Friday, July 30, 2004


Had a talk with Gai earlier. It seems that I'm easing into my own "mid-life crisis," and it isn't anything but easy. It's just that I miss him. I've never questioned the decisions I've made regarding men in recent years - breaking up with Miguel's dad, cutting all communication, raising my son without him. And I've said no to men before. But that one just keeps haunting me every now and then.

Deal with it, Sands. (So here I am talking to myself like Gollum on my own blog.)

Sometimes I hate having so many principles. But it's so hard to live without them now. Like when I look at my father, then look at my son and tell myself that I don't want him to grow up with all the compromises my father imposed on me. Or when a younger woman would tell me that I'm an inspiration to her because of my strength. Funny that I used to be so weak before, but that now I'm so strong. It's like I can't help but be strong.
I only hope that I'm not too strong for my own good.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004


Hmmm.  Should I go to badminton today?  Since time immemorial my officemates have been pestering me to join them because of all the cute, eligible guys playing there.  But today, today, they want me to go because rich, intelligent, funny, wise-cracking, thirtysomething widower is going to be playing too.  Really now. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Miguel's twin brother


This is Miguel with his twin.  We call him "Carlos."  He was born the week that his senior nursery class studied the different parts of the body.  His teacher Mitch traced out his outline with a crayon as he lay on a piece of manila paper.  (Kinda like the one that you see at a crime scene on TV, yeh.)  Then she sent the outline to mom, with instructions to mount it on a piece of cardboard or styrofoam, cut it out, then dress it up.  'Course she gave me just 2 days' notice to do it, but anyway it was nice to see the school decorated with all these carbon copies of the kids.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Book fetish

The other night I was reading book 3 of "The Chronicles of Narnia" to Miguel while he played on the bed.  After finishing a chapter, I closed the book and discovered that the back cover was partly torn.  "Did you do this?" I asked.  "Yes," he said, and continued to play.  He wasn't the least bit remorseful and I was upset; after all it was MY book.  So I made a big deal as I got the tape and repaired the cover.  I  told him that I was mad, and went on and on and on.  His dramatic reply:  "The problem is , (emphatic pause), you don't take the time to teach me."  To which I countered, "Oh, so now it's my fault?"
Okay, okay.  So being a good, sensitive mother I didn't pounce at that remark.  I had him sit on my lap and ask what it is that I'm not teaching him.  So he elaborated:  "The problem  is, you don't take the time to teach me what is right and what is wrong."  Patay kang bata ka, I thought, someday you might regret having said that. 
But I had to stay in the moment, realizing how much attention he craves from me.  So we had a simple heart-to-heart talk.  Miguel hugged me while I leaned back on the pillow and told him all the good things about him that I liked, what we had to work on, how glad I was that God gave him to me.  Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.  He just hugged me and after a while he became silent and fell asleep in my arms.
So I was savoring the moment and thinking, what a nice way to fall asleep, realizing that I don't remember ever falling asleep in my mom's arms like that.  Well, let's give my mom the benefit of the doubt; maybe she did have those sort of moments with me after all.  Miguel might not remember this as well.  But I'm hoping that the feeling will last a lot longer than the memory.

Monday, July 19, 2004


"You look harrassed."
Now how many times have I heard that?  I was squatting on the floor of the clubhouse trying to keep a squirming 4-year-old in my arms.  The place was awash with grass skirts and hawaiian shirts in keeping with the Lilo & Stitch theme; coconut-tree balloon sculptures adorned every table; music blared as the emcee enticed the kids to join yet another game.  You got a personalized bracelet just for showing up, and they were giving out hula hoops at the entrance.  It was children's party paradise, and my son wanted to go home.  And to think that we just got here.  Yipee.
Our host David showed a bit of concern and checked up on me.  He and Shanie have always been very gracious, even though I'm an acquaintance and it's my sis they're really close to.  There were a few familiar faces from college, but I wasn't in much of a sociable mood with Miguel in my lap screaming "I want to go to home now!"  Could someone just put a big neon sign above me with the words "SINGLE MOM" and label me dysfunctional?  Forget about looking good, feeling glam, and trying to project as if you've got it all together.  On this particular Sunday in this particular place, I DIDN'T.
Sometimes when you've given all you've got and the results are so wanting, you just wanna stick a pillow to your face and scream.  (That too, I got from Lilo & Stitch.)  That's the grand finale of the week for me.  The end.  Fin.  Whoever invented the weekend ought to invent another one for parents.

