Mom had me when she was 24. I was my parents’ “honeymoon baby.” When I turned 24, I knew she was worried that planning a wedding will come anytime soon, too. Well, I didn’t marry until I was 27, and they were more than okay with that. (Note: In current Filipino culture, marrying in your late 20s is more acceptable than in your early 20s.) If you do the math, my mother is now in her 50s.

Growing up, Mom and I were always mistaken as siblings. One time, Mom and I took a cab to Makati Medical Center, and made small talk with the driver along the way. Fifteen minutes into our conversation, the driver thought I was Mom’s younger sibling. When she told him that I’m her eldest, he assumed that Mom had me at a very young age. It never fails.

Mom and Dad both have maintained a youthful look when compared to people about their age. I mean they now have wrinkles and some gray hairs, but neither of them has dyed their hair to hide them completely. Both of them are not big fans of cosmetic surgery either, so getting a Botox or a face-lift is completely out of the picture. However, I know their secret: happiness. Absolute bliss is what makes them look the way they are today.

Mom and I don’t have a perfect mother-daughter relationship. We’ve certainly been through a lot, and I can’t say that, in most days, I wasn’t the problem. I can say that I’m very much like my mother in terms of personality, but I’ve always been the stubborn one. Perhaps the alignment of stars when I was born has something to do with it, but it’s something none of us could ever change.

Moving halfway across the globe certainly knocked me down. I grew up knowing how to do household chores, but being around your mother for most of the time is so much different. I never knew what I was missing until I moved out of our family home. In my quiet days (i.e., when Roan is at work, and I’m left alone in the house), I’d wish I were still at home with Mom, doing household chores, watching our favorite TV shows all day long, and eating meals together.

If I could turn back time, one of the things I’d probably change is my interest towards cooking. I think it’s a disgrace to be the only girl in the family who didn’t acquire Mom’s talent in this department. My younger brothers could whip a decent meal for lunch or dinner without a sweat, and I envy them for that.

Without a doubt, I appreciate Mom now more than ever. She’s my lifetime role model in everything, and being a good wife to Roan is among them. Someday, when the time comes, I hope to be an equally amazing, if not better, mother to our future children. Oh, and is it too much to hope to look as youthful as Mom by the time I reach her age?

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

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