The weekend visit to the mother‘s salon ended with a dinner with the third sister, the nephew, the first niece, and (of course) the mother. The mother paid for dinner. Another meal saved. I’m loving these visits. Pardon my parasitic tendencies.
It was nice to see three generations of the family in a table. I finally got to enter the (for me – recently opened) Mang Inasal restaurant at Los Baños Junction. It seemed that it has been open for about a month – and I never really noticed it. The place isn’t really part of my daily route.
In the middle of the dinner, the nephew seemed to be deeply troubled. He was scratching the side of his face. Something he does when he’s irritated, cranky,… basically to deal with negative emotions. He could not contain it so he blurted, “Why don’t I have a soup?” Immediately, three bowls of soup were offered to him from the mother, the third sister, and from me. We requested for another bowl of soup. We ate in peace – for a while.
There was that face scratching again. “Spoon,” the nephew demanded for his soup. He just had to have a different spoon for the soup. I was amused. I looked at the third sister and said “Ang arte niyang anak mo ha”. A small shared laugh in the table. The niece was patiently assisting the nephew with his food. That was odd. I would have expected the niece to focus on her meal. She has high appreciation for food and it’s usually with great focus that she deals with food. But no, she was prioritizing the nephew – her cousin – and she was very patient (totally uncharacteristic of this niece). I learned later that the niece seemed to have made a habit out of observing the nephew with same intensity as a researcher would in an experimental subject. Plus this nephew was really looking forward to having a baby brother (to the anxiety of the eldest sister). The nephew seems to be the only thing the niece is patient about.
The mother, beat from the day’s work at the salon, was looked – well… exhausted. She let go of some of the salon staff so she was doing the hair treatments, hair cut, and pedi/manicures. She looked tired but fulfilled. She looked like a mother. of course we’ll never tell her she looks tired. We provided the feel-good talk about how hard she worked and how great the salon was doing. At least she’d sleep feeling good. She’s constantly in need of confirmation – aren’t we all?
Family gatherings – yep, this dinner is considered a family gathering (Our family is quite small) – provides the opportunity to note changes in us, share gossip,and update observation notes on the mother. She’s never the boring part.