Having a Dose of my Own Medicine
Kakasabi ko pa namang masarap maging Tita!
Two boys who have the closest claim to calling me Tita taught me a lesson today without them knowing it. I always write about my nephews Luigi and Miko with fondness for they are so easy to love and also generous with their appreciation of such love.
Yesterday I treated them to one movie they had been waiting for for a long time, Disney/Pixar’s “Cars”. My nephews, my brother and I watched before having dinner, so I got them sandwiches and popcorn to quiet their grumbling stomachs, as they didn’t want to wait for the later showing. They loved the movie, with their fascination for race cars.
Luigi, in particular, was beside himself with joy that a character had the same name as him. He was one of those boys whose favorite word for the first few years of his life was “car!” Every birthday and Christmas, he only wanted to receive cars. Miko laughed so hard at the movie and couldn’t stop telling his parents and grandparents about all of his favorite scenes long after we got home.
Then, as requested, we ate at Jollibee where they feasted on Jolly hotdog, Chickenjoy, and cheesy fries. My treat, of course. I’m mentioning this because I don’t get to do this often for them and because it has a relevance to the moral of this story, for me. I helped them wash up and removed the rice that stuck on their clothes. I forgot to brush my hair and even check the mirror after this babysitting ordeal, but it was ok as I was having fun. (By the way, I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in about 10 years while I was in the midst of looking like a harassed mother of two, so had to explain to my friend that I was just their aunt, but I’m sure he must have been shocked seeing me looking more like a yaya than a lawyer, which he must have heard I turned out to be. End of aside, little moral learned there, too.)
The kids slept over at our house last night so I helped them get quick showers. Lola and Tito Ric were the ones who succeeded in putting them to bed, though, so we parted ways at night. The next morning, despite the complaints of all the joints in my body, they woke me up at 6:30 a.m., which doesn’t usually happen in my little planet. I got up and watched them eat breakfast. Then, everyone had to leave and I had to babysit them. They begged for ice cream right after breakfast. I bargained with them to wait a few more hours, which they did. I helped them with their bath time again, watched them watch TV and draw, tried to fix the computer so they could use it, and cooked their favorite lunch – nuggets and hotdog. The hardest part was refereeing them whenever they started to fight.
I was exhausted that I took a nap as soon as the rest of the family arrived. Later in the afternoon, I bought them taho. Then I went to my room to prepare to go to Mass. I knew that their parents were planning to leave early because they had other appointments. While brushing my hair, I could hear the commotion from doors being banged and bags being packed. I thought to myself, I’m sure they won’t leave without saying goodbye.
Then I noticed the silence (no TV, no music, no shouting – something a babysitter/tita/mom could get used to). I opened the door from my room and looked out. I asked my mother where the boys were. She said that they had gone home with Mommy and Daddy and forgot to say goodbye to me and to Lolo (who was also in his room) because their mood changed when they realized that their one and only Tito Ric was going back to Germany in two days. I said, “They didn’t even notice I wasn’t there to wave goodbye and exchange flying kisses with??? How could they, after all that I had done for them this weekend?” Papa said I should understand the boys, and not feel bad that they forgot about me, because they were affected by a bigger problem – that of missing their favorite uncle for another year.
I wasn’t really going to make a big deal out of it, as I knew my nephews. They blurted out “I love you’s” often enough for me. As I went to mass, however, I realized how I often behaved like those children before my God, and I felt ashamed for even complaining.
Everyday, I ignore God and forget to thank Him for all the blessings that He keeps on pouring my way. My excuse? Mundane worries, problems, concerns, and anxieties. Those were the things that preoccupy my mind for the most part of everyday that I often forget to look up to heaven and thank Him for the rain, or the sun, or the air. Day after day, and not just on weekends, God provides for me not just my basic needs but even my little wishes. He gives me people to love and be loved by. He gives me gifts, talents, skills, options, opportunities, and treasures. He does all that out of love, and I sigh contentedly in His arms until something else catches my attention – something or someone I lack that I want to have right at that moment that I think of them – and my Heavenly Father’s loving embrace is forgotten. I then walk as if I carried the weight of the world on my shoulders.
Serves me right to experience this from my beloved nephews, then, to show me my own lack of gratitude and appreciation towards the One who has made me the apple of His eye.
Lord, thank you ha. And I’m sorry for behaving like a petulant child towards You these days. I hope to do better in counting my gifts and in thanking You, the Giver.
Alone before my Lord during mass, I was able to hear Him more clearly. I was strengthened by His assurances that I belonged to Him alone, and was inspired to take up my Cross and to follow Him, even while there were still things going on that were beyond my understanding. I was able to offer a prayer of surrender, that I wouldn’t resist anymore my circumstances, but learn to embrace them for as long as I was called to be still. I promised not to move, even though of late I was of the mind to do so, unless He explicitly told me to.
“Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own”, today’s Responsorial Psalm said. I belong to Him, and therein lay one of countless scriptural bases for the fact that I am blessed.
I was reminded that I am blessed with nephews whom I love and who love me back, even if sometimes they get distracted from saying it. Mana-mana lang pala yun.