Nel is the certified comedienne in the family. Ever since she turned 3, she has improved her language skills, though we still have to comprehend, if it is strictly Thai, English or Filipino. Whenever she drops a phrase in any situation in the family, it sure is a punchline and all of us will be laughing our hearts out.
As you all know, our visa has been approved and relatives in the Philippines has long been requesting that Nel be allowed to spend a few weeks there, if we can't afford to go home. As soon as the proposal is becoming imminent, Nel started to feel uneasy and started expressing that she doesn't want to go home.
We can't help but feel for our youngest daughter as she embrace me whenever we take a walk and tell me, Tatay, 'yoko uwi Pinas (Father, I don't want to go home in the Philippines). Ahhh, my heart is torn between giving in to the request of the relatives who took care of her for almost a year and my daughter wanting to be with her sisters, mother and father.
We tried hard to convince Nel that it will be a short visit and she'll enjoy her stay there. For a moment, she'll be eager to go home but as soon as time passes and she realizes reality, she's at her complaining and pitiful mood.
When my sister-in-law arrived, she's the one who would accompany Nel for her travel to the Philippines, Nel was very excited to welcome her and playfully embraced and entertained her. However, as soon as she realized that she'll be the one to accompany her back to the Philippines, she started to be aloof with Ate Beth.
We were able to convince Nel that the trip to the Philippines is a thing she should welcome.
So, at the day of her departure (last Monday, 21 May 2007), she gamely posed for the camera and was quite excited to go home. She was indeed excited to see her cousins, the children of Ate Beth. She now has three playmates.
She, however, stayed with my parents first then spent the weekend in Batangas, where my father-in-law and my sister-in-law's family stay.
During Nel's first few days in San Pablo City, we called her. The first sentence that she blurted to her mother, the first time she spoke very clearly, Nanay, ako iyak, miss ko na kayo. Uwi na ako diyan, ha?! (Mother, I cried, I miss you all, can I go home now?). It was devastating to hear that she misses us just as we miss her so much. But I know that our family in the Philippines also misses her that much.
Love is a balancing act and it is a difficult balancing act. We are hoping that the visit was a quality one for Nel and our relatives as it might take three years or more before we are able to visit them again.