The last time I went home to visit the graves of my family’s loved ones was three years ago. So I wasn’t surprised when my aunts were wondering why I decided to go home this year. My excuse then was work since for the past years November 1 & 2 fell on a weekday. It’s still on a weekday this year but it was a long weekend and I don’t have to return to Manila the next day.
I don’t often go home. You can count in one hand the times I went home to my family since I started working. I can’t even remember if I went home for the holidays last year. What I’m sure is I last seen my siblings ten months ago and I haven’t seen all my cousins in the past 4 years or so.
I am the eldest not just in my family but the eldest grandchild from both my father & mother’s side though I grew up with the latter. I wouldn’t say I had the best family in the entire universe. We have our shares of drama, we’re not perfect and we are what you call a “typical probinsya” family. I don’t have doting parents nor aunts & uncles. I’m a Lola’s child and I’ve seen my cousins since they’re babies. I even took care of them in one point of their childhood. I may not have close ties to all my relatives but my relationship with my cousins was different. We’re not that close because of the age gap but every time we’re together, the jokes, the smiles and the easy-going camaraderie are there.
Seeing them now, most of them in their teens, is an eye-opener. Cathy and I are the eldest though I’m older than her by 2 months. Aleah is in her early twenties. Glenda & King are in college. Philip, Princess & Almeah are in their last year in high school. Alfven, Jonathan & Vince are in elementary (1-3 years from now they’d be in high school). Prince & Maria are below 10 years old. And Angel is two, the youngest of 14 grandchildren. I grew up with most of them but I haven’t seen them that often in the last 5 years.
I was in awe when I saw them this year (except for Vince, Maria & Angel because they’re in Manila). Aside from proving that all of us have mean bones in our anatomy (Gaad, I’m the recipient of their non-stop, crazy, and really mean banter), I also accepted that I am getting older. It was like only yesterday. They’re just kids, playing and running around the house but now, look at them; they’re talking about college courses, latest gadgets and their love lives.
There was this funny conversation I had with Jonathan when he was about to change in his room after taking a bath and I happen to be in there doing my makeup. He only has a towel wrapped around his waist. He said, “Ate labas ka ng kwarto ko. Magbibihis na ako.” (Ate get out of my room. I need to get dressed.) I raised an eyebrow, looked at him and said, “At bakeet? Eh ako naman nagpapaligo at nagpapalit ng diapers mo dati!” (And why? I used to give you a bath and change your diapers!) Oh my gaad. He’s just 11 years old! I know that’s old enough these days to have a girlfriend but still… I’ll always see him as a kid!
Imagine my horrendous reaction to them as tweens and teens now, what more after ten years?
Fast forward to ten years. I’m thirty-five years old, a wife & a mother (hopefully). My youngest sister, brother and cousins are all in their twenties living the best times of their adult single life. They’re no longer the kids Cathy, Leah and I take care anymore. We still look after them. We still are the eldest of this bunch anyway but this time I know it’s different. All of us are now grownups living our own lives, probably in different places, and our parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents may or may not be there.
Oh, how time flies.
Miss A. Talks (3)
Rave and rants of everything under the sun.