There are three words more powerful than I Love You, and these are I Am Pregnant. Sweetheart. Followed by an eerie silence. As in “A Beautiful Life” on Netflix, the guy saw his life (past and future, I suppose) flash before his eyes; his dreams (if there are any clear ones) crumbling. That is, more or less, how 2/3 of my life started – 50 years ago.
But, hey, here we are, my wife and I will renew vows this Saturday, with five children and spouses, 11 grandchildren, and 180 friends and relations participating in our Golden Year. Our off-springs are running the whole show and footing most of the bill.
Half-a-century ago, it was a one-man-band operation. I chose the church, crafted the invitation, designed the attire of the entourage that my future mother-in-law sewed into perfection; dressed up the bridal car, a white Riviera that borrowed from an uncle; asked friends Boy and Doddie to be the photographers to cover the rites, and so forth. I asked my Mom to cook her best recipes for the reception. I thought, these were only natural for a man who wishes to honor his bride. Even if I was still confused on what the future would bring.
The bride was a beautiful doe – with Basque green eyes and splendid legs that her college friends described as “legs pa lang, ulam na.” She was sharp, witty, snappy, feisty, and proud. But on that moment she uttered those three powerful words, she had the look of a contrite Basset hound.
She was always a radiant pregnant woman. She’d go cold turkey from her chain-smoking and carry herself like she won a Miss Universe trophy with huge tummy. One time, a female colleague of hers in a television studio – with dozens of people around - saw her walk in, in her long maternity dress splashed with huge flowers in pastel, and shouted: “Hoy, ang ganda mong buntis! Sigurado ko, hanggang ngayon, kinakan… ka pa rin ng asawa mo!” She wilted and wanted to hide under a desk.
We are not supposed to admit this in a polite society but, what the eff, sex was (and is) terrific. I credit my parents, who had 14 children, for this joy. The wife and I begot five children. Raising them is a different story. But I always remind our kids that they will not be bringing in material wealth into their own relationship, only their talent, their name, and probably good education. So, even if we had to struggle with payments, we sent them to JASMS, Ateneo, and De La Salle. Our children being able to go to High School for the Arts and UP saved our skins.
Today, our four sons have chosen wives who are so much like their mother – clingy, hehe, and there is no other recourse but for them to work together, even if they took different courses in college. Our eldest and his wife, on bespoke cakes; our second and his wife, on his architecture; our third and his wife in BPO at home; and our bunso and his wife on marketing. Our unica hija is probably the only one who got my trait -driven and eternally dreaming. Way to go, Super Kids!