The Monday Blues

I have learned to dislike Mondays because it means being away from Angel again.  We got into a little emotional tug of war this morning because he had wanted to continue nursing when we both stirred at around 6AM.  I could not indulge him anymore because I needed to get ready for work.  It took some cajoling to get him to stop crying, but we eventually left the room together all set for another day.  He was smiling by the time I put him down on his playpen in the living room.

In the meantime I got ready for work knowing in just 48 hours, Mom will be getting ready to go home to Manila.  As we had told my neice, Audrey, on the phone, “Dalawang tulog na lang.”  (Two nights of sleep to go..)  I asked Mom to make me some Adobo tonight.. I just wanted her homecooking a last time, because tomorrow, I intend to order food as a “send off” of sorts.  I miss my mom already.  Sometimes thinking about it makes me want to cry.  Alan was trying to comfort me last night saying I need not worry because Mom’s coming back, and I now have a blood relative with me here, 10,000 miles away from everybody else — who else but Angel.

Meanwhile we’re gearing up for the lull between Mom’s departure and Nikky’s arrival.  That’s one hurdle Alan says we’ll be able to work around of.  My missing my mom is a different thing, though.


Division of Labor

In our house, I do the cooking, Alan does the laundry and the cleaning.. except the bathroom which is my turf.  My laundry is now neatly folded on the bed, waiting for me to sort through them so I can put them away.  If I were in Manila, we’d probably have a maid/s ready to do that for us, but we’re in New York, so we have to do it ourselves.


I do not really begrudge my life here in New York City for the lack of domestic help — I never really did domestic chores in Manila, so learning how to do them here primed me for the new responsibilities I had to face.  It helps that my husband has his own share of work. 

We are trying to pull in the stepson to do more, but having someone who has been so accustomed to being “served” instead of helping out take on household chores can be a challenge with a 15 year old.  As it is, with the limited household chores on his plate, he already thinks he’s doing a lot for us.  I find it hard to believe sometimes considering unlike his Dad and me, he was never accustomed to having others wait on him for his every need.  In fact he had shattered my Mom’s long held view that children raised in the US were more responsible because of the absence of maids, because she witnessed firsthand how ill-equipped my stepson was in helping out in our small home.

As we would say, “nasa pagpapalaki yan..”  (it is in the upbringing..)  I wish our young people in Manila would realize how fortunate they are to have their yayas and maids.  And how, despite that, they can take pride in learning to do chores even if they don’t have to do them, because it would serve them well here on this side of the world.  I was a virtual princess back then, but when I got here, I knew how to set the table right, wash the plates to make sure there was no residue on the surface (that is why I insist on washing plates without gloves), and clean the bathroom and make sure the bathtub was sparkling clean so much so that I could lie down stripped to the skin in a luxurious bath on the bathtub floor.

I am already trying to teach Angel to put his toys away, although at 1year old, he isn’t exactly absorbing much.  Then again, you can never start them early enough.


Packing Mom's Balikbayan Box

I just finished weighing the other half of mom’s 140 lb baggage allowance for her trip home.  I know how she feels — wishing she could take more than what the airline will allow her.  I wish I could send everything that she wanted to take home with her.

I’m counting hours til she goes.  I wish I had another week to spend with her.  Yet I know she’s very anxious to make it home.  She’s really raring to board that plane and get home. 

Today we spoke about her returning.  She is noncommittal as to when, but she is certain she will come back if only because of Angelo.  Angel and I miss her already.  I miss her a whole lot and she is still here.

The balikbayan box is the all important luggage accessory.  Not the Samsonites or the knock off Louis Vuitton.. it’s that pre-measured box that can load one’s aspirations, hopes and life’s savings.. most people would take advantage and take two.. I would send two boxes home with mom is if only I didn’t have to worry about her carrying them.  Maybe the second box can go with Nikky when he returns — granting he makes it here.

It’s another round of goodbyes.. I feel like I’m being left alone again like I have been for the longest time before Angelo was born, and save for my sister’s visit in 2001.  The 10,000 miles suddenly feel much farther now that mom’s leaving me.