July 15, 2024

(Editors’ note: The Midland Courier is reprinting the columns of the late Atty. Benedicto T. Carantes as a tribute to one of its long-time columnists. This piece was published on March 11, 2008.)

“A mother’s work is never done,” or simply put, “once a mom, always a mom.”
On the hour of your birth, your mom greets you with a welcome to life kiss, and the very first smile and the first trickle of tear on your first day on earth comes from your mother’s lips and eyes, a happy scene that will occur many times over throughout your worldly stay.
Six years later, you wonder why there are tears in her eyes and a smile on her face when she accompanies you on the first day to school, and letting go of her hand is the last thing you want to do.
Perhaps one day, when you are much older.

While your dad roams around telling friends and anyone who cares to listen that you take after him soon upon graduating from high school or college with honors, and hurdling the Bar or the Certified Public Accountant or the Engineering and Medical exams after that, the nice lady attending to the congratulating guests and not making any such claim is the one who you really inherited the brains from.
If biological studies are to be believed, it is actually the women who provide the grey matter in the family, also the ones who take time out to teach you how to read, write, and do the Math, and peek into your room night after night making sure your nose is buried deep in your textbook — not watching TV, or doing some other childish act like playing Spiderman or some other super hero.

But there are moments when she indulges you, and no happier pair is there than a mother and child having fun together, her make-believe young hero that she has to feed when he gets all popped out and hungry.
Who else but your mom kisses the bruise on your knee and puts adhesive over it, telling you what a brave big boy you are, at the same time wiping away your tears.
Who makes sure your snack and lunch box are in your schoolbag, while your dad keeps honking his horn because he is late for his morning chitchat with his colleagues, even if you are 15 minutes too early for school.
Who fetches you when class is over, carrying an extra umbrella to keep you from getting wet while braving the strong rain, stepping up to the middle of the street to flag down a passing taxi, yet keeping you safe behind her back, and just as soon as you arrive home, strip you of your drenched clothes, gives you a hot bath, and later covers you with a blanket to keep you warm, chanting, “pekkel, pekkel, pekkel, daras, daras, dumakkel” while massaging your frail body?

Whose spaghetti has no equal in the world, that lures your playmates and the other neighborhood kids to your house, carrying their own plates in case your mom mistakenly thinks they are there just to pay you a visit?
Who tucks you in bed at night, and helps you say your bedtime prayers?
Who braids your hair, and preens you up like everyday were a Sunday?
And years later, who listens to your woes when you are having trouble with the other half, and takes pains to put you back together, and as much as you want to spend the night in her house still pent up in anger, she will firmly say “no”, and tell you to go back home to your spouse, and not let your ego or pride get the better of you.
Who trains you how to be a mother to your children, and not act like the spoiled daughter that you once were?

And what reward does she expect?
Nothing, except to see that you turn out right – a good person and a good Christian.
And even if you do not, you will always be her baby.
Why do mothers melt so easily when it comes to their babies, grown-up or infant?
And if she has to storm the gates of heaven so that your stay in this world will be a long and happy one, she will gladly do so – carrying rosaries and prayer pamphlets in her bag, as well as images of the Blessed Mother, while traveling all the way to Manaoag to plead your case, and no matter if you have forgotten God, she will always be there pitching for you, telling the Almighty as if He were a gullible Being, that deep inside and in her own heart, you are really a good person, except that you need to be guided every now and then.
Dads pretend otherwise, but we all know that mothers are the greatest angels in the world.
Enjoy your mom while she is still with you.
Happy Mothers’ Day!