Saturday, May 10, 2008

ever again, all about her

No contest, us fathers are no match to our kids' mothers. We have no wombs, to begin with, and most of us can only endure the sloppy shape of never-ending pregnancy borne out of all that booze and sloth. No matter if our kids fancy us to be their own Superman, it's often their mothers they run to out of their scraped knees and even when they get circumcised or crazed and dazed about their first monthly period.

Not that I'm complaining. See, I myself confess there's no outgrowing whom I owe the privilege of coming out of her womb. She whose frail frame has absorbed the usual burden, more a matter of choice than necessity every mother worth her milk, birthmark, or wrinkles has become--the stereotype of sacrifice.

My Mama Violeta, veritably nothing out of the ordinary. She who makes any grateful child graceful for simplifying the complicated choreography or stunt of selflessness only because she renders it all--like the lady being sawed inside a magician's box--so easy to see but tough to live up to: tenderness, patience, resilience. (My mother, who finished only grade one, could not read and would only wince at these words, these squiggles of abstractions she steeled me to come to terms with when she inspired me to read, write, read, write as if my life depended on it.)

Hands down, no matter how low we fall, misfortune is not so miserable as long as we have our mothers to call and cry our hearts for when it hurts. Indeed, wretched becomes the world left orphaned or deserted by mothers (or, worse, haunted by the reincarnation of Joan Crawford from Mommie Dearest).

How far some mothers go for the sake of their children? Spare me some feminist polemics or further bleeding-heart blather. Consider and see, instead, what Pedro Almodovar shows in his feast of a film, Volver. Yes, there's no magic like mother.

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