Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Bit of The Past

This is where I stayed for 6 weeks.
It was comfortable.

I missed homecooked food.

I missed the housework. I missed the chores. I missed cooking.

I missed home.

Marked In My Heart. Forever.

I am finally home.

Never felt so good.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Defining Moments

When things are all too familiar, I think it is possible to forget who we are or maybe who we can be or what we can do other than what we already are doing or who we already are. Sometimes, in unfamiliar territory, we discover things about ourselves which we never thought or imagined to be possible in us. It is as I have said so so many times, a scary experience. But then you realize how beautiful life can be in the midst of loneliness and uncertainty.

As you sit alone, everything just zeroes in on your day. As you slowly recount the events of the day. The blaring noise coming from honking horns of the cars, the loud chitter chatter of people passing you by - sound disappears. You remember how differently you would have done things if you were in your comfort zone. And then you laugh a bit.

As you lay down at night, you will be amazed at how much you have achieved. No, I am not talking about the work you accomplished - I mean, the mere fact that you survived the day is, in itself reason enough for one to celebrate.

I have made it. Tomorrow I go home with a suitcase full of wonderful experiences. Not wonderful as in happy and funny and exciting. Wonderful as in happy, sad, painful, scary and lonely. I wish my Mom and Dad were alive. They would have been damn proud. And it would have made my homecoming sweeter. But it is because of them that I survived. That I made it.

Before this all started, I told myself that this had a purpose. It may not be evident yet. I may not realize its purpose just yet. But in the days to come, slowly, its purpose will be revealed. It may even take years. But so what.

I love my children so much more. I appreciate my husband even more. I love my family so much more. I am thankful for what I have and what I do not have.

I have been defined. And experiences like these shall continue to define who I am, who I can be.

What has been your defining moment?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Prayer - Perfect Timing

That's want I want to call it. Others may say otherwise. Maybe.

Just when I was about to really lose it last week, something happened. I had been crying for 2 days already. During my quiet time, I found myself praying a bit more than my usual morning and evening prayer. And I must say that in the 5 weeks that I had been away from my family, prayer had become my comfort. Even if my little one was with me, I was extremely homesick. The routine was killing me. Waking up so early in the morning just to catch the shuttle trying to beat the heavy traffic, sitting in the office doing nothing (to post about this later), eating lunch alone, leaving work and sitting in the shuttle for an hour during rush hour traffic, eating whatever food was available - it was just too much.
I called up my husband and cried and he just kept reminding me that I only had a few more days to go. Hold on he said.
The next day, still feeling down, I got a message from my husband. It said something like this: "need to go down. still in seminar, will call you later." I was surprised and excited and couldn't wait to hear the details. What was this? He was coming down to Manila? Why? What about work?
Anyway, after about an hour, he called. His boss just called him up to apologize for such short notice (she completely forgot to update him) but he had to go down to Manila the next day to attend a training because my husband needed to take another licencing exam on Wednesday (which also happens to be my last day of training here).
I didn't know what to say or how to react. I was amazed. I prayed and couldn't stop praying.
That night, my little one suddenly had fever. But it didn't seem to bother me so much. I was worried, yes I was. I was scared, I was. But I had peace in me. His fever lasted for 2 more nights but he got better.
Today, we are all together. My kids, the husband and I.
I am down to my last 3 days and then we all head up, back home to where we all belong.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Until Then...Until When?

I'd want to talk about my whole experience now but I am afraid I will jinx myself even more. Aside from being left by the shuttle a number of times (thus the need to commute in an unfamiliar area) and wasting so many hours a day just waiting for someone to give me something to do, I have also have had to deal with rude and impolite people in the office who just want to make me break down and cry. So no, I will save my stories for when I am finally home.

On the lighter side of things, I miss blogging big time. I miss reading blogs on a daily basis and I miss writing on a daily basis. I want to but I can't. Because I do not even have my own computer in the office and even if I did, there is no Internet access since the banks here are very tight when it comes to security.

