Sunday…Father And Son

26 Aug

sunday 04It’s a rare Sunday that we find time to be together these days. Household errands that we don’t have time to do on weekdays get squished in with weekend chores, making our already heavy weekend schedule even heavier. Between shopping for groceries, paying the bills, and ferrying a son to and from his activities (be it soirees, math tutorials, or org activities), there isn’t all that much time left for family fun and excitement.

Reflecting on this, we suddenly remembered how long ago it has been since Alphonse had time away from home and from his nannies. It seemed like perfect timing that his nannies were set to go on a day out last Sunday, and we decided to plan around this with a short trip for him.

Deciding on the activity, however, took longer than we thought, as each of us- his dad, Big Brother Alex, and myself- had our own ideas on where Alphonse will find the most enjoyment. We thought of a zoo, an ocean park, an out-of-town resort, but each was met with some form of discussion. Alphonse has no affinity or interest in animals, so why bother with the zoo? The ocean park, which we confess we’ve never been to, seemed like a perfect place at first, until we found out that some areas were still inaccessible to a wheelchair (Alphonse does best in public places when he has his own wheelchair to sit in when he gets tired). And with traffic at the SLEX bordering on sadomasochism even on weekends, we shelved the idea of leaving the city until the roads get better.

In the end, we decided on just a quick trip to the mall for some walking and an early lunch. The Mall of Asia seemed like a perfect choice; it was far enough from our home to give Alphonse a good road trip, yet near enough to be able to immediately go home when he starts feeling overwhelmed. We scheduled our visit to coincide with the mall’s opening to avoid the crowds, and luckily for us, Sunday before lunch wasn’t too crowded.sunday 01

I could sense that in the beginning, Alphonse was a little tense, probably unsure of what will meet him there. While waiting for the elevator, we spied a group of teenage girls who were eyeing my boys intently. Alex pretended not to notice (oh, well, he has his heart set on a lovely girl codenamed Umbrella), and Alphonse, well, let’s just say he was feeling a little too nervous to smile. When we decided to walk down the stairs, however, we caught them following us, whispering in hushed tones and stealing glances. “Alphonse has a groupie,” we kidded him and that made him smile a little.

The trip to the mall took less than two hours and Alphonse seemed a little bewildered by it all. For the most part, he clung to his dad and held on even when their hands started to sweat from all the handholding. But he did smile and say “Hi” to kindly shop personnel, though we could sense that his heart was not in it. A patiently guided Alphonse with verbal reminders and cues, pacifying him when it seemed as if he was ready to jump out of his skin. Alex made sure Alphonse was always well-protected (not too near the railings, hands away from the elevator door, things like that), it was almost like having a burly bodyguard on call.

At home, later that afternoon, A and Alex took turns watching over Alphonse while I did the dishes and cleaned up after them. Alphonse would lie in his dad’s arms and snuggle, or he would request to blow bubbles with him. A must have noticed that I was a little tired after lunch so he gamely took on Alphonse all by himself. Alex had already dozed off at the foot of our bed.

sunday 02I laid down in bed, my head resting on a pile of pillows, watching my husband and son play. My eyelids felt heavy but sleep didn’t want to come yet. Eyes half-closed, I watched A lovingly kiss Alphonse on the forehead. My vision blurred with tears. Here was our son, our almost grown-up boy at fourteen, still very much a baby even after all these years. Funny how he was happiest not at the mall, or the park, or at an outing, but just with us, surrounded by us. My last thought as the Sandman took me by the hand: Sundays, it seems, are perfectly made for father and son.

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One Response to “Sunday…Father And Son”

  1. SHEN August 27, 2009 at 3:03 am #

    this made me tear up so badly i have to reapply my eyecream before bed.. i’ve never been close to my dad. But sundays for me was always mom and Shen day.. and this just made me realize how badly i want to be with mom again, just for one more sunday. ok.. i’m crying again. gotta stop already!

    Hi, dear Shen! I was a mommy’s girl, too, growing up, and even now that I am old and have a life separate from my parents, I still need that little bit of time to be just a mommy’s girl again. 🙂 I think that from where your mom is in heaven right now, she’s mighty proud to have had you as a daughter. Hugs! ~♥Kittymama

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