these all happened yesterday--
1. Paolo calls me up to ask if he can spend New Year's Eve with his boy cousins from his Dad's side. (He's been out of the house since their Christmas break started last Dec. 21, first sleeping over at his cousins from my side, then with his cousins from his father's side... everyone loves having him around, and we have to "schedule" his visits because everyone wants him first!)
anyway, i say, "sure, palangga (dear)."
silent pause from him. "aren't you mad at me, ma?"
me: "why would i be mad, palangga?"
paolo: "because i haven't been home for so long. they say you're going to get mad at me."
me: "are you happy where you are 'langga? do they feed you well? are you safe?"
paolo: "yes, i am, ma!"
me: "that's what matters, langga. of course i miss you, but what matters is you're happy where you are."
i could see him grinning at the other end of the phone.
paolo: "you sure are a strange mom, but im glad you're my mom! i love you, ma!!!"
2. i was lying on my tummy in bed, writing on my journal, last night. Bea was beside me, happily chatting away while i nod from time to time and say, "uh...huh..."
after a while, i sense her squirming around and wriggling on the bed, her arms stuck to her sides. "what are you doing,'langga?", i asked her.
"i'm a worm," she says.
"why are you being a worm?" i ask.
"i want to know how worms move," she explains.
so i let her squirm around on the bed, even as i try to write.
after a while, she declares, "i move by pushing my knees, mama. but worms don't have knees... so, how do they move?"
(this was the little girl who once asked me too if ants had eyelashes, and what our eyebrows are for!)
well, what could i say except my standard reply these days, "Look it up in Google."
: ) : ) : )
3. after dinner, while cleaning up, Thea blurts out to me, "Ma, L (her groupie friend from their band) says he likes me!"
i grin at her and say, "i know."
"how do you know, ma?"
"i saw him gazing at you the last time i brought you to your band practice. he had this shy, lovesick look in his eyes."
"he asked me to watch a movie with him, and i don't want to!" but she's smiling as she says this.
"uh... oh... just tell him you're not allowed to go on couple dates yet 'langga. (until this moment, i have never mentioned this to her.) group dates, yes, but no couple dates until you're 18 or 20..."
"i know, ma (she knows??? how???), but it's not that... i just see him as a brotherly friend... i already like R (this other guy from another school who calls her on the phone every night; i haven't met him so i don't like him yet!)... i don't want to be playing around!"
(playing around, my God! it's not as if they're committed or something, and i tell her so. and then i pick up where i left off in my lecture and try to explain to her as gently as i can that even i didn't go on couple dates until after college, because her grandpa was so strict, and i realize only now why and he was right, about curiosity and trying not to get too involved with someone or something you're not ready for yet, yada, yada, etc.)
thea cuts me off gently with just 3 words: "yes, ma. hormones."
i stare at her, and then i smile sheepishly as she smiles understandingly... like i was some kid she was patiently humoring.
huh???!!! : O