Mother’s Day Thoughts (From an Un-Daughterly Daughter)

Today, self tried calling Dearest Mum. If she doesn’t time her call just right, Dearest Mum will have left the house for the day, and self will never be able to find her. Some days, she’ll get the number of one of Dearest Mum’s friends, and she’ll call there, and they’ll tell her Dearest Mum has just left for the house of another friend. So self will get that number, and Dearest Mum will again just have left.

Today, though, someone answered the phone, and that was Mildred. Mildred has been our family’s lavandera for over 30 years. She left to have her three children, but a couple of years ago, when she had her first grandchild, she started working for us again.

So, Mildred answered the phone, and self was glad. Because even though she missed Dearest Mum, the call was not completely wasted. And self asked Mildred if she could make sure that Dearest Mum, when she arrives in three weeks (a visit which hubby is uncommonly nervous about, self is not sure why), brings self some tuyo! (Would you believe, dear blog readers, self has been so careful with the bottles of tuyo she brought with her from Manila in January, that she still has three slivers left in the last bottle? And, boy, is she dying to eat those last three, but she’s waiting for a super-duper special occasion, such as winning the Lotto). And Mildred tells self that Dearest Mum is all in a tizzy about an old address book that contains all the names and contact information for all her friends in the States, and no one has seen this address book since Holy Week, when Dearest Mum took it with her to Hong Kong. But, Mildred says, she and Dearest Mum have together practically torn the house apart, looking and looking and looking. And it’s naturally driving Dearest Mum crazy.

And self prays, prays, that when Dearest Mum comes, she can still write. Because there have been times when, after Dearest Mum visits, self is reduced to such a state that she can’t write for a couple of months. And that was OK when self was 30, but now she can’t afford to be like that. And the only way is to really get a grip, get a grip, get a grip. And it’s not easy because, sometimes, Dearest Mum will say the craziest things, or she’ll want so much to see niece G that she’ll chance renting a car just to go up to Stanford, and self can’t always accompany her on these trips, and then Dearest Mum will get lost, and she’ll call self, sometimes when self is in the middle of teaching a class, and self’s anxiety will spike up really really high, and she’ll tell Dearest Mum to stay put, she’ll come for her, but Dearest Mum can never stay put, and self’s students can always tell when self’s mind has flown out the window. These are the things self can look forward to, in the next few weeks.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.


  1. Kathleen said,

    May 9, 2009 at 1:03 am

    A book, a day by day diary of Dearest Mum encounters would be a treat!

  2. May 9, 2009 at 1:31 am

    I can promise you a lot of *those* very very soon šŸ™‚

    Or maybe not. We’ll see. Sometimes it’s just too exasperating.

  3. Megatonlove said,

    May 9, 2009 at 9:50 am

    I would give anything to have my mum still alive and be exasperated by her.

    Exasperating is part of a mother’s job description, don’t you think? Just ask my kids. Consider the tuyo as a reward for daughterly forbearance. Looking forward to many amusing epistles in the weeks ahead.

  4. May 9, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Oh, you are right, you are right, you are right.

    Exasperation is part of the package. Thanks for reminding me!

  5. May 9, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Am also staying tuned for epic trysts with Dearest Mum. She is classic and unparalleled- kind of like her daughter…

  6. Kathleen Burkhalter said,

    May 10, 2009 at 2:13 am

    Actually, Dearest Mum has to win the award for the zaniest matriarch. I think her stories are so much fun. Sort of a hyperbolic condensation of all I miss about Manila. I’ve been hearing Dearest Mum stories from different people who have crossed paths with her since 1981. So I’ve been one of her fans for a long, long time. šŸ™‚

  7. May 10, 2009 at 2:43 am

    ALL my friends love Dearest Mum šŸ™‚

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