when we were kids, my brother and i went to my cousins' paternal grandmother where there was a huge box of toys from hong kong. since my mom wasn't there with us, we could only look at the stuff we wanted: a macross figure for my brother, and a row of tiny dolls for me. lo and behold, when we woke up the following day, there it was -- the toys we wanted -- and it wasn't even christmas!
on my 18th birthday, my mom not only gave me an all-out shopping spree, that summer, she took us all to hong kong where i got to go to ocean park for the first time. you see, my mom, my brother, and i have a thing for amusement parks. we used to make the rounds every christmas, so imagine the sheer joy of being able to go to ocean park.
last year, she took us to disneyland. that was a major wish granted.
i remember there was a time we were chatting and she said she felt so little compared to my former boss who graduated from UP at the same time she did. my boss was an associate justice of the court of appeals; she's a nurse's aide in the US. my boss has people at her beck and call; my mom makes a living by being at other people's beck and call. my boss has so much; my mom has so little. i was at a loss for words then, but i wish i could've told her stuff like my boss wouldn't have sacrificed time with her husband just so that i could go to the best school that their meager savings could afford. i wish i could've told her that no matter what she does for a living, it doesn't make her any less of a mother. she's our mama, the mama who raised us well, raised us the best way she knew how. she's our mama who never missed an activity in school, the one who took all of our pictures in school programs and in recognition ceremonies. she was the one who stayed up late with us at night to memorize the multiplication table and to ensure that i learned the spelling of "beautiful". our dreams were her dreams: not once did she question my decision to take up molecular biology and biotechnology in UP and while she was sad when i decided to shift to education, she supported every single piece of cartolina and pentel pen i bought for my numerous teaching demonstrations.
my mom taught me how to make lists and wash the car. my mom taught me how to save money and how to get pedicures if i'll be wearing sandals. when we stopped having a maid at home, my mom ironed all my school uniforms and all our sheets and kept the house clean -- a major feat that i didn't appreciate until i was all alone at home and found out that open windows deposit a huge amount of dust on top of everything on a regular basis.
you see me now and say, wow, her mom must be blessed to have a daughter who's a lawyer and is independent and is a good kid. let me tell you that this lawyer who is independent and is a good kid is more blessed to have been born to a mom like her.