Happy place

The other weekend, my unico was fortunate enough to have been  invited to another College Weekend experience. Whereas last time he went to a University in Abu Dhabi, this time, he flew to Singapore.

It was an activity-filled weekend for him in another country. By himself, without nagging parents. What an adventure.

Unlike the first College Weekend that he had a month ago, this time I was not as anxious seeing him off. Perhaps it’s because Singapore is just four hours away, and he’ll be gone for just three days, anyway.

We dropped him off at the airport early Friday morning…

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Saying goodbye…

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Needless to say, I am already preparing myself mentally and emotionally for the time  when my son will leave for college for good.

It is inevitable. We have known this will happen… that he will study in another country. This has always been our plan for him, and his dream for himself. And given the opportunities that he has been blessed with, we know that this is also God’s great plan, as well.

But I guess no matter how much you prepare yourself, there will always be a feeling of loneliness that looms over, knowing that your child will be far away from you. As excited as I am with what the future holds for him, I still cannot help but be anxious, as well. Classic case of sepanx (separation anxiety).

The house was awfully quiet that weekend that he was away. Worse, I barely heard from him the whole time he was in Singapore!

At first I thought that maybe something was wrong with my phone’s signal, or with our internet connection at home. Eventually I realized — and got to accept– that he was busy. It was an eventful weekend… And he was having fun.

I also realized that it would have been more difficult for me if he kept texting and telling me that he was homesick, or that he was unhappy. I would rather that he was busy and enjoying… Even without us.

Letting go is not as hard when you know your child is excited, not unhappy, and is unafraid.

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Alas, Sunday evening came.  We were back at the airport, this time to pick him up.

It was a rainy late Sunday evening, but the airport was still buzzing with activity. A lot of families were picking up their loved ones.

As our car was lined up in traffic along the Arrival area driveway, a thought came to me…

To people or families with loved ones abroad, THIS IS the happiest place on earth.

Because truly, nothing beats the joy and happiness one feels when you see your loved one coming out of that Arrival area.

Being reunited with someone you love = priceless. ❤️

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Okay, so he probably doesn’t look so happy… Let’s blame the hour and a half flight delay. It’s one thirty in the morning, so I’m cutting him some slack. 😉

❤️❤️❤️

Photos are all mine 😊

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Happy hearts

They say that motherhood changes you… Yes, it truly does.

When you become a mom, you become a lot of things… Your child’s world is your stage –you learn to play a lot of different roles…

You are a caregiver, first and foremost…

Day out with the nanny 🙂

Some days you are teacher

First day of Nursery school… Recognition day, Nursery school

Other days you are tour guide

Park in Manila… Aquatic Museum in Guam

You get to be flight attendant

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Vive la France!

Or a kitchen connoisseur

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Random photo at a random restaurant 🙂

At times you get to be a Baywatch babe…

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(who doesn’t know how to swim 😦 )

… or Santa’s elf

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Sometimes you are a costume designer…

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Always, you are the #1 fan…

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ready for his VTR

…And you will forever be his first date.

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You are all these and more.  Much, much more.

Motherhood makes you do things you never thought you could. It brings out skills and talents that you never thought you had.

Motherhood teaches you what unconditional love means.

A mother’s heart is always full… because there will never be a reason NOT to love.

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The reason why my heart is always full..🙂

Cheers to all the mothers out there!

Remember that you, too, deserve all the love this Valentine’s day…

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photos are all mine 🙂 

The many firsts

For the past several days, I have been busy helping my son with his College Apps (College Application) requirements. As I sort documents and fill out forms, I couldn’t help but realize that… this is really happening — my unico hijo is off to college next year! 

Where has the time gone?? 

I can still remember bringing him to Nursery school and waiting for him outside the classroom for two hours every school day, for the first two months.  I couldn’t leave because he might look for me and cry if he finds out I wasn’t there.

Well, he never looked for me — and he never cried inside the classroom. He has always liked going to school. 🙂

That was Nursery school.  Now, we are talking College. I wonder if he will let me wait for him at the campus on his first day in College…

Okay, so I am beginning to get sentimental. I guess it happens to every parent — especially mothers. We look at our children and we see them as our babies. Whether they are 7 years old or 17, they are and will always be our babies. We simply cannot let go.

Oh, we will let go, eventually. Because we have to. But then that doesn’t keep us from being as protective… and maternal.

I have talked to several mommy friends whose children are also going to college next year, and they share the same sentiments. Some are already looking for the closest place to hang out while their children are in school (yes, we are moving our coffee and brunch meet up venues near their children’s universities!). I have a friend who can’t help but bawl whenever she sees a baby picture of her kid. 

Sometimes it’s not always fun being a mom. Sometimes we just feel too much…

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One of the perks of being a full-time, hands-on mom is that you get to witness your child’s many firsts. And if you are lucky — and prepared — you get to document them, too… Or you take pictures.  Lots and lots of them. Pictures to be shared in your blog when your child is much older (and will probably think of killing you for embarrassing him or her)

I dug up my son’s albums and got a few favorites… Photos of some of his many firsts. His firsts according to my mommy eyes.  

This is me getting sentimental… Indulge me.

First Day of School

The first one was his first day in a small school (Nursery) and the second one was his first day at a big school (Junior Prep).

First Field Trip

I remember being sick on that day. I had really bad colds and cough — but I had to accompany him. We were under the sun for the most part of the day. I felt like dying!

