Whenever I have a hard time making my little girl follow my instructions, I think of my mother.
|Lola L's Pride: M, N, Queen B and A.|
See, we were four growing children when she was widowed at the age of 37. She was a house wife. I grew up in a very clean and orderly house. I witnessed how she can turn my younger brother's muddy shirt from too much rough play into an almost-brand-new-looking top. Her kitchen was the busiest. The aroma of her famous dishes temptingly surrounded our cozy apartment in Kamias. My father's long-sleeved collared shirts were ironed neatly --- sometimes too stiffed because of almirol. Perfectly domesticated, I must say.
|I think Mama doesn't know how to pose appropriately. :p|
As the third kid and youngest girl, I was a KAREN --- kaladkarin. She used to tag me along to her weekly wet market trips in Nepa Q-Mart in Quezon City. She haggled, yes and can be very ruthless to vendors who refused to give her discounts. Now that I am a mother myself and who handles the family money, I realized the intention on as why she had to do that then.
|New Year 2007. Mama watching her crazy kids.|
She is a fighter. Yes, seriously and literally. I remembered one time we all rode a rusty orange ordinary bus, my second sister, who was the most unsteady and weakling among us, went down the bus last and almost stumbled when the driver suddenly took off. Oh, I could just imagine right now how Mama shouted at the top of her voice to the bus conductor and driver! She even kicked the side of the poor dirty bus, so much that some rusts fell from it. I was so embarrassed. Really, we were in EDSA, come on! What the heck, I have a little precious princess snoring just a few meters away, I can do so much better than that if anyone will try to harm her. Well, I might do it with a bit of grace, but still shouting perhaps. It's hereditary.
|Summer Swim '08: N with Raf and Gab, Preggy Queen B, M with Rovic and Richmond, and Lola L|
|Lola L with her youngest "child", the first-born apo, Adrian.|
She can be very, very strict. Okay, this is one of my most favorite childhood stories! I think it was just a few months after my father died. So basically, she was mourning and she needs space. She went to the wet market alone. Ahh --- freedom, at last! While she was away, I noticed my little brother escaped from my two big sisters' guarding eyes. So I did, too! But hey, I saw my crush there playing with my colds-prone brother. My eyes twinkled with delight. I was in 3rd grade. I hurried back to the house and changed my sweaty sando and shorts combo to my Sunday's best dress --- frilly, sparkly and yellow. I came to where they were hanging out and saw that they were catching dragonflies. Mmm, I thought I was really good at that, steady hands and all. My goal was to make my crush notice my yellow sparkly dress but much to my dismay, he complimented how great I was in catching dragonflies. Dingbat. Disappointed, I looked away and as if the world stopped spinning, I saw my mama carrying all her wet market goods with both hands going towards my way. Even if she was still like six houses far, I can see her eyebrows met. I heard my own heart pounding. I was right, I'll be sentenced. I won't tell you what happened. Let's say, that was the day I stopped catching dragonflies in a dress. ;)
|With the smart and pretty boy, Richmond. | 2008|
Much like any other good daughter, I idolize my mom. I think what I only wished as a kid then was to become a mother. Maybe because I saw how she took care of us, struggling but never complaining. She did everything to make all ends meet. At a young age, I knew that we were living a tough life. We were four, all studying in a private school and all very hungry all the time. Because I can't financially help her yet, the best thing I did was to not complain and went to a state university after high school. Even if she was trying to tell me to go to an exclusive school-for-girls college, I didn't push my luck. I know it could have been a difficult time if I did. I just proved to her that it would not depend on the school I went to, but to my own performance as a student. You know, there are people who went to a so-so private school but they are, to be brutally honest, such lame individuals. Satisfied with mediocrity. I can't be like that. I pursue superiority 'cause I know I can. That's what I inherited from my parents, especially from Mama --- passion.
|With the amiable Gabriel Ian | 2008|
|With the youngest boy in her grandkids, Rafael Sean|
She was a passionate bookworm. We have tons of book. From heavy encyclopedia to a one-sitting-read Gilda Olvidado pocketbook. She used to tell us that she was a topnotch student during her time, that it challenged me to be as good as her. Bragging aside, I was a consistent first honor student when I was in gradeschool. Things changed badly when I laid my eyes on a cute boy during my 2nd year in highschool, who, after several years became my husband. No, he wasn't really the reason, but I just really didn't do well in HS. So I made sure to make a name once I get into college. I think I did a bit of awesome-ness. I smoked pot but got into dean's list twice. Those were the times Mama gave her trust in me that she didn't ask what time I will go home. So I didn't break it. I finished college and later on worked in a broadcasting company for two straight years. I might have given her a bit of a heartache when I got pregnant out of wedlock. But I know she immediately had forgiven me especially when she knew she'll be having her first granddaughter. She took care of me when I was pregnant and awaited outside the Delivery Room when I was giving birth.
|LB, Lola L and two other amigas.|
I know I wasn't a perfect daughter. I couldn't give her expensive gifts. I couldn't treat her to a salon. I couldn't dine with her in a fancy restaurant. I know I love her and for me, I think that's enough. Enough that when she needs someone to talk to, I'm just a text away to listen virtually. Enough that the ways I run the house were her ways. Enough that her laing is now my laing. Enough that I wish when I get old, my daughter will care for me as much as I care for my mom.
I wouldn't work hard to be a good mother if she was not. ♥
P.S. I can't find a picture of her with my other nephew, Rovic. :(