Kimbal Koko Loayza

Dear Kimbal

Jun Loayza
8 min readOct 1, 2021

This is a story about firsts.

The first time Mami held you (Left). The first time you and Juniper met (Middle). Your first time in a car seat (Right).

On September 25th, 2019, Mami called UCSF to let them know that you were on your way. But shockingly, UCSF said that they were completely full and that you needed to be rerouted to another hospital.

Rerouted! My baby is not a car!!!

Mami was not happy.

Thankfully, it all worked out. The new hospital was only a 5 minute walk from our apartment and the staff was absolutely wonderful.

The team that delivered you
Our first selfies together (Left: at the hospital; Right: at home)
Your first time meeting Ama (left), Obaachis (middle), Tía Sachi (right)

We love dining out as a family. One of the great things about being on maternity/paternity leave together was exploring new restaurants in SF.

Your first time dining out at restaurants in SF (Bon Nene, Plow, Flour + Water Pizzeria, Peruvian place, Universal Cafe)

Don’t worry, you’re in great hands with Papi.

Your first bath

So many friends and family came over to meet you for the first time.

Ear family (left), Koko family + Tío Jay (right)

For Christmas and New Year’s we went to visit family in Westminster.

Your first plane ride. You were attached to Mami.
Your first time meeting Tío Jay and Ojiichan
Your first Christmas with family and friends: Loayza (left), Ear (middle), Safaie (right)

We lived in a small apartment when you were born. Now that you made our family complete, we decided to upgrade and buy a home.

You came with us to sign the purchase documents (left); first night at our new home (right)

We moved in just in time. Just a few weeks after moving in, the pandemic hit.

Our last time dining out for quite a while (Burma Love)

To be honest, the pandemic was tough, but we did the best that we could by sticking together.

Papi might have gone overboard with precautions (left); Mami giving Papi a haircut (middle); sticking together (right)
Mami got two cakes for her birthday
Your first time eating solids

And we got a lot of help from our family who came up to take care of you and Juniper.

Obaachis (left), Ojiichan (middle), Tía Sachi (right)

We were on lock down for a long time. We wanted to take you out to museums, to the library, to the playground, but we were stuck at home for many months.

I was frustrated, but you didn’t skip a beat. You kept eating, growing, and thriving.

Your first time crawling!
Our first time taking silly selfies together
Your first time eating cucumber
Your first time on the car (left); your first time at the beach (middle); your first time riding the bike (right)
Your first time on the swings

Throughout this time, you and Mami developed such a special bond.

You and Mami were inseparable

You and Mami napped together, ate together, slept together, read together — you were pretty much attached at the hip.

I was happy for you and Mami, but honestly, quite a bit jealous.

So it was that my important mission began in August 2020, when I took 2 months of paternity leave.

My mission: to get you to choose me over Mami for comfort and love.

I know, it’s such a selfish ask, but still, it’s something that would signify our father-daughter bond.

For you, there was no forcing function to establish the bond. Mami had been sleeping with you every night since you were born, and without a strong forcing function for us to make the switch, we kept the status quo. From time to time I’d try to put you to sleep, but you would wail for Mami and we would relent.

To accomplish my mission, we spent a lot of time together. Every weekday during my paternity leave, I would take you out to the park and we’d enjoy the sun.

Us on our adventures together

But, although I tried as hard as I could, you continued to look to Mami for your comfort and love.

You continued to grow and continued to have many more firsts.

Your first birthday
Your first time dressing up for halloween
Your first time going to school — you cried, a lot :)
The first artwork you brought home from school
First time walking outside w/ assistance (left) to no assistance (right)

And then one day, on July 22nd, you got your first fever. You were burning up, sweating, and to top it off, you were constipated — you hadn’t poo’d in 3 days.

You wanted Mami, of course, but she was busy with important work that day. And I knew this was my moment, the opportunity to step up.

I took the day off, no hesitation.

And although you complained and cried at first, because you didn’t want me, you wanted Mami, we kept at it, together.

It was worth it.

July 22, 2021: The first time you accepted me for comfort and love instead of Mami. Mission accomplished.

Kimbal, you are our second child. But in our hearts, there is no first or second. There is only love.

You can choose to go to college or forge your own unique educational path. We support you; we do not compare.

You can choose to live abroad in a distant country or stay at home with us. We support you; we do not compare.

You can choose to start your own family or choose not to have kids. We support you; we do not compare.

You are free of labels and expectations. Mami and I look at you and we see an individual that we respect and love.

There will be times when the stings of comparisons, expectations, and jealousy may enter your mind — and that’s perfectly ok. You are human and are encouraged to enjoy all of these complex emotions that our wonderful brain feels. When these moments come, remember this:

Mami and I love you unconditionally.

This is unbreakable; it is a love carved deep into our hearts.

This was a story about our firsts with you. One day, when you’re ready, go out there and experience your own firsts.





Jun Loayza

Building HitMeUp, the AI-powered "Mailchimp" for Content Creators. Follower of Christ. 🇺🇸🇯🇵🇵🇪