But seeing the excitement and big smile on my child’s face was more than enough to keep me alive — at least for the next eight hours.

Incidentally, that was also his first time to ride a big bus, so, double the excitement! 

First Trip Out of the Country

To Paris, with love… We just love Paris!

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Carpentras

This was taken before my sister’s wedding somewhere South of France.  

First Costumes

Back when he was too young to complain about wearing a bee costume. Take note, he wasn’t Winnie the Pooh… he was a cute bee. 🙂 

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But of course…

First Filipiniana Costume… Katipunero or Farmer? We were never sure which.

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Dr. Jose Rizal

In Jr Prep, he was supposed to come as our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. But on the day of the event, he had sore eyes… Yet that didn’t stop us from dressing up — and taking photos!  (How do you like the mustache?!)

He was supposed to be a pizza for Nutrition Month. But during the parade, they put the box with the back facing front, so he ended up looking like a pizza delivery guy.  The cutest pizza guy ever! (Mommy made that pizza costume!)

Hawaiian costume — which he also wore for his Jr Prep Recognition; Cheong sam for United Nations Day (good for sleeping, too!).

Our favorite costume, good old Capt. Hook! Won quite a number of prizes.

And yes, I had to dress up one Halloween. Capt. Hook needed an evil muse.

First Friends

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Stephanie and Emily

His first friends were two French girls. 

One taught him how to ride the bike, the other helped plan his 3rd birthday party. They all cried when the girls’ family had to move to Belgium. 😦

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The Justice League

 His posse. ‘Nuf said. 

First Sports

First time at the fairway and first golf tournament

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Baseball beginnings

First baseball game.

He didn’t have baseball uniform yet. He looked like an extra. He was the 10th player on the field. 

Best Wanderer ever. 🙂 

First Studio Pictorial

It wasn’t his photo shoot… it was mine.  But he was just too cute to say no to.

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I still have lots of other photos. I have his firsts, seconds and thirds. But this should do for now.

Maybe the next picture should be of his first day in college… With me still lurking in the background. Totally uncool. 😉 

If only they can be young forever. *Sigh*

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PS… Note to fellow parents:

Take photos of your kids while they are young. Take lots. Even if they whine and complain. They are only young once and they do grow up so very fast.

Capture moments. You will be thankful some day that you did. 

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photos are all mine!!

Mommy mode

Sometimes when I see fellow mommies who are uber busy with their careers or who get to party with their friends during weekends, or who attend meetings and seminars and all those other adult stuff,  I get to ask myself if I am sorry about the path that I chose — that of being a full-time mom. 

Okay, so maybe not exactly sorry, but I try to feel in  my heart of hearts if I regret devoting most of my waking hours to my family rather than to a career or a social life.  Would I be happier if my social life is not limited to baseball games or school activities or PTAs…. or watching movies with the family… or watching more baseball games left and right?

Somehow, the answer is still no. 

I love my life.  I love being able to spend time with my son.  I love the fact that I can proudly say that I know him and he knows me… that I am not a stranger whom he only sees either early morning before he leaves for school, or late evening before he sleeps.  I love that I get to meet his friends… and that I get to help him choose friends.  I don’t think that would be possible if he hardly sees me. 

My hope is that when he is much, much older, he can look back and say that his parents were always there for him… that we did our best to guide him, make him feel secure and loved. 

That is my measure of success and fulfillment.  Not so much the material things that we can provide, though we persevere to give him the best.  Not even the accolades that may come if I were some high profile career person.    

No, my sense of fulfillment comes from the fact that I get to spend time with my son and that I am around when he needs me most. 

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I saw an old piece that I posted a couple of years ago in my old blogsite. I just feel like sharing it with my new dear readers…

As Promised

This morning as I dropped off my son in school, I lingered a little longer and from the back seat of my car I watched as he walked to the school gate, then enter the school premises, and eventually disappeared going up the stairs to his classroom.  Somehow I couldn’t dismiss that tug in my chest as I watched him walk away.

I remember the first time my son entered big school.  He was only 5 then. He wasn’t the clingy “Mom, please don’t leave me!!!” nor the whiny “I don’t want to go to school!!!” type.  Nor was he the one who cries silent tears — tears that will surely melt a mom’s heart and make her want to whisk her child away (like school was a bad place or something!).  No, my son held his own… He made me bring him to his classroom, he let me leave guiltlessly when it was time to leave, yet made me promise to be there at dismissal time.  And I was there as promised.

He is in 5th grade now.   I still drop him off  in the morning… but by now I am just allowed to either stay in the car or bring him to the gate (“Mom, that is so not cool!!”).  Watching him this morning, I can’t help but ask myself until when do I intend to do this?  I mean, at some point I will have to learn to let go, right?

Letting go is not easy.  Sometimes we wish we can forever hold our children in our hands so they are always protected.  But we also know that by letting them go, we let them learn… we let them experience life… and we let them grow.  Because if we hold on too tight, we will stifle their growth.  There are things that they simply have to learn on their own.

But we know that whatever happens, we will be there to catch them should they fall. Perhaps what is important is that they have the knowledge and the security that whatever happens, when they need us, we will be there to pick them up…

Every dismissal.  As promised.

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I take motherhood seriously.

I believe being Supermommy is the best title ever.

My pride and joy

I can't be Supermom without a son, can I?

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photo credit — my ever reliable GE digicam. Yes, I took this photo.