Mis bébes, Welcome back. We've nearly reached the end of the English alphabet with Y for Yearbook. A yearbook is a book that students graduating out of school or college lay great store by. It consists of pictures and information relating to the students in the class that year and the activities they participated in. It helps you look back nostalgically on what are often described as the best years of your life. Reminiscing about the "best years" is very well, but it should not degenerate into regrets about the lost glories of the past. La Niña and El Niño, you've turned five and two respectively in the last month. Yearbooks don't mean much to you, and the other Y word that I am linking it to is not one that you're likely to lose sleep over. You're at that age when the world seems brighter and more colourful. Your eyes are filled with hope, not cynicism, enthusiasm, not despair, trust, not suspicion. And that is why I think this is the best time to talk to you about another Y, Youthfulness. Our world is rigged such that our self-esteem is inextricably intertwined with our perceptions of how young we look, how youthful others imagine we are. People go to extreme lengths in order to look young, to cling to their youth. My darlings, today you can't wait to grow older. You count your age with joy, greedily adding the halves and quarters. But in some years, you'll be wondering where the years have gone. And you'll take great offence if someone assumes that you are older than you are, conversely delighting in being seen as younger. It's a natural feeling. I've felt that way sometimes. One of the reasons why people long for youthfulness is because of the ravages that life and age wreak on the body. Receding hairlines, grey hair, weight in all the wrong places, wrinkles, tired, drawn out faces, eyes whose vision begins to get blurred — these are the symptoms that we suffer, symptoms that peddlers of beauty products and health prescriptions try to capitalise on. Your own mamma's body is sagging from the stress of two C-section surgeries, and from nursing you two, but would I have it any other way? I think you should make an attempt to look nice and presentable always. But don't feel compelled to peer down the mouths of bottles and tubes to enhance your assets and hide your flaws. The elixir of beauty and eternal youth is a myth. And I've told you before about your uniqueness and the beauty of your heart and soul. There are better ways of rejuvenating yourself. Read with an insatiable appetite. Be interested in people, without intruding into their lives. Smile often and laugh louder; giggle if you can. Keep dreaming, and if a dream fails, find another. Those are foolproof ways to stay youthful.
My wish for you is that you may take greater pains to preserve the youthfulness of your mind and heart. Don't bother much about the calendar, nor sweat about the passing of the years. Don't give up your faith or your beliefs. You'll have a spring in your step that those half your age and younger don't have. That's all for today. We'll grab some ZZZs tomorrow.