…was given to me by Thea, our helper Alona’s daughter. Yesterday, she went into my office and gave me this with a huge smile on her face (showcasing her super cute dimples that would shame Cristine Reyes’ dimples):
I smiled and was deeply touched when she gave the card to me, and I hugged her tightly.
By the way, Thea (whom I now call Punching Bag as a term of endearment) and I go a loooong way back. I remember resenting the thought of her when I learned Randy wanted to have his former helper (Alona) back with her “baggage” (Alona was left by Thea’s father when Thea was just a five-month-old fetus). During those times, I was allergic to kids. But upon laying my eyes on Thea (who was then two years old), I think I fell in love with her immediately.
Thea calls me “Mommy”, and it was all the doing of her 2-year-old mind. You see, she heard her Mama Alona call me “Ma’am”, and then she decided to call me Mommy. I heard her Mama teach her to call me Ma’am and not Mommy, but the attempts were futile because she insisted on calling me Mommy. So I told Alona that Thea may call me Mommy. She calls Randy, “Sel” because her Mama calls Randy “Sir”.
Thea and I have had our moments. There were times I scolded her and told her to stay in her Mama’s room while we were busy (and she would pound on the door and scream: Guguluhin ko itong kwarto!!!); times when I got annoyed because she was spoiled rotten by her Mama; and times when I felt jealous because Randy was so taken by her. But we had more happy times: she accompanied me when I go on errands and when Randy and I go shopping. We even used to take a bath together! My camera phone was full of photos of her. Whenever I was down I would call her and play with her. Randy called her my tuta.
Thea made me laugh very often and even my relatives treated her as their own relative. She was (and still is) a child full of life and spunk: I remember a time when I noticed her left leg was shaven while the other one’s not. I asked her who shaved her legs, and she told me it was Alona. I thought so too, because it was a clean shave and there were no cuts or nicks! When we arrived home, I berated Alona for doing so–and she denied shaving her daughter’s leg. Randy and I expressed our disbelief that a three-year-old can shave like that.
But Alona swore she did not. She even got a razor and asked Thea to show her how she shaved her leg and then we were so amazed when Thea effortlessly shaved her leg, sans any cuts or nicks! And this anecdote is just but a tip of the iceberg–Thea did so many annoying yet hilarious kapilyahans.
However, Thea left us because my Mom was equally amused by her and offered Alona to adopt Thea (unofficially). So for more than two years now, Thea has been my parents’ baby. Although difficult to raise and discipline because of her being very spirited, I know she brings my parents so much joy.
This summer, she vacationed here because she was supposed to meet her long-lost biological father (who, after all this time, has just been in Tagaytay City). “Supposed to” is the operative phrase because it did not push through.
Because her father is a selfish, irresponsible @$$ (can’t help it!). The good thing that came out of it though is that we got to spend time with her. Thea is still spirited, but she has mellowed down and is more obedient. What I love most about her is her love for Raviv, whom she refers to as her brother. In fact, I here’s a conversation I heard:
Thea: Mama, pag mayaman na ako, ano’ng gusto mong ibigay ko sa ‘yo?
Thea: O sige. P’wede bang may kwarto dun sa bahay na yun si Biboy (Raviv)?
Thea: Tapos ‘yung kwarto niya puro laruan kasi ibibili ko siya ng mga laruan, kasi kapatid ko siya.
Indeed, even though Randy and I were incredibly busy this season, Raviv was happy because he had her Ate Thea. Thea obviously loved Raviv, and they share so many similarities: both are hydrophilic, both have heads that sweat profusely even when it is cold, both are matakaw, and both are sooooooooooo malikot!
Me: Punch (my term of endearment for her), bakit mas pinapansin mo si Raviv kay Yoona?
Thea: Kasi idol niya ako, si Yoona hindi (because Yoona is ladylike).
Today, Thea left. I know Raviv is sad, and I am, too. Thea was with us for almost two months this summer, and we had our moments again, despite my having my own son and being busy.
I am writing this blog post for children to realize how a very simple card from my anak-anakan touched me so much. When Thea gave me the card yesterday, I proudly showed it to everyone, and I just smiled and smiled and smiled.
Earlier today, I chatted with a student and I urged her to show her affections to her mother. She told me she doesn’t want to because it would be awkward and her mom night just tease her. With this entry, I hope she changes her mind. Hija, go on and hug your mom and tell her you love her. I tell you, it means SO MUCH.
With this in mind, let me walk the talk I just made and grab this opportunity to tell the world that I am very proud of my Mom, Dr. Emma Sales. Mom, we have had our share of scruples and I may have had always expressed how dissatisfied I am of you as a mom (as I preferred a full-time mom growing up), but now I am just so proud of your accomplishments especially with your humble beginnings. You were our rock and I grew up confident because I knew I could always count on you. We were never in want and I attribute that to your good money management. People may say whatever they want against you, but I know it’s just because they’re either jealous of you or because they’re not close to you. And, aside from giving me life and raising me, it is through your steadfast prayers that I returned to Him and will be given eternal life. I know you’re also busy now and not exactly affectionate (remember when I’ve just seen Dumbo and I was nuzzling you and you angrily said, “Dewmaine! Para kang pusa!” hehe), but still, I want to tell you that I love you ad am very grateful to have had you as my Mom. Really, I cannot ask for a better Mom (well, there’s always room for improvement, hehe. But if I were given the chance to be born again and choose a mom, I’d choose you). Happy Mother’s Day to us, from Randy and me and Raviv. Take care of and be more affectionate to Thea!