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Sister’s Keeper

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For 26 years, I have a younger sister. And that makes me feel glad, sad, bad, mad, and then glad again. 🙂

Two Red Noses

Growing up together, we had a pretty long list of crazy things we did as crazy little girls. Do you remember the tiny store we put up with friend Daisy as our sole customer? The gift hunting in Tita Yholly’s closet so we’ll have something special to give to Mama on her birthday. What about the endless fight over who’s going with her to the market? The long and tiring chase around the old mango tree every time we’re caught red handed for silly crimes we did. And the secret agreement whenever we’re forced to eat veggies.You always take small bites from my plate so I can be spared from spanking, right? And the siesta we hated so much, with the crystal clear image of the wide yard and all our neighbor friends having fun in our heads. Going to school together in a tricycle and scheming a way to get discounts from Manong driver. The petty fights over who will get the nicer toy. And will you ever forget the fire incident in Bagbaguin? The one we completely ignored despite the thick smoke entering the house because we were so into who’ll get the Ms. Asia Pacific title? What else can I think of? The field days and wearing Mama’s make up. All our Christmas dresses with little bags to match and the search for all our ninongs and ninangs. And a whole lot more.

Years passed and those stories changed. Some of them became more beautiful, others scary and sad – losing baby, missing Papa, Ondoy, getting sick, getting better, feeling down, standing up again.

I’m sorry I didn’t look after you as much as I can. I wanted so much to do it. The thing is I was also young then. I didn’t know how. We were forced to grow up due to all the many chaotic things that took place without prior warning. But the problem with learning once forced is that it never becomes that effective. You get some of it but you end up forgetting lots of it. I must say Brother Bo was again right when he said we should allow the natural ripening of things, not just things actually but even people.

We’ve been through a lot. I’m sure there will be more. As you said, we can do this! We could have done this actually, if we didn’t get scared. God bless us. Happy birthday!

Young Love

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Baby love???

Don Herold said that “Babies are such a nice way to start people.” But how do we know we’re ready to have one?

I attended a christening last weekend.  I was very happy to see many little angels around me. All babies are the same, I think. They never fail to amaze me. You look at them for a few minutes and you allow yourself to be under their spell. Completely bewitched. 🙂 Yet despite the joy I feel inside, I was partly sorry seeing the little arms that carry them. Most of the mothers and fathers were teenagers. Ahhhhh…What to do when babies have babies?

The harsh realities of unwanted pregnancies are shocking.  A study conducted by the World Bank revealed that the Philippines is among the top 10 countries with an escalating population of teenage mothers. Very alarming. These young kids should be in school – learning a lot of things in the company of friends. They should be having the time of their lives, busy forming their characters. To cut that short or put that special stage in life on hold is still unacceptable to me. I can’t put it together 😦 I can’t imagine how two young people who are still in the process of finding themselves will have all the resources in the world to raise a happy and healthy child. “Making a baby is easy but raising one is not,” as the cliche goes.

Parenting for me is something to prepare oneself to. You don’t just let it happen. You don’t leave it to circumstance. I believe that there is beauty in waiting for the right time to welcome a new life. For that little life will depend on you. In an instant you become its source of everything. When you’re whole already, you make happy little people. But when you’re still broken, what do you make?

I long for the day when I’ll finally be able to hold the hands of my own child. To read stories to him every night. To wave goodbye every time he leaves the house. To cook for him, tuck him to bed, go to church with him and pray, say I love you countless times. To tie his shoe lace…I know I’ll make a great mom. 🙂 Dear little baby, I’m building myself. I’m healing myself. I’ll wait for you no matter what.

Cheers to all the mom!