Sunday, May 23, 2010

Letters to Marge (Chapter 20): Pizza and Parenting

Dear Marge,

Today is the very first time you prepared food. Your mom and i were there, but we weren’t totally there. We were busy stuffing ourselves with chilli crabs, homemade ice cream, medium rare steak, and more. A LOT more...

But you supposedly put together the little bite-sized pizza you and your nanny-of-the-day brought to the table.  You were proud of it, your mom and i were both amazed and said our “wows.”

We totally neglected to take photos of your first food foray. We were already half an hour out of the hotel when your mom exclaimed that we didn’t take photos, and even worse, didn’t even take a single bite.   We’re bad parents.  Photo on the upper right is sort of what your little pizza looked like.

The photo at left is obviously you. You were totally knocked out after all the fringe buffet food you downed at the Hyatt’s Market Cafe (photo below).  And yes, pointlessly, this is the first time you made food, and we didn’t even take a bite.

Sorry, baby. Won’t happen again. We’ll try everything you make next time, even if it means a week’s worth of diarhea.

Love you.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Letters to Marge (Chapter 19): One Finger

Dearest Marge...

First things first… HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY! You turned 2 today!!!

On to this letter… Last election day (May 10, 2010), you almost lost your index finger. Your playfulness found you sticking your finger through the grills of an electric fan. Good thing all you got was a little cut.

The day marks the first time you cut yourself in an accident of your own doing. It is no exageration when i say that your mom and i were totally nervous. Relieved that you sustained a relatively minor injury, but nervous because it could have been so much worse. And you could have gone through the rest of your life sticking your left hand's middle finger at everybody.

As you go on through life, you will do various things that might result in you hurting yourself in various ways. Some physical, and mostly emotional. But the most important thing you should remember is that like your finger, wounds heal sooner or later. Nature has made it so.

Which isn't to say that you should not be careful. But it should tell you to have faith that no matter how bad things get, things can and will get better with time.

In time, you may or may not hear about a very dark time in our little family's life. And at more than one point, your mother and i were more than tempted to believe it was better to quit, not while we were ahead, but while we weren't as behind as we could be if screwed up any more than we already did. Or at least screwed up as much more as she feared i would.

On another note, that day should also tell you to not stick your finger where it doesn't belong. And as you get older, fingers will become a very tricky subject. But better take care of yours, just to be sure of things.

You be careful, sweetheart. You were blessed enough to have been born with an appendage and organ count considered normal by human standards. Doesn't sound like a big deal right now, but if events last Election Day turned just a wee bit differently, you'd look for that finger whenever you see a piano, think of picking your nose with your left hand, or want to give some idiot the "loser" sign if your right hand was busy holding a frappuccino.

Unless you grow up not liking frappuccinos.

I love you, baby.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Letters to Marge (Chapter 18): S'Mother's Day...

My Dearest Margaret...

Today is your mother’s second “official” Mother’s Day. The first “unofficial” one was when she was pregnant with you. That was practically just a bit over a week from when you were born.

Soooo... as of today, you were still too young to greet her, or supposedly give her that “honor” of greeting her. But she totally feels the love, kiddo... so i greeted her for you, anyways... and yes, i’m still doing my best to kiss your mother’s ass (literally and figuratively...).

Your mom is a great, great gal... let me tell you a little something about her...

Growing up, your mom always knew what it was like to make a living. I have thrown in here a bonus handful of old photographs of your mom in various stages and ages of her young life. I have selected the least hilarious and embarrassing, by the way... but you can tell from the photos that even as a little girl, your mother was beautiful. Just like you.

At the time we were about to get married, she was maintaining a little clothing shop back in Angeles, Pampanga. She saw herself through an additional two years of school to get a full degree, and supported herself and her mom (your grandmother) from that shop.

Not too long after your mom and i got married, she sold the rights to that little old shop and moved to Manila with me. She proceeded to open a little food place near the University of Santo Tomas, where your dad sweet-talked his way to a degree in architecture a handful of years before. I have since used that degree to design the dresser in your bedroom, design some really cute baggage counters for your other grandmother’s store, and our units on Plumbing & Utilities has enabled me to perform immediate repairs on the water closets at home, as well as courageously change the lighting fixtures even while the switches are on.
When she was finally, thankfully pregnant, she gave up the food place, and poured all her time and love to that little angel gently kicking inside her belly. And yes, that little angel was you. It wasn’t easy for us to become parents. In fact, when i had all but given up, your mom didn’t. She really wanted us to have you. She didn’t care what on earth she was injecting herself with, what meds she had to take, or how much anaesthesia she had to sniff or get pricked which was followed by her saying a string of funny, crazy things to the doctor. She really wanted us to have you.

You are special to us, not only because you are our child. But also because we begged God for you for almost eight years. Especially your mom. You live right now, because of her more than anyone. Even more than me, i must admit.

Your mom has consistently found something productive to do since she wanted to remain relatively independent, even after she gave birth to you. She sold little foodstuffs to canteen operators in local schools and has made a nice living doing those. She has saved all that money up for you, kiddo. Remember this twelve years from now when you bug her for shopping money and she says she doesn’t have any. I grant you the right to cackle like a witch and keep asking her... bwahahahahaha...

On some days, you and your mom will find yourselves not agreeing on a few things, and you may resent her for keeping you from things you may think you may want or should have, or from things you may think you should be doing. Or, your personalities may find themselves totally clashing on a bad day. When any of those things happen, please click your way back to this page and read the above.

Whenever you read this, greet your mother a Happy Mother’s Day, and that can be any time of the year, and for any number of days you will want.

And should YOU already be a mother while you are reading this, Happy Mother’s Day to you, my dear daughter. I’m sure you’re doing as great a job on my grandchildren as your mom did on you.



P.S. so far, your teeth are great. And yes, you have your mother to thank for that. She has great teeth, too.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Letters to Marge (Chapter 17): Touching Base 050210

Dear Marge...

Now where was i...?

Been a while since i last wrote you one of these... By now, you’ve learned to say your name (or something close to it, anyways...). Although at this point, you still pronounce it as “Marsh.” You can now identify dozens of things correctly, and your current favourite word is “no.”
You are now a proponent of this wonderful family phenomenon called the “group hug,” as illustrated in the inserted photo.

Pretty soon, we’ll start having some real conversation where you will ask me things, then refuse to believe them unless you google it, or catch it on the Discovery channel. You’ve already gotten tired of M&M’s, still refuse to try using your potty trainer, but can now inform us of the presence of “pooh,” or excrement in your diapers.

Where you used to have this cute way of pointing a finger upwards to indicate your approval, you have devolved to the rather pedestrian thumbs-up, as shown in this photo where you enjoy a slice of pepper steak at Alfredo’s along Tomas Morato, one of your mom and dad’s favourite places.

You like to eat fish, and love sniffing flowers in the garden... (a.k.a. “fwowers...”)

You and mommy are napping at home, and my brains are melting from spending a no-brainer Sunday at the Harrison Road store... And this is where i end today’s e-time capsule... no lectures or anything today...

‘catch you later, baby...



P.S. on the way up here yesterday, we drove through a Jollibee, then proceeded to present you with a thigh of Chickenjoy... this was followed by a loud and gratifying "WOW..." from you upon seeing the food... cool...