and Kyra and Beth would come along. In fact, it was in Perth when she first started to learn how to walk (in our friend’s house). Her first word was bear bear and she grew up loving Thomas the Train.
A newborn Kyra.
Back at home with her great grandma (or cho cho). She was around 3 weeks old?
Kyra and her grand dad.
She had a healthy appetite and would often lunge for her milk bottle! She also had the loudest burp!
As she grew older, she had the most pinch-able cheeks.
She was with us when we first traveled to Santorini for a shoot. She absolutely love the place. We got a great room with a view of the caldera but she was fascinated with the church bells and the donkeys instead.
Some of the public pavements were made of marble, and Kyra would remove her shoes and walk barefoot thinking it was “home”. She would also lie on the floor, much to Beth’s exasperation.
Eventually, we had Nessya and Kyra had a sister she could monkey around with. The two soon formed a close sisterly bond. She was always the more cautious of the two while Ness was simply fearless.
She was and has always been a happy child. Often generous with her smiles. She was also quite easy around strangers. Could be the many couples she meets when we were living and shooting around Wessex Estate. She was also generous with her love and hugs. On her first day of class in pre-school, when her class teacher called out her name, she stood up, walked up to her and hugged her! Surprised everyone!
The train used to run pass our estate twice a day back when we were living in Wessex. Kyra would often go track side to see the train whistle by.
Having a photographer father, she picked up the camera at quite an early age (although not this Rolleiflex! She was just helping me to carry it around). She would shoot with a point and shoot Canon Ixus.
Photo by Bernice Wong (IWWI)
The day she started primary school was the day I realised she is fast growing up! She couldn’t wait to get started in school and is really proud to be in the same school as her mom was. She is also quite capable of getting ready for school all by herself – washing up, making breakfast and doing up her hair.
Being the first child, she has grown to care for her younger siblings. She can be quite bossy now but then again, most firstborns are!
One of the more recent photo of Kyra – taken during our annual family photo shoot last year. This was taken by Chris from the Lightedpixels Pixies.
For better or worse, she now has a number of siblings for company!
Kyra with Mikaela. A ten year gap between the two but here’s hoping they grow up tight anyway.
I think the bond between a father and a daughter is special. Eventually, the decisions she makes will be because of things I have done (or have not). It isn’t easy being a father. I am learning myself. I do not know for sure what is best for her. What I can do tho, is always have her back.