14 November 2006

My special kid Nokie

WHEN I brought her to our annual retreat in Silang, Cavite sometime in 2004, Nene Guevara said Nokie -- then only a little over one year old -- looks just like her father. As Patricia Anne (Nokie's real name) is growing up, I think Nene is right: Nokie is indeed turning out to be a chip off the old block, or an old bloke, if you will.

The other night as I was to motor to the central bus terminal at the city center for an overnight trip to Manila, Nokie was crying a river and wouldn't let go. Clad in her favorite red Japanese kimono, her arms are flailing in vigorous gesticulations, mostly pointing outside the house. She wants to go with me, but can only hand motion about it. At three, she has yet to find her full gift of speech.

That makes her our own special child, and the object of her father's deep affections. Which Nokie returns in full measure. Dropping my backpacks, I embraced her one more time and explained that Papa had to go away for a job -- but will soon be back in no time, with the promise to let her tag along once more as her older sisters take their dance lesson at the Ateneo.

The promise calmed her down, reduced the cries to sobs and she then eventually bade me goodbye. It eased a lot the difficulty of leaving. But I now have a promise to keep, and Nokie is not one who easily forgets.

Fulfilling promises will certainly not only bring a wide smile on her face; it will also have a soothing cathartic effect on a father who needs to go away from time to time. But nothing will replace the immense joy that would come when Nokie finally speaks, and tells her father how much she loves him.

4 comments:

dave (",) said...

Aww..

Yep, that's one thing I learned from tutoring kids, never break a promise to them. There is no excuse.

And then there are the imaginary promises. Sigh.

mschumey07 said...

Kids sure make a father's day. I miss the way my kids asked me to carry them. They've both grown up now but still very malambing. Kids are the best blessings God gave to us parents.

Dominique said...

Awww.... That's just about the only thing I can say. She's very cute!

On a more serious note: have you thought about a speech therapist? It may just be a phase she's going through. There are also some simple signing languages that you can both learn so she gets to communicate.

Let me check with my speech therapist friend in Cebu if she can recommend anyone in your part of the country.

grace said...

Hi. Thanks. Kids, kids... They're the reason why I work hard. But sometimes I have no time to attend to my daughters' feelings especially when I have to spend long hours at work. Chatting while driving them off to schools are just one of the most quality times for me.

I love this article you wrote.