I had my day planned from the time I set foot in the office until I go to sleep tonight. It skipped my mind that my nieces Pia and Julienne are visiting today to get their school things and celebrate their birthdays.
I love these two little ladies. They’re the children of my first cousins, people who sort of took care of me and loved me since I was little. It’s my way of paying them back for always being there, though I don’t want to see it that way, responsibility-wise. Let’s just say I do all of these because I want to.
Pia and Julienne’s mothers weren’t as lucky as the others in their married lives. As I was growing up, I saw how bad their marriages unfolded, and that their children are the biggest casualties in those unfortunate scenarios. Lately, I hardly see them but I always make it a point to provide for them, in ways and aspects where their fathers are lacking. I know I can never fill the void but I try to create moments that hopefully, they will not forget.
Things haven’t been easy for these two children, along with Jet, Julienne’s brother. Like what I always tell their mothers, we simply have to maintain the children’s self-esteem, as life isn’t really easy. I even went through what they are going through now; maybe what made it a little bit easier was that I was the only one whom my mother has to take care of, and today’s standard of living isn’t as difficult as ten- fifteen years ago.
Anyway, it’s accurate to say that these children are deprived and repressed. It’s a breath of fresh air that they are secure with themselves, although from time to time we let them heave innocent yet insecure comments which say an awful lot about their true feelings.
Julienne turned 10 last week, and Pia, today. Before meeting with me, Mom treated them to an hour of arcade games where they got nifty prizes. I bought them dinner and had the servers sing to them a novelty birthday song. They were pretty shy but their mothers told me that everything that happened today would be talked about everyday until it grows old in about a month or so. By the time we do this again, it would be around Christmastime, or if my schedule would be a bitch, probably next May.
I was down and out the whole day, add to the fact that it was only SB and I, working in a two-women team. Plus, the election observation stress has manifested only today. However, I was feeling extremely well after my two hour-bonding with my wonderful nieces. Cheesy but true. I ripped my budget for my upcoming weekend trips, but they’re worth it.
In this awkward age of 10, within insecurities of buckteeth and overdone tan…
…looking at their innocent and happy faces are so worth all the effort.
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I bought a new swimsuit today. Yeah, we’re going to the beach way too late than most of you. Anyway, I settled for a classic black two-piece suit. While I never have problems with the top part (and am a bit proud to say the least), and have accepted that my anatomically-wide thighs and calves are acceptable enough (thin legs are ick, like, can they even support you while walking along the shore?), my current problem is my tummy. No, actually the part right below my breasts down to my abdomen. Recently, I speak ill of myself by insinuating I may have tumors growing down there that’s why it suddenly grew, sometimes, even the same size as my breasts, if you look at it sideways. Of course, I hope to God they’re not that. My mother, the perpetual daughter-deprecation mistress, told me off the tumor thing and simply said, “Sobra lang ang taba mo dahil ang takaw mo.”
And while I paraded my new two-piece suit, my Mom, again the daughter-deprecation mistress, looked at my top (she was satisfied), the bikini (she was contented enough) and then the area of my tummy. She raved how any color would complement my skin tone, but not without the bomb statement of the night:
“Anak, para kang butanding*.”
I love you, Mommy. Super.
* whale shark