Let me pull a cliché and say that my mom is the person I admire most.
I know most people have said that before. Now that I’m older, almost a-quarter-of-a-century-old, I guess I am starting to realize what those people meant. You see, I am quite the black sheep in the family, and I think moms are the last to give up on my kind.
No, I didn’t have bad grades, puff on cigs, come home drunk (too often), take any illegal drugs, or come home to say I was pregnant. It was more on my very strong personality, my desire to always be right, and my laziness. With my attitude, I had more than my fair share of arguments with my parents, most especially with my mom as my dad is always on assignment. We’d get into fights that would often lead to a slap on the butt (Filipino-way of disciplining), or worse, on the cheek. Those years when I revelled in rebellion were tests on her motherhood.
Of course, she emerged as the winner. How could she not? She is such a superwoman. She came from a town in Zambales, the eldest among 6 children. Fresh from high school, she braved Manila on her own. She took on jobs while studying. While this is too common already, my mom had her own version. She juggled work and school while staying at a relative’s house. To be able to live there for free, she has to become the “housekeeper”. There where maids in the house but she has to clean the kitchen with a sink full of dishes, utensils, and pots to be washed. She had to do that after a tiring day of work and late-night school.
She also had to prepare for her sibs following her to Manila. She worked so she can study, and at the same time, send her sibs to college. She did just that and they were able to graduate.
It didn’t end there though. She had 4 kids but it seemed like she hadn’t had enough to worry about. She took one nephew in and sent him to school. It was followed by another, then another, and then 2 more.
With my dad’s job, he couldn’t be present all the time. So, it was mom’s job to be the mother and the father. She went on family days, parent-teacher conferences, and programs on her own. Those things, she never missed. Not a single one. And even with a helper at home, she was the one who woke up early to cook breakfast and lunch. She’s the one who goes to market every Saturday morning.
She filed for an early retirement last 2000 and became a full-time housewife. She brought us to and picked us up from school. It was a routine far from what she was used to but she got the hang of it and enjoyed it quite well. She learned how to wear jeans and flats and also got to improve her cooking prowess.
People say that you’d understand your mom when you become one but I guess living away from her and writing this down is already helping me understand. Being a mom, I realized, is the toughest job (I told you I’ll be pulling clichés. LOL). It’s one job you can never have a day off.
She did very well in raising us [with dad’s help as well, of course. They’re a team after all]. Bro’s a nurse. Big sis is a medical technologist. I’m a teacher. Li’l sis got another year in the university before taking the board exam and becoming a full-pledged chemical engineer. Add to that the cousin (the first adopted nephew) who is also a teacher. You see, she might not have those material things she dreams of but she is thankful she is blessed with a bunch of professionals after her years of sacrifice. I am trying my best so I can give her at least one of the things she dreams of.
This is one timely entry as it’s Mother’s day on Sunday. One day, when I become a mom myself, I’ll be able to fully understand. But right now, I have an idea on what I want to be like.
Happy Mom’s Day to my superwoman. I couldn’t thank you enough…but I love you to bits! I miss you.