Learning To Love You More




Assignment #14
Write your life story in less than a day.

Chicago, Illinois USA



I'm taking my second "Learning to Love You More" challenge - assignment #14 - and writing my life story in more than one hour and less than twenty-four. Don't read any further unless you want to know the minutiae of my first thirty years. Instead, try writing your own, or try another project. I'm a bit intimidated by the assignment to make a child's outfit in an adult size (http://www.learningtoloveyoumore.com/index2.php).
I don't remember my first few years, but I hear about it from my lola, my mom, and my dad. I was born in Manila on Christmas Eve. I was a finicky eater and as a baby I wouldn't eat unless I was danced around first. My parents went to New York City to work and I was left with my lola, but I called her Mama Saling, in Cebu. I spent time in Barili with Mama Saling and Papa Pepe at their general store and had an aya who took care of me. I also spent time in Cebu City at my other grandmother Nanay's pharmacy (see picture above). Mama Saling told me the story of leaving the Philippines for the United States. Taking me to the U.S. was their first time on a plane. An hour into the flight, the plane had to turn around and go back because of mechanical problems. My grandmother was ready to cancel the trip, but my uncle, a pilot, convinced them it would be okay. When I was reunited with my parents, I didn't recognize my mother and preferred to spend time with my lola and my aunt, although i didn't know my aunt anymore than I did my mother. Mama Saling was left to spend time with my aunt so I would have time to get used to my parents again.
My first actual memories are from the time we lived in Solon, a suburb of Cleveland. I was 3 or 4 and I remember loving bananas. My mom told me not to eat too many bananas so I preceded to eat so many that I threw up bananas on a knitted poncho I was wearing. I loved Wonder Woman and watched it at my babysitter's house. Afterwards, I would spin around in circles trying to become Wonder Woman. I'd imagine having her bullet-repelling wristbands, truth-telling lasso, invisible jet, and red boots. I was already a klutz at 4 or 5 and broke my arm playing tackle football with a boy that I liked. My mom says I just sprained my wrist, I just remember being in a sling and him having to kiss me for hurting my arm. I also fell into the toilet a few times (I was really small) and fell out of bed. The first time I accidentally swallowed gum, I worried when I heard it would stay in my stomach for seven years. That sounded like a really long time.
When we moved to Bryan, I never thought of our first house, a ranch, as a real house. How could a house be a house without a second floor? For awhile, I shared a room with my little sister. We'd stay up at night talking. Isn't it nice? The intimacy of a conversation held in the dark (or the light of a night-light), the wonder about who was going to fall asleep first, waking up the next morning not remembering who ended up falling asleep first?
**Note: This is as far as I got before I petered out...a lot more history left to tell.