Today is my daughter’s 23rd birthday. The little girl in tutus is now a self-sufficient young adult in-charge of her destiny. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing last June, passed her RN licensure last December and now works as a registered nurse case manager in a hospice care company. I have to say, she has become a smarter, kinder and better version of her mother. Seeing her as this independent and headstrong woman at the brink of her own adventure, a quote I read somewhere comes to mind.
“By the time a woman realizes her mother is right, she already has a daughter who thinks she is wrong.”
Growing up, my mother was overly strict with what I was allowed to do. I wasn’t allowed to play outside the house, eat food from street vendors, ride a bike or any of the normal activities you would expect from a regular kid. You see, I was a sickly child born with a congenital heart disease. Since I was in and out of hospitals the first years of my life and had an open heart surgery at age seven, my mother was assiduous in her attentions. Much to her exasperation, I might have been frail in health but I was obstinate in spirit. I always found a way to break her rules. I remember how every afternoon I would sneak from the yaya and out of the house to eat pancit goto at our neighborhood karinderya. I would sit on one of the wooden benches, flood my bowl of congee and noodles with spicy vinegar and delight in each spoonful like it was the best thing I’ve eaten in my whole young life. Looking back now, there was nothing really special about that pancit goto I loved as a child. It was actually poorly prepared and most likely unsanitary but the fact that it was forbidden just made it the sweeter. You know how it is, to be a kid, to be a silly little kid. To rebel without a clue.