Ate Bea

Bea has quickly gotten used to having a sibling.

While we were in hospital, Bea stayed at my parents’ house. I decided that it would be best for her not to visit, because she could catch whatever sickness if she did. So she and my mom fetched me and Paco from the hospital on the day we were discharged. I didn’t want her to come home to find a strange baby in the house, although we prepped her months before. Julio and his mom rode in another car. I was sitting on a wheelchair by the hospital driveway, holding Paco in my arms, and suddenly there she was, standing a few feet away from me. I’ll never forget the look on her face. She was incredibly excited to see me, but she was apprehensive about the little bundle in my arms. Her Manang Gina brought her closer and I hugged her as best I could and told her I missed her. Then I introduced her to Paco. In the car, she sat on my lap and Gina held Paco. Bea was curious but didn’t want to come any closer. When we got home, she asked to hold him so I made her sit on the couch hold out her arms, and put Paco in her lap. After less than a minute, she asked, “Can you get him na?”

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Bea loves to nuzzle her little brother and always pulls on my arm when I’m holding him so I can bend over and she can rub her nose against his cheek or give him a kiss. She used to pinch her tummy while she drinks her milk but now she’s taken to rubbing either one of his fingers or one of his toes.

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We co-sleep (trying to move her to her big girl room is for another blog post!), and the first couple of nights after Paco came home were difficult for her. I was afraid it would go on that way for a while! The first night, I put a pillow between the two kids because I was afraid she would roll over him in her sleep. That was the least of my worries! Paco would wake up crying, wanting his milk, and Bea, not used to the noise, would also wake up but kicking and screaming. I had to tell her several times not to kick because she could accidentally kick Paco but in her sleepy and muddled state, she couldn’t/wouldn’t comprehend. Julio had to restrain her and she soon fell asleep again. So instead of nursing side-lying like I would have liked, I had to do it cradle-hold and hold Bea with my other hand to calm her down. The second night, the same thing happened but she kept kicking out so Julio picked her up and put her on the floor. That made her livid! She screamed louder and cried harder. I talked to her and told her if she was ready to stop kicking then she could come back up. Otherwise, she’d have to stay on the floor. After a while (it seemed like forever), she quieted down and climbed back on the bed. Since then, she and Julio have slept through Paco’s wails and I’m the only one who wakes up!

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Sig

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October 1, 2013

My sister is getting married this afternoon.

The whole family, except my older brother, his wife, and their son (who fly in from Singapore today) arrived at Tagaytay yesterday and will be staying until tomorrow. We’re staying in a gorgeous 3-level house in Balai Taal that has a great view of Taal lake. Isabel’s fiancé and soon-to-be in-laws are staying in an identical house next to ours.

For dinner last night, we bought wine, cold cuts, cheese and bread from Säntis and had a very relaxed meal in the dining area. I think my sister appreciated that. She was getting slightly stressed about the gifts for the principal sponsors, and I guess just a little anxious about the big day.

I’m a bit anxious myself.

She’ll always be my little sister (but bigger than me) and, although I’m older by eight years, I like to think we have a good relationship. It could be better, but I think we’re quite close. When she was a toddler, I used to carry her around the house and we would wear matching dresses (our mom’s idea, not ours).

For someone who, as a little girl, once thought holding hands was scandalous, she has come a long way. Isabel has found in Nicky her best friend, business partner, and soulmate. They’re so much alike and can be mistaken for siblings, if not for all the cheesiness and PDA.

She, of course, will be moving in with her new husband. I will miss arriving at Abada and seeing Isabel coming down for breakfast, with bed head and still in her pajamas. I will miss seeing her beg Bea for a kiss and a hug on her way out. She and Nicky will live in Makati and although she promises to visit often, I don’t think I will see her aside from the regular Sunday family dinners. When we were younger, our parents always insisted on having meals as a family, and I suppose that’s the main reason my siblings and I have the relationship we have today. After I got married, Jiro, Isabel and I got together a few times for sibling lunches but that stopped when I had Bea. We finally had one again about a month ago, and I think we should try to make it a regular date.

I’m sure the wedding will be beautiful and the food will be superb. I like Nicky and know that he will love and take care of Isabel, but I can’t help but feel a little sentimental that my little sister will no longer be my little sister by the end of the day – if that makes any sense.

Sig