I brought down my little one with me last week. Being away from him for too long would have really been impossible. I must say, he has been such a trooper. Since my hotel suite is well, big, he has so much space to run and tumble and trot around in. And I think the best part is, he seeps beside me at night. Just knowing that I am beside him AND just knowing that he is beside me just makes us feel so complete.

I must give credit to my husband as well who has been so understanding of the whole situation. My older boy was left with him since he has school. And so far the husband has been doing a great job.

I can't wait to be home. That's all I can say for now because that's how badly I want it.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Temper Temper Here I Come

I have mentioned, many many times in the past about how different each child is. They may have similarities but they ARE different. As my kids are. And that's precisely what makes them so special. Which brings me to this question: What do I do when my 17 month old throws a tantrum?

My 5 year old threw a tantrum when he was 2 years old. We were in the mall and he did not want to stop riding on those kiddie rides they have in the mall where you out in a coin and it starts to move. We were there since forever so it was really time to go. He decided to lie on the floor, scream and cry. I stepped back, moved to the side and just let him. After a few minutes, he stood up, ran to me and asked to be carried.
Tantrums were never heard of since that day.

Well, technically until recently when my 17 month old decided it was time to start trying temper tantrums on me. He will do it anywhere. At home, in the car, in church, in the mall and even in the restaurant. And I do not know how to handle it. But I try to. I try to gently talk him out of it (goodluck to me that never works) and I try to pick him up and then he thinks I will give in to what he wants, but still I don't - which upsets him all the more and then he throws his head back and squirms and demands to be put down. I put him down and he keeps crying on the floor. I tried simply ignoring him - he can cry until forever. Well the longest he did was for almost 1 1/2 hours. On the floor. Kicking. Whimpering. Crying.

The thing with me is, I can take it not to give in to what he wants especially if it is NOT supposed to be (like playing with scissors, or playing outside IN THE RAIN or banging his fat hands on the keyboard of the laptop- no siree, na-uh). But in public, I can't just allow my child to go wild, can I? Should I?

Oh my gosh I don't know what to do. I am not blaming this all on me - that I am not a good parent, I don't know how to deal with my child, etc. Because children have different temperaments which we do not always have control of. So there.

Help? Suggestions? Tips? Insights?


Friday, November 2, 2007

November One

Every year, since as long as I can remember - as do most Filipinos, our family would troop to the cemetery to visit relatives who have gone ahead of us. Memories of my younger days included the preparation of flowers the night before, waking very early (the sun still not up), drinking hot choco, getting ready to go to the cemetery and finally braving the hundreds of people who would so the exact same thing.

For us, it became a family reunion of some sort. As the oldies of the clan would gather around the tombs, us younger ones would often be made to sit still and listen to their chit chat. We would listen to their stories - of our relatives who have gone ahead, who they were, happy memories, funny ones. Heart warming stories - to be heard year after year after year. And as the years went by, through those stories, it is as if you actually knew the relatives who we never even met.

Up until I was 9, we used to visit the parents of my Grandpa. It was upon my grandpa's orders that we needed to go to the cemetery every November 1. We would go very early and would go home in the afternoon. I never met them. And then when I was 10, it was my grandpa we were already visiting. And then it was upon the order of my Dad that we had to go the cemetery every November 1. He would prepare flower arrangements the night before. Ikebana with a mix of Filipino taste to it. But visits became shorter.

Yesterday, we went. I brought my 2 boys with me. We visit 4 people at our family plot- my grandpa (1991), dad (2004), mom (2005) and my grandma (2006). In the next years, it will be my pleasure to share with my boys stories of their great grandparents and grandparents - who they were, why we love them, funny stories about them, sad and painful stories as well. It will be my turn to warm their hearts through these stories. It will be my privilege.

For many Filipinos, November 1 becomes a festivity of sorts.

For me, I think it will always be a heartwarming experience that I will always look forward to year after year after year.