14 May 2013

My Mommy, Mah Bebe, and me (post-Mother's Day muni-muni)

 Mah Bebe and Me
Last Thursday was Mah Bebe's college enrollment, and up until now, I'm still in a state of denial. I still haven't figured out how I would deal with setting her loose in a world that doesn't involve a regular school bus, non-commuter IDs, and signed gatepasses.

(Yes, I know, sooner or later she would have to fend for herself, and my being an over-protective mom would do her more harm than good. Sorry, it's not that I don't trust her - it's the world out there that I don't trust.)

As she was trying on her uniform (yes, my dear UP friends, I'm sending her to a university that requires a daily uniform - the whys and wherefores of that I'm saving for another blog entry), I had to literally sit on my hands to avoid reaching out and helping her put the uniform on. Not that I didn't try - but when I tried fixing her collar, she gave me *that* look (eye-roll, eyebrows raised, torn between a smile and a smirk,  amused but annoyed - hell, it was like looking at the mirror!) before telling me, "Don't be such a stage mom." So sit on my hands I did.

But it wasn't easy. Not when helping her out is something I've been  instinctively doing for the past 16 years. But then again, in any relationship, letting go has never been easy. And harder still for a mother watching her little girl take her first steps into the real world.

Me and My Mommy
Odd how, as a teenager, I was prettty certain that I was so different from my Mom, and I will never grow up to be like her. But now the adult me can't help but see how similar we are after all: she is just as headstrong and stubborn as I am - or rather, I am just as headstrong and stubborn as she is.

And even as others may often find it exasperating, this same obstinacy has seen her (and me) through some tough times, both of us refusing to give in, refusing to give up.

And if she was brave enough to let me leave Bicol and move to Manila when I was 13, I should be brave enough to let Mah Bebe face the real world as she enters college. After all, the courage and strength that I got from Mommy should now be passed on to Mah Bebe. Then again, strength and courage are part of our DNA - they just need some maternal encouragement to manifest themselves.

When I stopped seeing my mother through the eyes of a child, I saw the woman who helped me give birth to myself. (Nancy Friday)

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