• middleofalovestory

MATHIS

I was secretly hoping for a boy for my last baby, because I always had a name reserved for one--Mathis--which in French means, "gift from God."

The kiss. That's how you feel love, I think. Everytime I kiss my youngest and breathe in his scent, I am reminded that I will do anything for this boy. I am only writing about my son here because my daughters will probably want to pre-approve my post. Psshh, teenagers.

He says he will build a room for me in his house when he has his own family because "I need to live with him forever and his wife just has to understand that and he will talk to her" (yes, it's his one sentence run-on), and that I will take care of his children and change their poopy diapers, just like I did for him.

Mathis was unplanned, unexpected, the biggest surprise in our family as I was already 36 when I had him. We had just moved from Los Angeles to Manila and 2 years after, I got pregnant. I was secretly hoping for a boy for my last baby, because I always had a name reserved for one--Mathis--which in French means, "gift from God." How absolutely apt and perfect for my only guy. Those pregnancy and infancy months of his were busy ones, as I am very hands-on with my kids (I bathe, feed, nurse for years, and bring them everywhere with me) and was juggling magazine editing for about 3-4 publications at the time. One magazine was still being published in the US, which meant I needed to be awake for practically the entire day if I had to juggle everything, especially if I had to organize a photo shoot, due to the time difference. And as is the case of too many balls in the air, each one dropped as I became busier, and eventually I switched careers.

For his older sister's birthday in 2019, we went to Osaka in July to celebrate and had a full-on, Universal Studios extravaganza day planned, However, Mathis contracted some sort of stomach virus going around on the 2nd night of our 3-night, 4-day stay, and he needed to be brought twice to the hospital. We were refused admission to the first ER we visited because the hospital was already closed (new to me, I always thought medical institutions were ope n24/7), and we were instructed that we had to bring him to a children's NIGHT hospital (no grown-up patients allowed), which thankfully was open because it wasn't a Sunday and they had a semi-English speaking doctor. We had our cab driver stay with us all throughout as it was about 11 PM already, and we needed to leave the girls at the hotel since taxis only take 4 passengers, and we were 5 traveling together. We were hopeful that after the meds they sent us home with that he would get better but he didn't, so Universal-palooza was out, and I just took the girls to Dotonbori again to shop for my daughter's birthday that day, and where we bought some Disney toys for the poor guy, whom we had to bring to the hospital again as he was still unwell (that night to a completely Nihongo crew, no English!). I was firm on them administering IV this time around, desperate to get him on the plane home.


The morning of our flight back, I was carrying around a full-grown, 7-year old child from our hotel to the airport bus station right under our hotel because he seemed too weak at the time to walk (thankfully no more fever), and despite my back aches due to his weight, I could only think about his pain during the trip. We couldn't even take a cab due to the damn, 4-pax only rule. We didn't want to be in separate vehicles in a foreign land either, and the ride was a long one. Mathis felt sad that none of us could go to Universal as planned, so now my husband and I said we owe him and our girls on a trip to a good theme park, but next time it will hopefully be in L.A. where the language barrier won't be an issue.


Up to this day he laughs so loud (a trait he got from me, aside from poor vision) when I tell him about the time he was a baby and did a number 2 while I was changing his diaper. He would ask where it hit me and as I tell the story for probably the 172nd time, it is still as funny to him as the first time. Boy humor for you.

I have a difficult time sleeping without him by my side, and cannot imagine the day he won't be doing so because he will be too old for it.

He is empathic, and knows the right thing to say to make me feel better. One time he heard me complaining to my husband that I'm sad because my tummy is getting bigger, and he says he doesn't mind at all, and that it's only because I gave birth to 3 people and it's not from food. I did say he was empathic, but I forgot to add idealistic, too. His nanny even told me that one time she was watching him, she fell asleep and Mathis slowly and quietly put a pillow under her head.


He is effortless in his studies, and gets first honors even if he doesn't really study much at home. He is the most organized one in our brood after me when it comes to picking up after himself. Things go back to where they find him--unless it's Lego, then it's in places we never know to look. I know when he isn't feeling well because he gets grumpy, which is unusual for my even-tempered, happy boy. I love that he organizes family fun days on Sundays, or at least family movie or dinner time, to make us all pause and revel in the luck of our togetherness.

I love our "unli-tummy" meals, because that's when he enjoys something I cooked and has a lot of servings. It's my greatest validation as a cook, even if it means I just fried something well to his liking. I have a difficult time sleeping without him by my side, and cannot imagine the day he won't be doing so because he will be too old for it. But I will still be very blessed to be able to witness those days come to fruition.


My love story with Mathis will live on until after my time on this Earth, because I make an effort to have stories with him. It always brings tears to my eyes that as the youngest, he will have me for less years than his siblings. But that's ok, because less time with him is infinitely better than none at all. Mathis was meant to complete our family. He says he will build a room for me in his house when he has his own family because "I need to live with him forever and his wife just has to understand that and he will talk to her" (yes, it's his one sentence run-on), and that I will take care of his children and change their poopy diapers, just like I did for him.


1/3 of the loves of my life. I will hold you to that, my son. This website is, in reality, a third yours. I hope you enjoy reading a snippet of our story one day.


Love you, Mathis, always and forever,

Mom


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