My favorite firstborn turned 15 today, and the whole family spent the day at a crochet workshop. I really thought she was going to be an only child, but my story has been written long before I was born, so I’m just glad I didn’t dare attempt to edit it.
Isabel. We named her after my grandmother. I never knew my lola, as she went home early, so I respectfully asked my husband if we could name the baby after her. My husband’s family seemed to have a penchant for at least three names. In fact, only one of the eight siblings was lucky enough to have just two names. He is the youngest, so maybe my parents-in-law simply ran out of names to give. The other seven had three names each. So to be in a better position to get him to approve my lola’s name, I said he could take care of the second name. But in the end, he told me that I could take care of that, too. So I chose to give her the name of a teacher/fashion model who bravely fought cancer, and was gracious and faithful until the time that she no longer needed to fight.
The dynamics of my relationship with my firstborn is quite different from my relationship with the two younger kids. Maybe because she’s a teenager now, and I still try to treat her like my baby. Plus, I was late in forming a bond with her, for which I will forever be regretful. She was born at a time that I was still fighting my way up the corporate ladder in a male dominated workplace, and so parenthood was more focused on securing a better career position than in the actual mothering. I became a mother before I was ready, so my idea of motherhood was a bit twisted. Working hard, earning more so I could provide for the needs of my baby. I was still reading books on corporate dynamics, instead of how to form relationships with children.
While I considered myself a hands-on mom at that time, it was not really enough. She was a picky eater, and it would take her hours to finish her meal, so I would end up leaving her with the yaya to wait for her to finish her food, while I go on ahead with all the other things that I needed to do. I lacked the patience to wait up for her, and it did not occur to me to learn why she was being picky, and do something about it.
She was almost 7 when I became a WAHM, and even at that time, I still shortchanged her. I was pre-occupied with my newborn, and I just assumed that because she’s older, she was better at coping without me hovering over her all the time. Big mistake. A child will forever need her mother whatever age she’s in.
I can write a whole book on all the things I regret of not doing for my firstborn, but she’s fifteen now, and I really can’t turn back time. So all I can do is move forward from here. I thank God for the opportunity of homeschooling her before she grew up to be a teenager. Those years at least gave me time to get closer to her and get to know her more as a person.
These days, she has friends in school and she has activities that moms are no longer welcome to take part of. I still try to encourage her to invite friends to our home and be a cool mom, but those days are few and far between. As her mom, all I can do is be supportive of her passions, the latest of which is crocheting. I was surprised when she asked for crochet hooks and yarns last Christmas. And last month, when I told her about the crochet workshop that I saw posted on Facebook, she asked if she could attend. And so we celebrated her 15th birthday at a crochet workshop today, in full force.
I think I should consider giving her a bigger space for this newfound passion, because now that she has a better understanding of the different yarns and hook sizes, I’m afraid that her plastic box will no longer be enough.
Add to that that she also has a growing book collection, a bigger space is indeed in order. I guess I have just written down my 2015 goal here. Save up for a room renovation so the girls will have a bigger room. A mom’s gotta do what she gotta do, yeah?
Special thanks to my good friend, Patty Cuyugan of Mrs. C’s Sugarcoated Life for posting the workshop schedule on Facebook, as I would never have found out about it had she not shared it. And to the Gantsilyo Guru herself, Trey Ajusto, for her patience with my daughter during the workshop. I’m now seriously considering learning the craft myself, as it may be another great opportunity to further form a bond with my daughter.
Do you have questions, comments or feedback about this post?
Please leave me a message, or post them, at my Facebook Page.