Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Summer and Rainy Memories

Whoa! Halfway now through the summer break. April's gone just like that. And we remember it like the other past Aprils - sweltering heat. It's somewhat of small relief that at least it has been consistent that way, the weather I mean. It would have been such drastic climate change had the cold temperature we experienced from mid-January lasted until April. The weather in the northern countries, like the US and Canada, I gather from pictures shared by friends on Facebook had been so erratic, sunny today, snowing tomorrow. I guess it's become more 'normal' now, and they are enjoying spring and the cherry blossoms and tulips it brings. Thank, God.

My children are at mid-week now attending this yearly summer Bible Camp, which is organized by the Christian church we are blessed to be a part of. I mentioned in my post yesterday that we have to travel quite a distance to get to the church. The kids have to make a small sacrifice, waking up early like it's a school day. Curiously, they do not have to be forced out of bed. They do not complain about waking up early, the heat, and the commute, Kuya was okay toting a heavy backpack containing his Bible, a change of shirts for all three of us, face towels, and a hygiene kit, plus a water jug.

Yesterday, we took the taxi and train to get to the church. Today, we couldn't get a cab and ended up riding a jeepney to the train station. Looking at Garrett and Gab, I thought of the perils, and quickly scanned the other passengers. Not used to taking the jeepney, they seemed out of place to my eyes. Kuya put his jug on the floor, unknowing that it could be thrown off. Gab, seated on my left, was looking outside toward my direction, one hand clasped around the metal railing above the seat. But they were cool about the experience.

Why, time has changed so! I used to take the jeepney to school back in the 80s. I was in high school then and living in Quezon City. At dismissal, around 6pm, I'd hurry to Ali Mall in Cubao and run after my ride home, competing with other passengers. It was more challenging during the rainy months, normally when school just opened, around June to August. Imagine carrying a bag filled with books, clutching an umbrella, wearing a flimsy school blouse, and skirt. My shoes would get soaked, and at times, I, myself, would be soaked as well. They did not easily suspend classes then. The DepED, then DECS, strictly followed the storm signal as guide to suspending classes. Classes in high school only were suspended at signal no. 3! And that was rare. Now, you know the picture too well. Heavy rains can flood roads and prevent students from keeping to their school calendar.

Going back to my children's story, it's been a blessing to be present when they experience things for the first time. I let Garrett buy the train tickets. Gab is old and big enough to know how to slot in the card and get through the gates. The two would rather stand on the train. I told Garrett he could do that, should do that, actually, when he's all grown up. I said he has to offer his seat or stand as a courtesy to girls, women, the elderly, pregnant and PWD. The LRT line 2, plying Santolan-Recto-Santolan route, is comparable to Singapore or Hong Kong's MRT. Same manufacturer, I guess. That's one thing I'm happy about in terms of where taxes go.

I really enjoy this phase of my life. My children are spaced six years apart. And so it's now become manageable for the three of us to take off, take a train, a jeepney or a bus. They've also become easy to feed, not anymore the picky eaters they were not long ago. Yesterday, we left Quiapo around 1:30pm, in the thick of the summer heat. Not having had lunch, I was famished when we got off the train. The kids shared a cup of rice and a few pork chunks for lunch. I decided to have merienda at the station. We had siomai and donuts. Kuya and Gab, sweating and tired, ate with much delight, without any fuss.

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