• Jasmine Mendiola

Big Boy in a Big World

Its been a month of new discoveries, new beginnings–faithful to the theme of Easter which we celebrated early last month for Mio’s 6th Birthday. I cannot reiterate enough how blessed we feel in spite of the daily worries of how to get by but not everyone has that perspective of gratitude from where we’re coming from. I have this guilty feeling of moving forward but a lot of personal troubles get in the way. Nevertheless, counting the many blessings my son has makes me more determined to work harder and make things even better, not just for the two of us. Someday.

For starters, we were fortunate to have such a humble Easter gathering in the new Pino Resto Bar. Relatives and Mio’s friends, young and old, gathered for a simple afternoon of easter egg making and an egg hunt of egg stickers rather than real eggs made Mio’s 6th and my Dad and his twin’s 63rd so memorable.

Photos by John Palafox, Chris Clemente, Jon Mendiola & Mike Manalo

I finally decided to hand Mio my old qwerty phone so we can communicate even if I’m out a lot for work. Aside from its the readily available unit at home, it reassures me that Mio is forced to type his words correctly and reply in complete sentences. Its doing him quite well actually. Make him look old lugging around a calculator for a phone but I don’t mind. Nor does he I think. He texts me at night and in the morning and reminds me everyday that he loves me.

 Mio had the privilege of attending Drawing Classes at Gallery 7 c/o The Travelling Art and learned how to draw with perspective and stuff like that. He was quite resistant to attend his Painting Class at his old school, Happy Valley mainly because he said he’d get too tired. I was THIS close to giving in but realized that I had to prepare him for the big school, make him realize the value of learning and commitment. More than anything, I told him that these lessons were gifts. Thankfully after probing him to try the first class, he texted me and said, “o and mom. I like my class.” Good to know that there are some things that he can change his mind about. But not when it comes to his room. I decided to make a room for him in the Eastwood studio so that when school starts I can really monitor his schedule and work alongside. Its nearer and more convenient for us. Aside from I didn’t want to add to my family’s difficult schedule already. Mio was brave enough to sleep in his room by himself the first night and hasn’t failed since. He’s such a big boy! But he doesn’t like changing his sheets so those McQueen sheets must go a long way! He said he doesn’t sleep by himself when he’s at my parent’s and when I asked, he said its coz he doesn’t have his own room. The room there is ours, not his. Labo.

Mio’s work is the one in the center below. He drew a circus with an elephant and a clown. Thank you to his teachers from Traveling Art for sending me photos while I was in the hospital, unable to attend his exhibit.

Mio’s Cars themed room in the studio

Mio isn’t also learning just art this summer. Although we stopped his Math and English worksheets in Enopi because we saw his books for the coming schoolyear and was afraid he’d get bored in school if we pressure him to pursue his vertical subtraction and counting by 10s and 50s (he qualified for the Enopi Math olympiad by the way. I’m not sure if he’s my son now, all of a sudden), Mio’s thirst for learning is unwavering. He practiced one Sunday evening how to use the chopsticks and succeeded! What a quick study!

He’s also starting to appreciate pop culture and asked to watch Michael Jackson’s This is It on DVD. Although it scares me that he finds Michael Jackson fascinating, “he dresses nicely sometimes. But sometimes he looks like a girl when its shiny,” I’m glad that Mio takes a bath with more enthusiasm now, pretending that the soap suds are Michael Jackson’s gloves and sings “you know I’m bad, I’m bad, you know it…” while taking a bath. Oh dear. (which is his latest favorite expression by the way. What an old man thing to say!) He also asked one time, “Is he black or white?” That brought about quite a confusing conversation and I had to wrap it up with “he’s sick that’s why he’s white now.” He asked why was he still dancing or practicing if he was sick. And of course I had to give it back to him and said, “like you, even if you’re sick you still draw and study because getting sick is not an excuse not to do the things you want or need to do.” Amen to that.

And to that note, I wrap up this entry with my photo with him last week while I recuperate from a minor tailbone injury (I sat for a whole 6 hours teaching and my slipped disc spine didn’t have enough cushioning from my buttox so I have this thing called coccydinia which paralyzed my legs for a few hours. Had to have an ambulance take me to the hospital in massive pain and loaded on muscle relaxants and pain killers for a whole three days. Recuperating with therapy now.) Mio was so gentle and worried, “I’m afraid to sit beside you Mom coz I might hurt you.” He must have known how it felt. Shame on me for crying over my intra-muscular relaxants and dextros. Imagine how many of those he endured since last year! Hehe.

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