This morning, I watched my eldest son, Carlos lose his first tooth to the dentist.
It was necessary for the dentist, Dr. Hizon to remove one of Carlos’ temporary teeth to give way to his permanent tooth which was already protruding. My son was fidgety at first but Dr. Hizon calmed him with her convincing pep talk and a promise of free stickers should Carlos cooperate with the procedures.
I watched in silence. Carlos was incessantly babbling and obviously trying to delay the dentist. I realized I started giving him the pep talk instead. In the end, he just closed his eyes and pinched both of his ears as instructed. Then, it only took less than five minutes for Dr. Hizon to get the anesthesia injected and the tooth extracted.
We went home with a smile on his face; one tooth already missing. Carlos is ready for his first day of class in grade two tomorrow at O.B. Montessori.
An hour later at home, I put down my four-month-old baby to bed after nursing her. I asked my mother to look after her so I could get food in the kitchen. Seconds later, I heard my mother shrieked with delight. I hurried back to the room and saw that my baby was already lying on her belly for the first time!
Indeed, a milestone.
Okay, it is almost midnight now. We had our family night early but my four kids would not let go of me so we played more. Until EXHAUSTION overcame them. So now I have my precious, little “me” time to spend before DREAMLAND claims me.
A series of firsts.
We all have our share of the firsts in our lives. I remember mine pretty well: my first audition for a campus newspaper at the University of Santo Tomas; my first job at AVON Cosmetics Inc.; my first attempt to drive a Fuego truck; my first job rejection at SMART Communications; my first mourning for my deceased father ;my first pregnancy and miscarriage; my first attempt to publish a book…
In the coming months, I am welcoming a series of firsts again: my first official business in training and consultancy; my first writing anthology with fellow poets; my first venture in agriculture which is chicken raising using azolla and my first volunteer missionary assignment with my husband in the Pathway program of Brigham Young University-Idaho.
I’m quite sure that going through brand new experiences are life-changing. Often, it ushers us to the road of self-discovery. It allows us to see things with fresh eyes. It enlarges our soul and prepares us to a wider engagement in life.
In 2013, Erlwin and I experienced the earthquake that hit the Visayas particularly Bohol and Cebu. At that time, we were living at the basement in a three-storey apartment in Cebu with two of our children, Carlos and Alexa. When the ground shook, Erlwin immediately snatched the children from the bed and pressed our bodies hard against a wall. Thankfully, we were able to get out safely after although that nightmarish incident continues to perplex me when I think about it now. Lives perished that day. A city was left in shambles. Heritage sites were toppled down… I realized then, more than ever, that life is short so we better make the most of the time with people who matter most to us. Because we will never know when that time will be taken from us, we need to make everyday count.
So whether good or bad, our encounter with the firsts is inevitable and irrefutable. These are meant to bring out the best in us.
And speaking of the ‘firsts’, here is my first time to write a Japanese kind of poem which is called tanka:
A child’s hearty laugh
Dissipates the cloud of ills
The spring , sunshine warm
Innocence has a fair price;
Commensurate with thy care.
I hope you enjoy this FIRST entry to the newest feature of my page which I call The Sane Mom. I dedicate this to all mothers who like me are struggling to find balance and meaning in this very colorful world of motherhood.
Oh! By the way, I held on to my post as a tooth fairy and hid a one-peso coin under the pillow of Carlos. Goodnight!