I dedicate this article to my mom, Flordeliz “Flor” Sabolboro-Soriano. Known as “Baby” or “Babes” to her friends and relatives, known as “mom” or “ma” or “mother” to me and my siblings.
I first met my mom when I was born ;-) . She was 34 when she gave birth to me. I was the youngest of 4 siblings.
I was very close to my mom. I remember many childhood days when it was only me and mom at home while my siblings were at school and dad was at the clinic. Those were fun times for me just being with mom, helping her with house chores, cooking, sweeping the floors.
I remember helping her in the kitchen as she baked some of our favorite banana cakes or fruitcakes. I remember looking forward to licking the batter from the baking utensils. (Ooops, that might have been a secret between mom and I — otherwise, dad might say: “That’s unsanitary!”)
Let me share some things I learned from my mom as I was growing up.
No matter how messy it gets,
We can make it good, better or best.
I remember coming back from a family trip to Batangas when I was around 6 years old. Passing through Tagaytay, we dropped by the fruit stands where mom negotiated her way into the best discounts that the vendors could give. We went home with oh so many fruits that mom looooved. We had bananas, mangoes, papaya, and what fruit is this, langka! It could have been my first time to see what a langka fruit looked like. It was huge, bigger than any of the fruits I knew of before.
So one afternoon at our home in Baguio, while everybody was taking their afternoon siesta, I decided to get further acquainted with the langka fruit. It was huge! It must have been as big as a bedroom pillow. It was sitting in our kitchen counter, cut in half revealing its sweet yellow juicy meat, and some of the white and brown seeds amidst the mesh of stringy white pulp.
My small dainty hands gravitated towards the fruit. And then I learned how sticky the sap of langka could get. My curiosity got the better of me and I started playing with this gooey stuff from the langka fruit. Before I knew it, both my hands were engulfed with the sticky sap. When I clasped my hands, they’d get stuck together.
I didn’t know what to do, my curiosity and playfullness turned into an escalating panic as I knew that it was just a matter of time that my mom would wake up and discover what I had done! (cue: suspense-thriller music).
When finally my mom discovered what I had done, she got a piece of cotton and some baby oil. I watched as she started melting away the gooey stuff with oil on cotton. With her gentle hands clasping mine, she rubbed away the sap from my hands.
And then something happened. I had so much sap in my hands. We were barely half way with cleaning my hands when our bottle of baby oil went dry! hahahaha!
What did mom do? Like McGyver, she improvised! She went to her sewing machine, opened the tool box and got the machine oil! And then she continued cleaning my hands with the sewing machine oil.
My mom showed me that in life, I could make a mess of myself, I could make mistakes (and we will make mistakes). I just need to remember that I can make things better, one way or another. With baby oil, or machine oil, or kahit ano pa mang klaseng oil — anything and everything, oil things end well when we focus on doing good, making things better.
She cleaned up the rest of the sap from my hands with the sewing machine oil. Then topped it off by washing my hands gently with soap and water from a tabo. Without saying a word, my mom showed me how much she loved me despite the mess I make.
I realize now that I started to learn forgiveness from my mom. Oh forgiveness. So many things to write about forgiveness. I’ll reserve that for another article.
I also realize now that I got that eye for improvement from my mom. I’m the type of person that’s always looking for ways to improve myself. Likewise, I’m always in the lookout for ways to improve other things. Mahilig akong mag-suggest ng improvements, sa guard, sa bangko, sa resto, sa store. I’m the type who praises good when I see good, and I also say so when there’s something that can be improved.
Mothers know everything!
The past years, I realized also that my mother truly knows everything! I would be amazed at how much she knows about my, my health, what’s on my mind, what’s up with my aching heart. Just thinking about it now, the reason I feel as if my mom knows everything is: she knows what’s eating me and she knows what’s best for me.
My mom doesn’t really know everything. But she knows what matters. And that’s what matters.
I know I’m in a journey. I know that day by day my good Lord is teaching me how to unleash the great person He has called me to be, to pursue the dreams He has planted in our hearts. And he gave me to my mother because the Lord knew it was my mother who can nurture me into the person I am.
We can make things better. My mom did. She wasn’t satisfied with just three kids. So she had me, and life was bliss! hahaha! :D
To my mother, Flordeliz Flor Sabolboro Soriano ,
my first teacher, the one who showed me what LOVE is;
I thank the Lord for choosing me to be my mother’s son!
I love you mom!