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Tag Archives: Mother

When You Were Born

You know what  all mothers say when they had their first born? They did not have any clue what to do. From breastfeeding, to bathing, to taking care of a wailing and sick babe so she can be put to sleep. I felt then that I would not survive in all departments, sometimes even wished that you shut up for a short while so I can get some sleep.

(Sam’s first photo,taken twenty years ago)

When you became a toddler, I asked myself not once what planet you came from. When I read you stories, you didn’t let me finish them because you wanted me to hear your version’s ending.You doodled almost every where.You loved watching tv so I was very selective on what shows you should watch. You also became very observant and careful with the words you say. My sister instantly noticed how you did not answer immediately if the question seemed testy.

Your Grandma told me you were very independent, not needing a lot of instructions and doting. In school she can leave you with her students with no fuss while she attended a short meeting.You took your studies seriously, effortlessly that you stood out in every class, in every competition. I remembered that time  when  you asked me what a gold medal looked like. I smiled. At a young age I knew you always aimed for the gold.

We did not always see  eye to eye. Perhaps it was just my age or the generation nowadays.You were completely aware of my rules, respected every one of them because not doing so would mean an argument that you will not win. I maybe hard to live by sometimes, but it was not also easy being your mother.

I also knew it was not easy being the eldest among six siblings, who look up to you for almost every thing. Patience, attention and understanding multiplied by six, not to mention three of them were special kids. I knew there were instances that you almost wanted to snap, with such responsibility that was given, yet  did not even ask. And perhaps you knew, that I was not blind enough to see, deaf enough  to hear, the pain and struggle that you went through every day.

(One of my best loved pictures with Samantha)

We have gone a long way. At a glance you seem like an ordinary girl, but by far a lady with so much character. If dysfunctional families were words you have shunned, unconventionalism  was one thing you had embraced. Books, classical movies, music, writing, photography, family, friendships and laughter all make up your world. As you journey through life, every adventure means conquering one’s fears. And you know by heart, that conquering ones’ fears means facing it.

Looking you from afar, sometimes I cannot help but smile and ask where you got that spark, that free spirit. Looking back now, out of the many wrong decisions I had made in my life, one right deed stood out, and that was having you.

(A daughter every mom would be proud of )

Seeing you know and what you had become was all worth it.

And I would not have it any other way.

 

 

(image credits to facebook.com)

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Finding Your Way Home

Most of us perhaps feel that one of the most defining moments in our lives was when we braved our way to get home from school on our own. For those who were not well off to have a car and hire the services of a family driver, join the school bus even, and just simply do with the help of a guardian, household help or a kind neighbor, that time will come when one just wished things will be different, that one will be allowed to take care of himself and not continue to burden anybody else. I remembered that day when I decided to take command of such things. Too clearly, that it was one of the most told stories I had shared with my kids.

 

I went to a school where my mom taught. It was an accident prone area were most provincial busses going to Olongapo and Bataan would pass by. During the  70’s , the ratio of the accidents was one student a year but that had grown tremendously through the years. At that time my dad would not even entertain the idea of letting me or my siblings go home on our own. He may have been over protective but he did not care. Until that time when he did not have any choice, that is.

 

My mom was sent to the Division Office to attend a seminar. She asked a fellow colleague who was also an aunt and a neighbor to accompany me home. And since working mothers were good in multi tasking , my aunt went first to the market  which was close to the school before we head home. Since there were a lot of people , she left me  in a stall, told me to wait for her when she was done.

 

A few minutes had passed while waiting for my aunt. Those few minutes lasted for half an hour, then for an hour. I was already bored and worried because it  started to get dusk. The kind lady who was the stall owner happened to be my dad’s relative as well. She told me that she will bring me home because it seemed, my aunt had forgotten me.

 

I felt terrible as one feels rejection easily when you are left out, be it accidentally, worst intentionally. You feel helpless, alone and afraid. And that feeling stays with you for a long time.  Later I learned that my aunt was preoccupied and was in a hurry to get home because one of her kids were sick. I had no choice but to  understand.

 

I told myself then, I will not let that happen again. Strange enough, it did but this time I finally had the guts to decide for myself.

 

When my mom had a miscarriage and filed for a leave, my dad had no choice to trust my mom’s colleagues to see me off, each time I leave and head home from school. I think that lasted for almost a month, until I cannot take it any longer. One day, I decided to take my own route, went home early, and told my dad what I have done.

 

“Why did you do it?” “What had gotten in that stubborn mind of yours again? Have you not thought that something might have happened to you?” Concern was written on my dad’s face. I almost regretted what I have done but I have to tell him the reason why.

 

I told him I do not want to be accompanied when I leave for school anymore. That I want to be with other kids when they walk their way home  That I do not want to be left out again after relying someone will be there for me, only to learn that I am alone afterwards.

 

He became quiet. Trying to understand what I said. Thinking if it was about time for me to take that giant step. Finally he said, “Starting tomorrow, you can go home on your own but  I still cannot trust you to go to school by yourself. I do not want you crossing the street when some drivers think they own the road. I will not wait for that day for somebody to tell me, you are not going home anymore.”

 

Those words had been etched in my mind until now. Now that I already have kids. Now when all of them go to school. Except for my youngest, who still needs my guidance, all of them have to rely on themselves, brave the streets, trusting them enough, that they know what they are doing.The story that I told them many times  was done intentionally so that one day, when they feel that I had gotten used to their independence, when they thought they felt I had cared less because I am swamped with the demands of my work, to always remember  that when they head for the door, and feel their old enough to decide for themselves, that it will always be left open, waiting for their return, hoping finally that they had  found their way home.