In many ways you have not changed much. You still leave your room in the same chaotic state, especially when you leave for work or for your dance practice, clothes strewn about, bed unmade and the windows open. I know I specifically asked you to allow air in to get rid of your musky aura, but just the same I make clicking sounds at the cold autumn air coming in. I shake my head and prepare a lecture for you, before remembering that my own room when I was your age was just as hopelessly disorganized.
I still bang on your door when you get carried away practicing your swag, ask you often what time you will be coming home (if at all) so I can leave the door unlocked, and remind myself not to eat too much lest you suffer a munchies attack and scrounge around the kitchen for leftovers. Buti na lang Tita H always cooks enough for three.
Yes you haven’t changed much, except that you’re taller than me now. Your hair remains curly just like your mother’s, your eyes as large as mine are small, and I see evidence that you try scores of outfits and combinations before you decide on one, right down to the specific hat and shoes. I chuckle at that, because when I was your age, I was probably just as vain.
On other levels you and I have changed as well. Our relationship is no longer one of provider and ward. I badger you weekly for your contribution to rent, make wry comments about how you can have time to endlessly surf the internet and yet have none at all to vacuum the common areas in our flat, and remind you constantly to do your share in the kitchen and toilet cleaning. You pretend not to hear, and I pretend not to notice that you pretend not to hear.
But in the grand scheme of things those appear, and rightfully remain trivial and a source of funny memories when you are a bit older. Soon I know you will be making your mark in things you care about, and if your legs carry your there, you will probably even find yourself in Australia, the US or elsewhere. You have as many options as there are dance moves in your YouTube clips, which I privately view and smile at.
In short, I may not always say it, but every passing day I find more ways to be proud of you. I love you always anak, thank you for being my son. Kaawaan ka lagi ng Diyos.
Happy birthday Panganay !
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