WAYWARD AND FANCIFUL: Missing Mothers Day and Philippine elections

SKIEN, Norway (MindaNews/09 May) — It was 2am at a cozy cabin in Fossingfjord on the sunny side of Norway when my phone started beeping with incoming messages. I had forgotten to put it on silent mode when I left it on the sidetable. At 3am, I gave up and checked it. I was getting Happy Mothers Day greetings from folks back home.

More came in when I checked after breakfast. I took out my notebook to check my email and found a sweet novella of a Happy Mothers Day greeting from Filmor.

I read out Filmor’s message to Ryan Europa who was on the other side of the dining table preparing a rental ad to put up. I was visiting Ryan where he had settled in Norway. Now married to Tim Nilsen, a bugoy accountant from Skien, Ryan was the picture of happiness and contentment. He’s started schooling to train for mental health services here.

Filmor’s email expressed his deep sorrow at contemplating his impending leave of my nest. It told of his appreciation at how I have come to become a mother to him. Ry made clucking sounds and smiled sympathetically as I choked up every now and then.

Well, God thought it best not to give me boys to birth. My boys came to me all grown and not needing to have their noses and bottoms wiped. See them filling up my office. They come and go, but there’s always three or four whose footsteps would converge at my door at any given time. Yeah, I do seem to have a knack at mothering boys. They come off stronger and more sure of what they can do and what they want in life.

Soon, it seems like it’s a given that they’ll go away and take root somewhere. But I’ll always find them again. It’s always a great pleasure to check up on one of my boys and to find them well and happy and living their lives being a blessing to others. Like Ryan.

I arrived in Skien four days ago when there was still a biting chill in the air. Almost immediately, Tim bundled us all in the car to catch the snow at his mountain cabin in Seljord. The perfect host, he rustled up snow gear for me. He helped me strap on my snow shoes with a reminder to “Walk like you’ve got balls.”

And for three days more, he had me walking like I indeed had balls – through the snow and the mountains and down by the beach. Tim is like a walking NatGeo guide – a veritable fount of details on Norway’s history, geography, its people, traditions, and industries. He genuinely loves this land of crags and fjords and is proud of the people who tamed it.

So there I was on Mothers Day morning relishing the reception Tim and Ryan had given me. Norway is about the outdoors and that, much to my delight, was indeed was what they gave me.

Now and then, I lurk on my Liane’s Facebook to find hubby mothering our girls while I am away. Father Hen is in charge. Their happy faces grin back from the movies and the rally and mall archery and eating out. Yep. They don’t make men like they used to. Thank heavens for that!

No, I won’t make it back in time to vote. I ran away to Europe to get away from the crazed election fever. Born youngest, I had gotten used to living with someone else’s choices to the way we live. Not that there was much choice on this one.  So, yeah, let’s just get it over with so we can come back to whatever it was we were doing before we go so rudely interrupted. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Wayward and Fanciful is Gail Ilagan’s column for MindaViews, the opinion section of MindaNews. Ilagan teaches at the Department of Psychology at the Ateneo de Davao University. She is head of the Center of Psychological Extension and Research Services. You may send comments to [email protected] “Send at the risk of a reply,” she says.)