YOU WERE born with the least effort and grief, that much I remember. It was afternoon, and your mother was already an expert in escorting babies into this valley of tears that we call the real world. I just went out for a while to complete the funds necessary to satisfy the hospital’s pound of flesh (how apt) and as soon as I returned, you were already being debriefed by co-occupants at the nursery on how to behave as a hyperconscious newborn in a jaded old world.
No chance of a mixup in the nursery by the way. From the time you were born, you looked a whole lot like me. How much of a whole lot is a whole lot? Well, let’s just say if you put your baby and toddler pics and my baby and toddler pics side by side, there would be some scratching of heads before you’d distinguish between the two sets. And those’re our heads, so you can imagine how much more fun other people would have determining which is which.
But enough of that. Your mom and grandparents will easily attest to this, but you grew up like it was the most natural thing, and you absorbed everything that you saw, heard, smelled, tasted and felt. And I mean everything. You must also have had a great time doing so, because in literally 99 out of a hundred photos I’ve seen you in, you’re either smiling or laughing. A very happy young man.
The youngest in a group of siblings usually goes one of two routes : he becomes the entitled, insufferable brat, or he is the well-mannered, eager to please brother who constantly defers to his elders. You would’ve gone crazy (or driven us crazy) evolving into either stereotype, and happily you morphed into someone in the middle, developing into the Bunso I know today. I like to imagine you had some of my trademark flamboyance with the spoken and written word, and your mother’s creativity, and gift of focusing on the important things, but in truth you are your own person, albeit constantly evolving into something more each day.
When you insisted on attending the school of your choice, enrolling in a course program that no one recommended (but yourself), and joining new clubs and interest groups, I was surprised, but I shouldn’t have been. You have a been like a sponge, gathering influences, perspectives and ways-of-thinking that I have never had the pleasure of gathering, you have the physical and mental tools to do so much more than anyone in generations before yours. Why should I be surprised if you no longer resemble the 11-year old I left in the Philippines an eternity ago?
After all is said and done, I’m just glad that you have turned out the way you have, and I’m happy to have made a small contribution into bringing you into this world. Although I will always be proud to be called Papa by you, in almost every way we are equals and co-travellers in this Journey called Life. Hold my hand anak, and whenever you have time for me, let’s explore the world together!
Happy happy birthday Bunso, you deserve every happiness God gives you today, and every day thereafter. I love you very much, kaawaan ka lagi ng Diyos !
- before boy meets (First) world / a sleepover at Papa’s cave (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)
- “I loved you the day we met, to this day still…” (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)
- bon voyage, congrats and happy birthday Ganda ! (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)
- a Pinoy appreciates Dad on father’s day (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)
- Living With Toddlers (designeditor.typepad.com)
- The last day before the rest of your life (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)
- ouR gRaduate (msbolin.wordpress.com)
- squeezing two years & four months into 48 hours (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)