The loss of one baby led to a gathering of the rest. My eldest son Athelstan Emil came to visit over the last weekend of my not-quite-maternity leave and for a few days I had all my babies in one place.


Athelstan Emil “Kuya Pakx” turned 24 last March. He works for a call center in Cebu. He’s put on quite a bit of weight since I last saw him more than a year ago, which is a relief. At least I don’t have to worry about whether he gets enough to eat—it’s obvious that he does. Perhaps all the weight, in pounds and in years, have mellowed him. He no longer shooed his brother off the computer for his turn like he used to, and he amiably bore the spirited playfulness of his kid sister.

my babies

Xavier Lourenco “Kuya Maui” is turning fifteen in a few months. He ended 2nd year high school as Boy Scout of the Year, and has buckled down for the summer in front of—where else—his computer. One sure sign that he has matured was that he no longer traded barbs with his older brother while the latter was here. As a matter of fact I spied them sniggering between themselves while looking at a catalog of home theater chairs on several occassions. I didn’t ask them what they were sniggering about.

my babies

Himaya Amarantha “Maia” turned three last Valentines Day, and for a time would not go out of the house without her tiara. She has all but graduated from Dora to Barbie, in movies and in games, while passing through a Strawberry Shortcake phase. She is a charming little lassie with an inexhaustible supply of public relations ploys. She likes animals when she sees them on t.v. but she still needs to learn to stop screaming when she sees the real thing in front of her.

I have three babies to be extremely thankful for, an adoring husband, good health, a relatively comfortable life despite the hassles.

Each time I hear about or see someone in less fortunate circumstances I say to myself “There but for the grace of God, go I.”


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