Monday, April 23, 2012

Diego



He was an accident, like his older brother. Unplanned. Maybe his parents had a fight and to make up for the hurtful words; hurled to each other like crumbling bricks picked on the floor, they resealed the bond with an intimate kiss; an earthly copulation that lead to his creation. He was already a peacemaker long before he was attached to the womb, and for that, he is already accomplished. 

Signs of his presence were there, like when I heard his mother throw up in the toilet. I paid no heed to the sounds, and instead asserted that it might be a casual regurgitation. A few weeks later, my mom posited a question. 

"What would be my reaction should my sister gets pregnant... again?"

The hypothetical inquiry was met with strong and violent reaction. After all, the couple had no stable job and the elder alone already draws so much of our resources. How could we cope with another mouth to feed? I returned the question and tried to squeeze the truth.

The matriarch downplayed my speculation.

I would like to think that it was all just a dream; that there's a choice to wake up to another reality when my mother finally said the truth. It was a month later, when the mood swings became intolerable and the cravings, more noticeable. My mom said it in a calm voice, and measured words, that my rage had no place in the revelation. I'd like to blame the couple for their carelessness; their stupidity; and tell it to their faces. But at the back of my head, the blame game is over. What was left is to recognize the child.

And be accepted by the entire family.

Months passed. The bump grew into a ball. The family was told and it was a relief their reaction was more affable than mine. Even the Favorite Aunt - the lioness of the pride - resigned to the idea. I guess it was inevitable, and the fact that it would take years before another of our generation decides to conceive her own child. So better for her niece to make babies, rather than let our blood run out.

The pregnancy went into full swing. Mounting pressure for the dad to shape up lead to his near breakdown. The sister's ferocity reared its ugly head, and clashes between her and the matriarch became a regular feature. There were days when the full attention of everyone stayed anchored with the eldest; like the second one wasn't coming. Sometimes it felt like the couple didn't take the pregnancy quite seriously, a few months before childbirth and the younger didn't even have his own set of clothes yet.

I kept my observations to myself, except when its bonding time with my mom.

"Oy baka mag-playing favorites ka ha! Dalawa na apo mo."

"Nako hindi, I'll give them equal attention."

"Promise?"

"Prom..." but before she could finish her word, Baby Lenin throws his weight around, like he himself doesn't want a rival.

As the day of his coming drew near, we paid less and less attention to his arrival. Sadly, even memory seem to evade the events of the final days. Except for the premature drive to the emergency room on the eve of my birthday. When we thought he would come out weeks short from my sister's tummy. It was a close call, a result of strife between the couple. Lessons were learned and the flare-ups didn't happen again. After all, such costly bickering leaves everyone with less cash to prepare for the actual childbirth.



Months after he was born, and I still can't get over the thought of comparison. Of how the elder's coming was seen as a stellar event while his, received less fan fare. To be fair, the attention is there, and so is the care. He might have even benefited from his parents' experience in raising his big brother.

But the difference is just too glaring to remain unnoticed. Of how nobody seem to care to remember the months after his cries were first heard in the delivery room. Of how, I fail to dedicate a single blog entry except for this (which took months to write before it gets published)

I do not know the dynamics between siblings with small age difference. Much more, if they were born a year after another. Perhaps it's usual for parents to be complacent with their second baby, to pay less attention to details unlike when they are having their first infant. As for me, this is my way of atonement; to let him have a piece of history long before he could understand the world around him.

And if there is one thing we didn't miss. One decisive action he could brag for all time, when he gets to read his story one day; this were the timeline of his last few minutes before the boy finally said his first hello to the world:





In solitude, my fingers pressed the beads of the wooden rosary. At the same chapel where a year before, my mom and I retreated to find solace as my sister pushed her first-born out of her womb. Back then, we feared a Cesarean delivery might become an option should her childbirth becomes unpredictably, complicated.
This time, the prayers became my strength. The matriarch had decided to return home to take care of her elder grandson. I was left alone to look after everyone's welfare - until the in-laws arrive and take over my duties. 
Minutes before the nurses say the traditional "baby out," as they frantically moved from one room to the other, perhaps to attend to other mothers expecting childbirth, I was at the reception area, barely unnoticed, anticipating. waiting. 
The fear is gone, for I have already surrendered the child's fate when I left the chapel. With my heart at peace, certain that everything will turn out fine. The favorite aunt showed up with a battalion of attendants. In a plastic, transparent tray in front of her was a baby boy wrapped in white blanket.
At long last, the newborn has arrived.
"So what's his name?" A nurse asked his father.
"We're not sure yet, but my wife likes the name Diego."

9 comments:

iurico said...

ahihihi. toooo cuuuuute! Koochi koochi koooooooooo!!!

I wanna have a baby sooooooon! char

Lone wolf Milch said...

cute baby :) a baby is still a blessing

Brian said...

nyah~ a baby is always a blessing. ang cute!! ☺

Nate said...

hongkyut!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cHard said...

Make sure baby Diego reads this entry when he's old enough..

The baby is a blessing and he is blessed to have you, Joms, for his Uncle.. =)

Jake said...

Sana ako din magka-mood swings and morning sickness.

Hahaha!

Cuteeeyyy...

Pepe said...

ahhhhh... Diego is love! ang cute, cute...

thank you for sharing his story.. feel ko lang na-involve ako. sure he is loved. minsan, the moment you see the baby or hear his voice or hold his delicate fingers, nakakalimutan mo bigla ang ibang mga issue.

Xian Garvida said...

sooooooooo cute! :)

the green breaker said...

cute ni baby! hehe