Full circle. That’s what it felt like this morning.
Thirty years ago, when we brought this baby home from the hospital, I took one look at her and thought to myself, “How can I leave this baby at home?” Right then and there I began to write my letter of resignation and faxed it to the American Consulate in Hongkong where I was working before taking leave to give birth in Manila.
I’m grateful that we had a life that allowed me to be there for her, and her brothers full time for their first few years. Then again, I’ve always been hands-on as a mother. But perhaps among all my three children, she had me the longest.
We moved from Manila to Hongkong, to Seoul, and then back to Manila for good. I had wanted to be there for every first in her life. First step, first word (flower), first day of pre school, first day of big school, first day of college, and medical school, and now here we are, full circle, on the first day of her medical residency.
We were both weepy this morning. Joy and sadness side by side. My heart was happy, heavy and full as we drove to the hospital. I wrote her a note, “I’m so proud of you and so grateful to have always been there for all your firsts, Pea. Thank God for that. Today is the last of our firsts, so today we come full circle. Love you ❤️”. To which she replied “But there’s still my wedding, and my first child… so it’s not yet over, there are still many other firsts.”
To that, I said, “Ah, but in those firsts, the mother-daughter bond takes a backseat already. This is it for our firsts. But of course I will still be there in the wings, supporting you, and cheering you on.”
We arrive at the hospital and she steps out. For a few seconds, I feel like Steve Martin in “Father of the Bride” I look at her and momentarily she is five again in her floral pastel uniform, entering the gates of Poveda confidently, on her first day of Kindergarten. “God bless you and have a good one!” I manage to tell her just as she closes the car door. One season ends, and another one begins. Thank you Father for bringing us, and sometimes carrying us safely into this moment in time. ❤️🙏🏼