Monday, February 12, 2018

A Day before Valentine's

 It is the day before Valentine's. Rain is pouring hard. Morgan sits on the sofa. Cold air wafts through our terrace. He holds his 5 colored markers. I sit in front of him. It is time for our massage. I massage the back of his big toes and thumbs. My big boy looks at me and smiles, leaning his head this way and that as he does when he is happy. "Mmmmm....wowowow," he murmurs. Ten Green Bottles fill our house as Garret sits in his corner .  He smiles and occasionally stands up to march to the beat. "Haaaaa-peeee," he tells nobody in particular, in a voice that is no longer a child's.

It is the day before Valentine's. My social media news feed is filled with photos and posts on the awaited love day. My nieces tell me there's going to be a marriage booth, handcuff stalls where students pair up possible love birds at school tomorrow. Chocolates and flowers will be sold. Songs will be sung in serenade. Love letters will be cheesily written or sent in various messenger inboxes.

It is the day before Valentine's. Morgan is 10. Garret will soon turn 13. I ask myself why it still creates a pang in my heart that my boys won't get to experience the festivities of love day, marriage booths, handcuff booths, buying chocolates and flowers for somebody they might like, serenade their first love, write the letter that would sweep another girl's heart.

On one hand I comfort myself in the knowledge that perhaps nobody gets to break their heart.  On the other hand, the chance of finding that one true person who sets their souls on fire is something they will not experience.

It is the day before Valentine's.  I want very badly for them to experience the adventure of finding the love of their lives, the rapture and the loss that is necessary to love another being fully. The being able to heal and recover from heartbreak and the coming out of it a better or just a different person.

It is the day before Valentine's. I do not know where I am going with this. The same way I do not know for certain what awaits my boys in the future. What I know is this nagging from the inside every time I look at other tweens or teenagers having the time of their lives.

It is the day before Valentine's. I dare not sugarcoat this thing called acceptance of the higher plan. It is real. It is hard. It is roses overfilled with thorns. It is tumultuous. It is bittersweet. Yes, like dark chocolate. It is beautiful and terrible, fragrant petals on palms with pricked fingers. It becomes beautiful again amidst all these questions.

It is the day before Valentine's. I am human, very much so and I am still very much confounded by how the Universe is manifesting her plan. 

 It is the day before Valentine's. Rain is pouring hard. Morgan sits on the sofa. Cold air wafts through our terrace. He holds his 5 colored markers. He smiles as I massage him and talk to him. "Mmmmmm....wowowowow," he says. His head leans to gaze at me from another angle. He shows me his toothy grin. Garret smiles and occasionally stands up to march to the beat of his music "Haaaaa-peeee," he tells nobody in particular, in a voice that is no longer a child's.

I was hoping as I reach this point in my writing, that I can find some sort of insight to answer my own sporadic meanderings of this troubled mama's heart. I have no clear answers, however. Or at least what I really want to hear. But maybe, this is okay. To just throw the question to the wind or rain, to Typhoon Basyang who also decided to celebrate Love Day. So I'll leave this as it is.

It is the day before Valentine's day. My big boy smiles. My soon to be teenager says he is happy. So there's that.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Photo taken March 2014. Ormoc City Pier.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

These Wonderful Things

Garret marches around the room flicking his blocks, red and green. His favorite song is playing. "Horsey-horsey, don't you stop, listen to your hoofs go clickety clop..." His legs and feet raise in time to the music. I sit and watch him go. The song stops and he comes to me. "Bwock," he says showing me his red block. "Block, " I say back. And then, "What color is that, Garret?" He replies, "Gween." He has on his face a mischievous smile that tells me he is messing with me. He waits for my reaction. "Red man gud na!" I say in return, laughing. At this his eyes crinkle and a hearty laugh breaks out. We go on like this a few more times.

Morgan places his legs on my lap signaling me that he is ready for his morning massage. He gets the roller bottle of oil on the table and hands it to me. I rub it on my palms. He directs my hands to his nose and breathes in the scent of his favorite peppermint. As I massage his big toe, he tilts his head and looks at me. He smiles and murmurs what sounds like, "Maaa-maaah." "Yes, my love?" I say to him. He smiles at me and pulls me in for a tight embrace.

Garret will turn 13 years old a couple of months from now. Morgan just turned 10 years old. Everyday I marvel at the place we have arrived at. I remember every step of the journey we have taken to get to where we are. All the wonderful ones and all the not so wonderful ones. But all equally necessary to bring us to now. The road ahead is far from over. We are all works in progress-- My boys growing into who they are meant to be and me burgeoning from my many different elements and infirmities. And while it may seem I already have the answers for the past decade or more, I still ask the hard questions, " How shall we get by? How shall we overcome" Because so long as change is continuous, so the answers are ever evolving. 

Today as I sit and write, I smile as I remember last night when Garret and I laughed over and over at our exchange of "Gween bwock" and "That's red" and as I remember Morgan's way of looking at me more intently as he tilts his head and pulling me in for an embrace just because he wants to. My heart is full and at peace as these things transpire. Perhaps these wonderful things are  how we shall get by, how we shall overcome-- by our shared laughter and our acts of love. That even as the storms come, as they surely will, the laughter afterwards will be richer, and our ways of showing our love,  more meaningful.


(Photos taken August 2013 at Visayas State University. Garret is 8 years old. Morgan is 5 years old.)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Happy 10th My King

January 16, 2018

Dear Morgan, 

This afternoon a second grader asked me, "Ma'am Bea where are your boys?" I was surprised at this because I realize that  sometimes I forget that there is a world out there where we are not. Where we are is so different. Our world is different.  And you, my dear boy have taught me that different is what our life should be. That it is as it is meant to be-- challenging,  exciting, heartbreaking, joyous,  awakening.  And you have taught me to be always grateful for all this.  10 beautiful years. I wonder what else you will be teaching your Mama for the next 10 and more. .

I said to the second grader girl "My boys are at home." But what I really wanted to say was "My boys are where they are meant to be."

 And so am I. So am I. .

Thank you, Morgan. Happy 10th my King. 💟

Love always, 

Mama Bea