A vacation is defined as “a period of suspension of work or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel”. But what if you suspended some of your activity, traveled, kept doing what you love to do & never rested because everything you did was all fun?
Philippines. Batac. Home. Finally after 3 years I returned. The last time I was here was with Rya during the Christmas holidays to visit our son Ken and celebrate his birthday. This time it was different. It was just me, Ken and my daughter Kaye with the purpose to bond with family. More significant was that Papa Old, Mama Old and the rest of the family will finally get to meet Kaye.
Every morning I thank God as I watch how my son and daughter have grown. Handling 2 kids during this vacation was not that easy. But with family around I always get comforted when they make my task “to save the day” a little lighter.
The house never runs out of wonderful stories from morning till night. Mama Old hand-washes the children’s clothes before she heads out for school. Papa Old religiously feeds his geese, ducks and chickens. And at times you’d see Ken and his thrilling morning exercise of chasing these fowls. After that he takes a bath and heads over to auntie Amy who reads to him. He tried even help uncle Ben one Saturday when they were planting Pitaya (Dragon fruit) at the front yard. Ken reconnected immediately. With Kaye, it was a bit different. Her first week was marred with separation anxiety. From the moment her eyes opens. She never lets me out of her sight. My heart breaks every time I hand her over to someone.
Traditionally, all the grandchildren get to stay with Papa Old and Mama Old for several months. Ken stayed more than a year before joining us back in Japan. This time it was supposed to be Kaye’s turn. And as bad as it looks, I needed to be out of her sight gradually to accustom her to her new environment. So, sometimes I would visit Mama Old at the school where she teaches, spend some time with her pupils and exchange some photos with them. But most of the time, Ken and I would just go out. We would hit the local fastfood and have some burger and fries or cool down with halo-halo. One time I took him to his first trip to the barber. There was one afternoon that we came home late and we met Papa Old with his cow.
Everybody likes to gather at the veranda. Most of the time, cousins Monet, Kevin and Harry talk about their day here. This is also where we have those special Miki (noodles) late meriendas. We spend hours here until the children get sleepy.
As the day comes to a close, Kaye is at her best mood inside her crib surrounded by her favourite things. Papa Old and Mama Old talks to her while I prepare her milk and bottles for the night. Ken would then drag my hand and tell me it is time for us to go upstairs. As we leave the living room, the sight of Papa Old and Miguel arguing about what channel they should stay on never fails to make me smile. So I fix the bed and put them to sleep. Then I would talk to Rya on Skype, check my Twitter, check the shots I took that day, edit and at times, blog.
It is a kaleidoscope day when you are with family. As a photography enthusiast, what better way to treasure a family who values closeness than to capture every story it tells? The time that you are away from them is the time when you are having a vacation. The fun times, the small talks, the laughters you share together and even the times when you have those little disagreements will leave a lasting mark. You die a little when you are away from family. And the only way to fill in that void, to resurrect is to be with them once again. There is no rest when you truly love and are being loved. Because next to God, is family.
Rad Deverala – BushidoCalling