Bound by Blood

Blood is thicker than water. Family ties.

Mother’s Day Random Ramblings

Last week, a colleague congratulated me for my first Mother’s Day celebration. I totally forgot about it until tonight that I’ve gone too emotional watching “Mom” videos on my newsfeed. Funny how becoming pre-occupied as a first time mother leave you with remembrances, realizations and emotions at random times (like now while having breaks doing the laundry).

Honestly, I haven’t imagined myself a mother until the moment I got confirmation that I had a tiny human inside. I was not ready, but I guess you’ll never be really ready until you get there. I deemed myself a mother as early as then. After all, I was already nursing and nourishing him. I had to change diet, skip vigorious activities, and even obey weird traditions roughly suggested by the oldies.

Pushing him out to the world is another story. I was never as frightened. I was not only scared for myself, I was scared for him more. But again, when you have no choice but to be courageous, well, you got to be. Imagine my relief when I saw him for the first time lying on my chest.

And motherhood doesn’t end there. Somewhere I’ve read said that real motherhood comes after you leave the hospital and take the baby home. Sure was right! My baby has been around for almost three months and I can no longer count my tears and sighs out of frustration, fear, paranoia, etc. Knowing there’s a lifetime ahead of him, God only knows how much more I need to bear. But I am not complaining, he’s our best gift (cliche, I know), our most terrible weakness (how can you say “no” when he puts up a cute crying face?), and my husband’s replica, only waaay more handsome (if I loved my husband’s annoyingly happy face, how can I not love my son’s?).

You know in art when they put together totally unrelated things to communicate one solid message? That’s how motherhood is like. It’s always a crazy unpredictable mix of emotions – some intense, some so-so. But unlike art which emanates multiple possible meanings, motherhood comes with but one message. It’s always the same every time – Love.

***

Happy Mothers’ Day to all the moms out there, most importantly, to my Mama. Now I know the truth in your rants! Hahaha Sending greetings to my husband’s mother as well, for raising such lovely man.

Props to my boys, too, for this wonderful and exciting journey. I love you both.

To my Little Penguin

bobek

I know it embarrasses you to have been called as such now that you’re a grown man. On my part though, it makes me a bit melodramatic.

Everything is vivid. From the little boy bound to piss me off everyday, to a teenager whom I was in charge of looking over aka take cover when school trouble arises, to a yuppie whom I did style consultation for in exchange of free food or a pair of pants, then suddenly to an army official.

You were a bright kid, but you were equally hard-headed and mischievous. Some of your teachers even disliked you for your curious and sometimes sarcastic inquisitions. I was called to office a few times because you were caught throwing pieces of paper at ceiling fans, vandalizing school property, forging our parents’ signature, etc. We kept these our little secrets then. Our parents only knew of a few years ago, they only laughed their heads off, but could have fumed in anger that time.

Everyone knew you as the happy-go-lucky kind. I guess it’s just us, your family, who believed that there’s a grown man underneath your childish antics. Because we listened more than your words, we took notice of your silent sacrifices, we took note of your dreams. But who knew, right? You were sneaky. You never told anybody. There were a few signs, but no hints. I didn’t even know that the reason you borrowed my neck ties was for your application for the army. Still I mull, if I had known, would I let you? Maybe yes, maybe no.

10351012_10200218849909672_3112427130329320600_n
And here you are now, looking mighty and strong, with a respectful stance and assertive but calm demeanor. You’ve come so far from the laid back and annoying guy we all knew. Look how a year has changed you!

Proud as we are, it worries and saddens us even how all of these entail threat upon your life. You may have briefed, acquainted, and had us ready for this, but we never were. Never will we be. If only there’s a way I could make offering to the gods just to have you assigned some part of Luzon or Visayas instead of Mindanao, I swear, I’d roast a thousand suckling pigs!

We have barely three days to spend with you before you proceed to your assigned division. Can tomorrow until Sunday be composed of 48 hours each? I’d cut the drama, just get home safe.

IMG_1983

I look real mean in this photo, but I love you in real life, abnormal penguin brother Bobek!

To my first playmate

Dear She,

We weren’t given the chance to have grown up together. Your family moved away right even before we even reached our teens. Yes, we spent some summer sleepovers together in our grandmother’s house during a few vacations. But we never shared secrets and stories and gushes over our school crushes. We did not bond over music. You didn’t like Dido and Eminem in grade school, so we never really shared earpods. We did have DVD marathons though, or was it VCD? We watched bad movies, covered our eyes while Claudine Barretto and Rico Yan shared an overtime kiss in Got to Believe. You laughed at me when I cried over that Rugrats in Paris scene where Chuckie longed for a mommy. You even sang “I want a mama who lasts forever” while I cry every time. That was hell embarrassing. Those were my few growing up memories with you.

