I was like a chocolate in a box, looking well-behaved and perfect in place, all the while harboring a secret center. – Deb C.
The nicest things about surprises are the squeals, followed by the hugs, followed by that moment of silence when people try to piece things together.
My mom and grandma were surprised to see my sister and brother home from Manila.
I was hiding behind the kitchen counter waiting for my cue to appear. When my sister led them to the kitchen for water I jumped up!
Screams and hugs filled the house! Sorry for the blur, these are video stills.
My mom kept on looking behind my shoulders waiting for someone else to pop up. She asked that I bring out my husband. Haha.
When Dominique was younger, she used to confuse me with my sister joy. When I re-watched our videos I noticed that during that moment of surprise, she was quietly standing at the side watching. It took her a brief second to recognize me and on her own she quickly squeezed through my mom and grandma and ran straight into my arms shouting, ”tita Violet!”
The last time I was home, this little munchkin wasn’t talking yet. Now Zeus is all witty and bubbly.
Oh my, I see my wide smiles (all teeth and gums) in them.
This was the nice long steps leading up to the house. These two were tasked to help carry fresh coconuts for welcome drinks.
This little boy left his ”duty” on the steps and chose to run up and down instead. I guess it was too heavy for him.
But this little girl carried a total of 5 coconuts up the house.
And was all smiles doing it.
Fresh buko juice and a half-naked man.
After the excitement died down a little…
Soon the older kids (Beth, Sam and Zion) arrived from school.
This time I hid in the toilet. I was about to go out and surprise them when Zion turned the door knob going in. Seeing me, he loudly yelped in fright. The kids ran to him and focused on my face for a few seconds.
All at the same time, they shrieked my name and rushed in to hug me.
”Where’s kuya Sam?” they asked one after the other. So that’s what happens when you get married. People will be asking me this question all my life. Haha.
My first meal. Adobo for lunch!
I love my sister-in-law. She is the sweetest mom and the most patient wife and cook I’ve ever met.
Nikki spends quality time with Lola.
When I was a little kid, I loved sitting next to my grandma while she prepares her betel nut mix and listen to all her stories about crocodiles, wild pigs and Japanese soldiers.
Dinner time – grilled stuffed fish and green leafy vegetables!
The classic night-ender.
It was a God-given, good day after all!