Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mother at 27

Now that I am a mother, I understand why each single minute of the day must be spent with my more than one-year old baby whose name is Julia Mae. I remember Eric wrote in his blog “My Pearl of Great Value” and that pertains to me. My husband wrote about how we’ve planned to get married and have at least two babies of no physical scars, birth defects and mental retardation.

Praise Him! for bringing a healthy Julia Mae in our midst. “She’s beautiful, Eric!” And that’s according to our American friend named Helen though Julia Mae looked like a small monkey during her first 5 months.

She had rosy cheeks. This likened Julia to Igorot kids whose faces get swollen by cold and breezy winds in Sagada, Mountain Province. Her skin are dead pine needles. She’s neither heavy nor slim. Hers are charming eyes and good-looking teeth.

I am proud because each time my younger brother would come to hold her in his arms, I saw how delighted and envy he was. For five years, he’s been trying to have one but failed, and "Lo! There it is," and this August he’ll be a father to Kristine Jewel!

I used to attend and serve as shadow for deaf-mutes in one Kingdom in Laguna from which my family lives and for which I and my mother had a conflict. I remember how she would throw all my Sunday dresses outside of the house preventing me from performing in church services. It’s different now! No more tensions! No more tears! They are all gone. Why? Julia Mae bridges and sustains our relationship. She oftentimes come and will cry a bucket before leaving our white house in Bacoor, Cavite for she misses Julia Mae a lot. Mama, probably, sees her little Julie Ann as she gets entertained by her first granddaughter who really is a carbon copy of mine.

How I certainly desire to work but I simply couldn’t. I nurse my child. I breastfeed her. Julia Mae needs the affection only her mother can provide. I got tempted and applied to call centers for I expect a graveyard shift that will allow me to be with my baby during mornings. I am still unemployed but happy. My neighbor Lorena brought me to a shipping line office in Malate for cashiering to be able to get a babysitter but failed to render my first day. My mother-in-law stays in our house and that permits me to challenge interviews. Probably, they don’t hire me for I am married and have a child already. My interviewers do ask discreetly about these. I tell them that I am happy both as a wife and a mother.

I stare at my baby all the time and reflect on TV footages of babies abandoned by their irresponsible parents; Angelina Jolie and how she feels a lot closer to her adopted children; poor Baseco kids on top of garbage mountains; Badjao minors, begging while dancing in the streets; and young girls submerged into a mining pit for gold. It’s horrible to picture baby Julia in any of these circumstances.

I’ve thought about a haiku written for her by her father:

Birth pains of the earth;
Have sprung up into flowers,
Heaven, my child’s play.

I have gained weight and started to experience menstrual bleeding. Though he wants another baby, my husband understands that birth spacing is necessary and that his wife, also, is a career woman.

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