Today I celebrated my first real Mother’s Day. I really felt like a mum.

I didn’t mention anything to Jerry about Mother’s Day (actually I had completely forgotten), but this morning while I was typing a poem on the blog, he suddenly ran up to me shouting “Happy Mother’s Day Tita Mel, I love you!”, then gave me the best hug ever.

Our day consisted of reading Dr Seuss’ If I Ran the Circus; trying to catch wild kittens with pieces of mop-head tied to a long piece of string; tears “because I don’t have any friends Tita Mel!” and excitement when his best friend Nonoy and elder sister arrived as an afternoon surprise.

We had a special Mother’s Day lunch of Shanghai Rice with Fish Sisig, and drank Pepsi. When the afternoon sun became bearable we loaded into a tricycle (along with the BFF et al) and went to the cemetery to visit his Nanay (mother) Veronica who died in 2012. Lighting a candle, pulling out weeds and saying a prayer, Jerry also proudly showed us a new leg-wound complete with blood and thick scratches (Nonoy was very impressed).

We don’t have any photos of Jerry’s mother but while we squatted to light candles at the grave of Nonoy’s older brother, Jerry told me she had short hair and used his hands to indicate a length just above the shoulder-line. Jerry found tiny red flowers and sprinkled them along headstones explaining very earnestly there was a little baby buried under his feet, right where he was standing.

Those two little boys tore along the dirt road leading out of the cemetery, kicking stones and chasing each other only stopping to admire a sportsy-kind of old-car being repaired behind a crack in the fence. We found another tricycle without having to cross the busy main road.

Back at the house Jerry and Noy modelled play-doh fish and sea monsters, running around using beach sarongs as super-hero capes until eating and goodbye time.

Jerry fell asleep about 30 minutes ago in his Superman Pyjamas and the last thing he said before closing his eyes … “was I a good boy today Tita Mel?”.

Yep, he really was.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mum’s out there. I get it now.

© Melinda J. Irvine

Can you see Jerry downstairs trying to lure feral cats out from under the corrugated iron?