at 3:24 each afternoon, unless i get lucky, i have to stop being idle at the office and start working for my family. i briskly walk the 150 meters to my daughter's kindergarten school, evading the pricking afternoon sun. then i wait with other mothers, fathers, yayas, lolas and others to whom the task of bringing snotty kids home is assigned. surprisingly, however, i look forward to doing it. seeing jana's happy face emerge from her classroom is unexplainable bliss. seeing the face light up when she sees her mother waiting for her is even more than that. the happiness of motherhood for me is condensed into the smile of each of my three children when they see me, after having been absent from their lives for a week, or, in the case of playing peekaboo with diego these days, after 3 seconds.
jana's face would shoot sunshine and her feet would skip, not walk, when she sees me by the gates. then she would run shouting "mama ko yan!". this week, this routine was even made more special two times. on tuesday, she came out of her room, holding on to teacher jessica's hands, with her pink lunchbag unzipped and worn as a hat, with a pink dot stamped one each on her forehead, cheeks and on her nose, right between her eyes. removing the lunchbag did not help but only revealed the sorriest attempt at a bo derek cornrows 'do. i sent her to school the following day wearing a conservative headband pushing all hair off her face. taking after her nomal-is-boring parents, she refashioned it during class into something a flower power girl from the 60s would be proud to wear to woodstock, the band worn horizontally across her head, covering her eyebrows, and her fine , wavy hair falling in an unkempt fashion to her back.
dresses do not escape her fashion experimentation. last night she tried on five party dresses to wear to yaya mila's ice cream eating session. party at the drop of a hat indeed. i never study my outfit the way she does. she looks at all angles the way i should but, as i said not very long time ago, never do. she sways and shimmies in front of the mirror. she smiles. she covers all angles. she did not get this from me.