“Lutong Bahay” and Other Mother’s Day Stories
One touching tribute and real-life tales of motherhood
Mother’s Day is here, which begs the question: how are you treating mom on her special day this year? In between shopping for the perfect gift and planning something extraordinary to treat her to, there’s also the important aspect of honoring motherhood to consider: the tireless job the moms and mother figures in our lives have taken upon themselves. It’s a feat that deserves praise…on this day of all days.
In paying tribute to these amazing, personal wonder women, a toast and an appreciation post straight ahead.
“Nate the Great”
“As a mom of an 8-year-old, I can say that motherhood doesn’t have a template. It’s something that I had to go through without any set guidelines…thought there’s still this preconceived notion of what the ‘perfect’ and what doing “the right thing” is when it comes to parenting. I honestly think that this part is inevitable.
Every mother always has this constant feeling of not being able to give enough or everything that the child needs and wants, hence, she would always ask her child what he or she needs, remind them to take their vitamins, and simply be well. I appreciate how ‘Lutong Bahay’ perfectly depicts the worry and the pangungulit of the mom to Andoy. It’s really natural for a mom to constantly feel the need to remind their child to go be the best version of themselves, to do things that will benefit them. I think that this kind of behavior is pure love in demonstration.
#NateTheGreat, my son, and I like to paint together. And it’s always a learning/sharing session about painting and life. For about an hour or so, we get to converse about random things while we finish our crafts. As a working mom, I always cherish these moments because it’s quite rare and we only get to do it on weekends. I remember this conversation I had with Nate (one of my favorites among a lot of conversations).
Since he enjoys painting, I, one time, made him choose a wall in my room for his work. I asked him where he wanted his artwork to be seen. He chose the wall closest to my door and setting things up got a little messy. He said, “Mom, I got some paint on the table and on the wall. Is that part of art?” I told him, “Yes, that’s part of art, my love. It’s okay. You can put paint everywhere if you want to.” In this exact moment, I knew I was teaching Nate that he doesn’t have to be too careful when he works on his craft. He can express himself however he wants to, whatever his preference is and that goes for anything. And when he grows up, I’ll always be there to support and assure him that everything is okay...may it be about his craft or life in general.
“Sharing a Meal Makes Home”
“‘Lutong Bahay’ shows the reality that moms really do constantly wonder about how their kids are doing, which is definitely something I can relate to. I raised my daughters to be responsible enough to manage themselves on their own, but that doesn’t mean that I think or worry about them any less. My eldest moved to another country over a year ago, so I find this especially true now.
It’s difficult to pinpoint one instance where I imparted these kinds of life lessons to my daughters, but we make it a point to have dinner together every night. We talk about our days over our meal. It’s our chance to catch up with each other after we come back from our respective workplaces. Without intentionally doing so, we end up picking up little life lessons from each other as we exchange stories and have dinner.”
“A Love Letter from Mom”
It’s me, mom. I’m likely writing this to a 16-year-old you because I like future-proofing and honestly, I don’t know what our relationship will be like when you hit puberty. Will you hate me? I hope not. Would I embarrass you? Not deliberately. But I wanted to write you because there are so many things I want to say to you but might not have the opportunity to do so, so here it goes.
You have three parents, two moms and a dad, you obviously know that but we can’t tell you enough how much we love and adore you. I’m sure you will have a lot of questions as you already do at the age of four. Surely, the why’s and how’s will evolve to more complicated inquiries and we would love to answer them as honestly as we possibly can.
As we’ve told you growing up, every family is unique and beautiful in their own way. Some kids are raised by their grandparents, some with just a mom or a dad and others with two dads, but please don’t be limited by the examples we’ve mentioned. The important thing is that regardless of family structure, the children are nurtured and loved.
It scares me sometimes that people around you or us may not understand and might even say hurtful things because our setup is different. But I hope we have shown you enough kindness to be understanding towards them instead but do speak up when necessary. Take the opportunity to educate those who are willing to listen but don’t force others to accept what they simply cannot. Choose your battles; you don’t owe the world an explanation, neither do you need their approval. But I hope that when all this becomes too much, you’ll always feel safe talking to us.
Life won’t be easy, but never ever forget what mom tells you: you can be anything you want to be. ANYTHING! So long as you put in work, the sky’s the limit. You can be a chef, a dentist or a hairdresser if you want to be. Never be confined with what other people say is a role/career just for men or women. There’s really no such thing; gender stereotypes were made up during a time when no one knew any better or were scared of the other sex. It’s the same with preferences; it’s not just girls that love pink or like to brush their hair and it’s not just boys that like to play ball or race cars. I’m writing all that down lest you forget. At four, I love that you already have varied tastes in movies, music and even toys. You sing along to Frozen or Moana just as you would to The Beatles or Jimi Hendrix. Playing cooking games are just as fun as shooting zombies for you and I really, really adore that. It just goes to show that stereotypes aren’t something we are born with; they’re ingrained upon societies, sometimes by family, school and even our peers. That’s why we (your mom, dad and I) have always made a conscious effort to teach you that.
When the time comes and you find love for the very first time, I hope you let us meet the person you choose to be with. Be kind, be respectful—and I mean this in every sense of the word: sex, boundaries, etc.—and just be in love! If and when you get your heart broken, your parents will always be here to listen. It might feel like the end of the world, but trust me, it isn’t. It will hurt because that’s what happens when you fall in love and it just stops. Allow yourself time to feel it—to feel human and to process what you’ve been through cause that’s something I didn’t learn how to do. Then when you’re ready, get back up, take what you’ve learned and try again. There’s no winning or losing in love anyway.
And just in case I haven’t told you enough: I love you .You are my joy. I’m proud of you, always. I trust that you will always try and do the right thing. I believe in you, always have, always will. And I’m very, very grateful the universe gave me you. Love you ‘a million and three thousand three hundred’ times,
To all the moms who’ve touched lives, raised kids and have become synonymous to home, a Happy Mother’s Day.