I never feel comfortable writing about this topic, but the other day, I realized that while I had written about so many other girls in these pages, I never really wrote about my mom. She's turning 49 today (though she doesn't look it).
She had me when she was 22. By the time I turned 2, she and my dad had broken up, and she was raising me as a single mom. She didn't really figure in my earliest memories; I rarely saw her because she worked, first, the two jobs, then an office job in Makati that required long hours. When I got a little older, we found a little more time together when she'd take me to the office, usually when she had the cash so she could treat me to dinner out afterwards. I remember she once even took me to the Peninsula coffee shop, and I loved it. It was a big thrill for me, but now that I think about it, I bet it was a big thrill for her as well. Those are some of my fondest memories.
I don't remember the context now, but there was a moment back then when she sat me down, and she told me that even though we only had each other, that we were going to make it. I don't know if she was emotional when she said it, like if she had been having a long day, or if she said that matter-of-factly, but the moment stuck with, even though time has been kind enough that she probably doesn't remember that anymore.
Things turned out to be much less dour for both of us. A few years later, she and my stepdad had kids (my two brothers and a sister), and while we've had our share of problems, there haven't really been too much drama. I moved out on my own a couple of years ago, but I still call and visit her regularly (although probably not as often as she'd like). Over the past few months, because I've had the luxury of time, I was even able to treat her and my sister to movies and dinner. I'd like to do more often; hopefully my schedule (and my wallet) permits.