Monday, September 27, 2004


Last Friday I was late for work.

Well, my mom needed a ride to her meeting in Pandacan. Not along my route but not really out of the way to Makati either. I told her, if she ever needed a ride in the morning, I'd rather drive her than have her take a cab.

Maybe I just want to spoil her. Or maybe it's just a case of "do unto others...."

Flashback. One recurring image forever burned into my mind is of my mom rushing off to work in the morning. Day after day after day. From the time I was in grade school, until high school, I'd be sitting in the dining room having breakfast while she'd be hurrying out the door.

And I'd ask myself, "Why's she in such a hurry to get away from us?'' I guess as personnel director for a large university, she had to set an example by being always on time. But I did question her priorities. And I did feel rejected, even by as simple an act as going out the door.

Don't get me wrong; she is probably the best mother anyone can have. I actually have a couple of friends who would trade mine for theirs. My mom is so calm, so patient, so giving, so selfless, so prayerful. The best compliment I can ever give her is that she's a true Christian, a living saint. I even said that if I can have one-tenth of her goodness I would be happy. (If I had one-tenth of my dad's charm I'd be happy too.) All our past disagreements notwithstanding, she is my idol. I wouldn't know what I'd do without her now.

So what happened? How did I change from hate to love? I guess one day I finally realized that in spite of all her shortcomings, she is a good person, and she did what she believed was best in bringing us up. That she is who she is and that I could never change her. So I just changed my attitude towards her. It's amazing how much we clicked after that.

But about being late for work. There are several reasons why I might be late for work. Sometimes I want to blow-dry my hair. Sometimes I decide to change my outfit. Sometimes I just want to eat the champorado and tuyo rather then munch a sandwich in the car. So many trivial reasons for being late. (Usually 30 minutes, so I try to stay an extra 30 afterwards.) So in my hierarchy of reasons, driving her to gritty Pandacan is just so worth it.

Yeah, sometimes I'm late because when I'm on my way out, Miguel will ask me if I had breakfast. When I answer yes, he'd say "You have to eat 2 times, one on your own and one with me." So I go down with him, get him settled at the table, give him his vitamins, then wait for him to get started. By which time he'd be willing to kiss me and let me out the door. Don't worry, when I have a meeting I always make it clear to him, and he understands that I have to go. But I don't want him to feel rejected just because he remembers me always rushing out the door. I don't want him to have that same kind of memory. In my hierarchy of reasons that too is so worth it.

Well maybe someday I'll figure out a way to manage my time better. But for now you can sue me, 'cause I'm a mom.

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