Friday, July 16, 2004

I am an evil tiger

A few days ago Miguel woke up and greeted me with a very sweet "Mom---my!" Yesterday his opening line was, "What time will you be home (tonight)?" The other day he got up on the wrong side of the bed, fussing "I don't want to go to school!" Most of the time he just says "Good morning" or "I love you." And almost always he gives me a hug and a kiss, over and over again. My daily dose, I call it.
But this morning, he told me that I was an evil tiger.

No, I haven't grown stripes or fangs. He was still asleep when I went down for breakfast, and by the time I went back to the room he was up and about, and had converted our bed into a "castle," complete with courtyard and -
get this - a "weapons shop." A blanket formed a canopy over some precariously balanced pillows, creating the main hall where he was holding court. I approached him for my daily dose, but he proceeded to demolish the castle - full of boyish exuberance - declaring that the "evil tiger" (that's me) was destroying it.

No amount of cajoling could make him give me a hug. Not even when I said that a kiss would turn me into a singing bird. And therein lies my frustration. I needed something so that I could get into the car and brave the Makati traffic and spend another useless day in an office where nothing of interest is going on. I was going to be late - heck, I already was late. I needed a hug - a tight one with two arms that lasted more than 5 seconds, one that preferably came with an "I love you mommy!"

Instead the "soccer-playing king in outer space with a mustache" was going full tilt into his Camelot routine, and I was the evil tiger. Sigh. I managed to squeeze the little rascal, and even managed to get an "I love you" out of him, but I definitely did NOT get my fix for the day. Well, at least he was one happy camper, hard at play. And it really was time that I left for work. So off I went. But I just have to tell you, nothing beats being there the moment your child wakes up.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Boy on two wheels

Miguel has a new bike. It all started when my sister called me on Thursday, saying that I "have to get Miguel out of the house more often." My little Oedipus still hates school - we're on our fourth week now - and every morning my sis has to calm him down and explain why he has to go to school, BEFORE she can actually drive him there. "And could you please talk to your mom," she asked, who refuses to allow him to the park without a family member. And since I go to work five days a week that's, well, never.

Our P3,000.00 solution? Buy him a bike. I was so excited at the prospect of graduating him from his tricycle (long overdue I know) that on Friday I played hooky and scouted around the mall for a "proper" bike. That evening when I announced to Miguel that we were going to buy a bike the following day, he already knew about it. In fact, he already had a schedule for the following day:
          1. wake up 
          2. open gate (of the stairs)
          3. go downstairs
          4. eat breakfast
          5. brush teeth
          6. go to store 
          7. buy bike
How I wish that life was so simple.

Buying your kid his first bike is one of those precious moments you don't want to miss. Although I had narrowed down the choices, I pre-sold a particular bike to him on the way to the store: an orange one with front and rear brakes, softer brake handles, shocks, and mudguards. When he saw it, it was love at first sight. To him it seemed to take forever for the salesman to adjust the training wheels and change the seat, but once those were fixed he could have pedaled all over that toy store. I hadn't planned on buying the most expensive bike for that size - although my sis was shouldering part of the cost - but I just got carried away when I saw how nice it was and imagined how excited he would be. I was totally right.

Sunday afternoon I was in bed trying to take a nap while Miguel was biking in the terrace below. My brother chanced on him and I heard him exclaim with pleasure and surprise that Miguel was riding such a big, nice bike. My son proudly showed off the bike, told my bro about the trip to the toy store, and even recounted his first taekwondo class (another story) - prompted of course by the nanny. My bro reacted with even more pleasure and surprise. Maybe we try to please our kids, maybe we try to please ourselves, and maybe we try to please others. All I can say is, on that sleepy Sunday afternoon, I felt darn good.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

It's a voyeur's world

So why blog? It's like a virus slowly creeping across the office. Only recently have I discovered blogs, and to my surprise some of them are quite good. But like I told Alice, these blogs have made us a bunch of voyeurs, feeding curiously on the private lives of the people we know. Yet deep inside we feel that we too deserve attention from others, that we deserve to be indulged. Perhaps there's something to be said of a healthy self-esteem. That here I am presenting my "face" and I'm not ashamed of it. Hubris. And while it bothers me to some degree that anyone can just get into my head through this blog, I have to admit that I feel that there's a lot going on in there, and that some of that stuff might deserve a venue for expression.

Then of course there's this sort of unspoken contract between bloggers. That "you read my blog, and I'll read yours." Or perhaps I just don't want to be a voyeur anymore. So I'd like to thank all the bloggers for sharing their thoughts; some of them are quite wonderful. Here are mine in return. Blog on.