Fathoming A Mother's Love

You'll fully understand your mother when you become one yourself.

I've played mother to Vonce, my three year old nephew, for more than three weeks. He went home yesterday morning because his parents miss him a lot already. They live in Lawaan, Eastern Samar (my parents' hometown), which is miles away from where I live.

Vonce plays with his favorite stuffed pig toy
named Malaria.
A lot of people find it strange that Vonce is comfortable being away from his parents. Most kids his age would cry when separated from their parents but not him. He's used to having me around as his baby-sitter since he was an infant. I'd love to think that he considers me as his second mother.

Even as a baby, Vonce warms up to me as he
does with his mom.
Three weeks of babysitting is exhausting in every sense of the word.

Firstly, it demands a lot of patience. With Vonce, I literally needed to plead for him to eat and drink his milk. Kids are preoccupied with playing so much, which makes eating time a tough challenge. Controlling the usual tantrums also proved to be difficult. I almost lost patience a couple of times when Vonce became uncontrollable.

Secondly, it requires great amount of energy. Trying to keep up with Vonce's running around, plus the constant need to tidy up the house was as good as going to the gym.

Thirdly, it entails dedication. Taking care of him was a full-time task, I had to be present the entire time. Each day, I need to get up earlier than usual to prepare his breakfast and bath, and remain alert the rest of the day until my bedtime story puts him to sleep at night. Even while sleeping, I wasn't completely relaxed because I feel the urge to check on him (i.e. whether he's comfortable, his blanket is on place, he's cold or sweating, etc.) throughout the night.

Despite all these tiring things, taking care of him is the most fulfilling task I've ever done in my life. Vonce's laughter alone makes every second I dedicated to him counts. There's an overwhelming satisfaction from seeing him happy. My heart jumps in glee every time he calls my name. Something is special about knowing that someone needs and depends on you. It's an indescribable feeling. Putting his needs above my own became a spontaneous desire.

My time with Vonce made me understand how mothers feel toward their children. No love is purer than that of a mother. A mother's love is selfless, nurturing, forgiving, and unconditional. Surely, I appreciate my mother more, now that I got the chance to act like one (even for only a short time).
Showcasing the Spiderman pose with my mother and four siblings. (From L-R, top-bottom: Me, Chesca, Ate Faith, Kuya Val, Mama, Kuya Mance)

While growing up, it was easy to disregard my mom's sacrifices because back then all I care about was my side. I now realize how difficult it must have been to raise me along with my four other siblings. Three weeks of babysitting tired me out, and my mom has been doing it for 31 years. My mom, without a doubt, is extraordinary.

P.S. I'm terribly missing Vonce now. He's been gone for a day but it sure feels like weeks. My longing makes me imagine stuffs. It's as if I hear his voice and his footsteps around the house. This must be how my mom have felt when my siblings and I had to, one by one, leave our house.

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