My Ma will live with me for a month or so starting April. And I’m pretty excited! Thinking about it makes me feel warm inside – around the tummy area, to be exact. Can’t wait to partake of her heavenly cooking! Hehe. When we were planning the visit last December, I was sure that the first thing she’ll wonder about the moment she sets foot in my apartment is how on earth she could have raised such a topsy-turvy, domestically inept son! (She has long suspected this. Now living with me will dispel all her doubts!) So as early as last December, I told her (and I have repeated this once or twice during our weekly phone conversations): “Ma, before you enter my apartment, take a deep breath. And remember that I am your son. That you love me despite…uhm, my mess.”
We’ve had several of my housemate’s family stay with us on several occasions, so my hosuemate Jireh is cool about having my mom visit. (Incidentally, we’re looking for one or two more guy housemates to join our “happy mess” starting May or June! I may not be the most organized and neat of housemates, but I am mighty entertaining and nice – on most days. And Jireh is absolutely the best housemate! He has pet fish we can feed and DVDs we can watch. And, oh, he’s a mighty great cook!)
I’m sure Ma will work her motherly magic on my pitiful domestic situation. But that will be such a daunting task that the least I can do is ensure that she is kept entertained. So I’m (finally) getting a decent TV set. After all, what’s she to do during the day when I’m away in the office? I am officially retiring my black-and-white TVlet – with a screen no wider than an index card – that I have been putting up with the past few years. I’ve asked my Ma to start compiling a list of things she’d like to do while in Manila. The weekends with her should be interesting. I’m looking forward to talking with her at length.
Just recently, seconds after a phone conversation with my Ma, my cellphone rang again. It was Chikay, my six-year-old neice in Davao, using my mother’s cellphone. “Tito, ibalik mo si Lola ha. One day lang s’ya dyan ha.” She sounded serious, almost threatening. I was amused. So I teased, “Hmmm… pag-iispian ko…” Being the youngest in a brood of four, I was never really used to fighting over my mother’s affections. Until three creatures, much younger and cuter – the grandkids – entered the picture. There was no way I could win. But, at least, I’ll have my Ma even for a short time. After over a decade of being away from her doting, I can be a shameless Mama’s boy again.