I think I must’ve been about four or five. It was Mother’s Day and as early as that age, I was already a professional procrastinator. I remember my younger sister putting the last touches of the card she’s been working on for days for my mom, while I stared at her and realized I hadn’t made a thing. I probably watched TV all day, while waiting for the fishball vendor to pass by our street with his cart (and so I can stuff myself). Those were my immediate priorities.
I rushed to my study table (where I keep all my books and notepads) to look for something I can write on before my mom gets home from work. I saw my favorite story book at the time (a story about a mama duck and her ducklings) and quickly grabbed it, hoping for some kind of inspiration to come.
As I leafed through the pages, I wondered if I can pull off drawing something from the book which would require elaborate pencil work and crayons. I didn’t know if I had the time. I knew it. Rrrrrip. As much as it pained me, I tore a page and decided I was going to use it as a card. There was a mama duck and her ducklings swimming in a lake on that page. It was perfect.
When my mom came home and read my makeshift card, I remember her tearing up. I remember feeling guilty that I didn’t have much time to spend on the card. She thought it was cute and funny, because I told her that the mama duck was her. She kept my card and showed it to her friends; I was surprised that she was even proud of it. Seeing my mom happy and beaming the way she did made up for the fact that my favorite story book was missing a page. Anything for my mama duck.
But she was my mom, and she knew. The next day, she whispered: “I’ll get you a new book next week.”
Happy Mamas Day! ♥
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Books for the love of mamas:
- Zadie Smith’s Swing Time
- Brit Bennett’s The Mothers
- Mia Alvar’s In The Country
- Susan Sontag’s As Consciousness is Harnessed into Flesh
- Elizabeth Strout’s My Name is Lucy Barton
Pia Cortez is a writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She runs a book blog called Libromance where she reviews books and publishes literary features with a queer Filipino immigrant lens. She is a contributor at Hella Pinay, an online magazine for Filipino-American women and at New Life Quarterly, a literary magazine based in Oakland, California. She is currently working on her first novel.