20140317-153432.jpg

I no longer remember this day, we had fonder memories than playing with these hats.

We were each’s first playmate and each’s first bully. We neverhad Barbies. We played with rag dolls instead, in our make shift kubo our fathers built for us. I remember us running over to our tita’s hammock. I remember you making fun of me and I making fun of you. I remember how we pulled each other’s hair when we disagreed about things. I remember you running away with my nth pair of slippers because you just wanted to piss me off. You have made me cry until I turn gray.

I was envious of other kids who have shared great and even stupid memories of growing up with their cousins. We never helped each other escape for a date, never spoke about our first kisses, never sneaked out for a night out with friends, and never lied to save each other’s ass. I miss you then. I already missed you during the time we spent apart. And now, all I know is that I have no choice but to miss you for a much longer time.

These memories now, I cannot fathom whether forlorn or favorable. I cannot understand if tears coming forth these remembrances are of sorrow or joy. Your exempt from life is but a liberation from your 2-3 years battle from Cancer. I only seek comfort at the idea that you are in a better and safer place right now.

Until then, She. For now, watch us from up there. Be your husband’s inspiration, your kids’ guardian angel, the grown ups’ (parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunties) strength and wisdom, and of course, my partner in crime from up there.

Everyone misses you.

P.S. Only during the weekend have I known you kept a diary the time you knew you had and fighting cancer. How I wish we exchanged notes then, or composed entries together. But it’s too late now. I just hope your kids will read it so that they’d know how much you loved and wanted to have lived more lives with them.

Bye Bye, Bunnie

Bunnie reached third step of the stairs during play time :3

My Dear Little Thing,

You have spent but a short time with us but you have already brought joy to me even when ice cream and other sweets fail to do so.

You were the smallest yet the first one to hop to the third step of the stairs. My heart took flight, for this wasn’t your usual playtime. You always loved being carried, seeking refuge in my thin lean arms, your paws upon my chest, your tiny little teeth tugging on my blouse, your whiskers bristling against my neck, the white patch up your nose reaches to mine. The small ball of warmth that you are unknowingly felt my heartbeat.

You’re on the other side of the rainbow now, my little black ball of fur. I shall cry no more for there’ll be big bunny angels taking care of you. They shall carry you and give you bunny kisses all the time. They shall share you dinner and snacks of carrots and strawberries and parsley and bananas. Every day shall be a feast. Each moment shall be your playtime.

I love you Bunnie. We (Clyde too) miss you.

To The First Ever Time and Space Lecturer of My Heart

Unknowingly building forts and bridges in my heart

Dear Pa,

How far could a point ever be from another point? You inquired like a Math professor. You examined space.

How significant is something that lies between two things? You posed as if you were conducting a lecture to an Architecture class.

These were lessons you asked me to wonder at before you left last year.

Only now have I realized, you were my 101 classes, if not my pre-requisites in distance, space, even in maps and cartography. Our lessons date back my younger years. You taught me the joys and pains of waiting – from when you left those early evenings and arrive minutes after midnight, until that moment you bid bye and came back years after. Then there was distance, defined by miles across sea and land. Then came along space, the different timezone, when your night was my day.

All of these were prelude to the men in my life. Stories further drafted in notes which bespeak of terminals, airplanes, bus rides, and even long afternoon walks. They were phrases either drenched in rain or burned under the sun.They underlined anticipation, longing, waiting and homecoming. Hope and uncertainty were in italics and boldface.

They were all love letters written in maps. But yours is the longest, rolled a hundred times, unfolding like a Japanese scroll. Yours is the most profound. Yours has been the fundamentals of history and continuity. Your sentiments on time and space have been my laws, canons and theories.

You are most of the colored pins in my heart’s map, I can hardly calculate their distances anymore. But who needs numbers when you are in every corner as my bridges, defensive forts, protective walls, and my lighthouse.

Yes Pa, I wouldn’t have survived the journey without you and your lectures. And I love you for more than that.

Your traveler,

Little TidTid

*This is also in celebration of the book (Richard Bach’s There’s No Such Place as Far Away) you left my siblings and I years ago. I thought I was too young for such literature, but nah, it was just plain appropriate.

Years Juxtaposed

We, of the same blood, flesh and bones

I know I have promised a pretty decent post for you, dear brother. This isn’t it. I’d be writing too soon. I’ll end up romanticizing every little detail. That too, is the reason I won’t be providing too much text on this post. Separate photos will speak for themselves. Their juxtaposition will emanate more stories. This is so Art Studies I know, forgive me.

I will write about you when I’m out of my weightlessness. That. And I love you two.