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For what most parents find as an ordinary weekend event, chaperoning my 9 yr old to his badminton practice was definitely a day to remember for me.

I woke up 4:00 AM so I can prepare a special breakfast for the kids and get our stuff ready before 7:00 AM.  Andrei woke up at exactly 6:00 AM.  This is his routine since his school starts an hour later on weekdays.  And once he gets into a habit, it takes a lot to break it.

We watched some of his morning cartoons before he started getting ready.  We are supposed to meet his coach and the other players at the school gym which is just a 5 min walk from our house.

Enrolling him to a regular school might not be the best for him. Those words still ring in my ears.

He transferred to his new school just this year and I’ve always worried for him. We started to walk.

“Mama, if I lose, that’s okay ,right? Because I will have fun anyway?” Andrei said.

For him to understand, he needs to see it…consistently.

I gave him a slight nod and a smile.  I think he understood.

When we got to the gym, I saw Andrei’s coach loading up the players on the school bus.  She told me they’ll need to practice somewhere else with a better gym facility and I can join them if I wanted.

He will function better on familiar surroundings.  He will easily get overwhelmed.

“I’ll definitely go with you if you don’t mind, please.”

As a working single mom, I’m blessed with many of my relatives who are more than willing to be baby sitters on weekdays.  But on weekends, I try to make up for it.  It’s my first time to meet the other players and his coach.  As we got on the bus, I quickly scanned the excited mini-athletes. They didn’t seem to notice us as they busily chatted with the other kids.

He will have a hard time getting along with the other children.

“Hello Marcus! Hi ma’am! Are you Marcus’ mom?” waves a few girls who look to be about 5 years older than him.  They’re calling him with his first name.  It was nostalgic for me.  I remember my days when school meant a whole new world for me.  I can create my own nickname, I can choose my own friends, and it’s practically like a new place to be a new me.

We sat at the back of the bus and patiently waited to get to the practice venue.

His disorder might also affect his physical development.

“Andrei, aren’t you the smallest among the players?”  I must said that too loud as one of the students in front of us stood up and faced us.

“Hello, I’m Krizel. Yeah, he is the smallest… and the youngest too.  His doubles partner is like a feet taller than him.  He’s like our baby.”  Did he pass the group because he is cute? I thought jokingly.

“But he is one of the quickest!” she pressed on excitedly.  “He moves and catches the ball really quick, we so envy his energy.”

You need to watch his diet.  Not too much sugar.  He’s going to be very hyperactive if you don’t control it.

They told me that he and his doubles partner is actually one of the reasons why they want a better facility for practice.  He can’t seem to grasp the rules inside the school gym.  They thought maybe because it was too small and muggy.  He hasn’t been on a real badminton court to so they want to see him play with an actual badminton net and court.

Some with the same condition as he does will have difficulty getting instructions. If you write them down on a board where he can always see it, it might help.

I seriously like this group of kids.

There were three available courts for them to practice on. They did some warm ups while I found myself a comfortable corner to watch from.  Two girls from high school and the coach called Andrei to join them start some practice rallies.  He wasn’t half bad at all.  He loved the game.

When they started practicing his serves, it went downhill.

“Andrei, that’s not allowed when you’re serving.”

“Andrei, your serve was short!”

“Wrong court…”


“You have to serve from the right side…its odd number now so serve from the left…”

Show him, don’t tell him. Show him.

Andrei started stomping his feet across the court each time he failed.  He looked frustrated and seemed like he was about to cry.

Too many voices; too many words. 

I asked the coach if I can help.  He was nice enough to let me.  I borrow an extra racket and asked Andrei to join me on the other court.  It’s been a while since I played this game but I still remember the basics.  I showed Andrei the basic position when serving to get to the direction we needed and for it to reach the other side of the court.  Seeing it done made it easier for him.  After 20mins of just us practicing, he improved a lot. He beamed with delight as he felt more confident.

I told his coach to just yell “Watch your feet, watch how you hold the racket.” Next time he forgets the serving position.  That’s the keyword I used and the more repetitive he hears them; it will make more sense to Andrei.  It’s just another habit he is learning.  The coach’ nod was meek and measuring.  I hope I didn’t make him feel like I was stepping into his toes.

Andrei played better and was in a better mood at the rest of the practice.  Inside, I’m struggling if I should mention to the coach that Andrei is special.  The last thing I wanted was for them to think that I’m asking for a special treatment for my son.  I only wanted them to understand.

Back at the bus, Andrei immediately dozed off.  He looked happy.

I sat next to the coach and asked if he’s got a minute. He probably dread having to deal with parents all the time who thinks they know better.

“Andrei was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder when he was 3 years old. I’d like to tell you more about him if you have the time.”

The coach obviously did not expect what I said.  Andrei looked normal for the most part. He laughs and plays like the other kids.  He has gestures that most would confuse as just another mannerism. But there’s more to it.  We talked until we got back to school.  We agreed that I can help out in training every chance I got.  And I think for the both of us, it has been an interesting day.


I’m in no way attempting to educate the people around me what Autism is about as I’m still learning it myself as I tread through life with my little boy.  The word ‘spectrum’ describes the range of difficulties that people with ASD may experience and the degree to which they may be affected. Some people may be able to live relatively normal lives, while others may have an accompanying learning disability and require continued specialist support.  As for my son, I don’t know which route he’ll take.  I just pray that I have the strongest heart so I can walk with him along the way, and along the road, maybe I get to meet one person at a time and tell them how special life is when in a constant colorful puzzle.

While some people live within the box…

and some thinks outside the box…

My child does not see the box.

Learn more about Autism.


002 Mama Bear Says

Posted: October 8, 2014 in Mama Bear
Tags: ,

They say:
Learn from your mistakes….

Mama Bear Says:
Learn from somebody else’s mistake!

Do your research, and if didn’t work, you don’t replicate…
But you innovate!


Posted: September 28, 2014 in Mist
Tags: , , ,

Sticks and Stones may break bones

But words can also hurt me

Stick and stones break only the skin

While words are ghosts that haunt me

Pain from words will leave its scars

On mind and hear that’s tender

Cuts and bruises now have healed

But it’s the words that I remember.


I was 13.  I had an afternoon snack with a friend to celebrate her birthday and on my way home, my cousin drove by and stopped next to me. He looked upset and asked me where I was.  I told him I was with a friend for her birthday party.

“You’re out partying, while grandpa was dying!” I heard him say before he drove away.  I stood motionless on the side of the street probably for 5 minutes, probably more.  I couldn’t remember.  I was trembling.  I remember praying to God that it wasn’t true.  That it was just one of his bad jokes. Or that I was dreaming.

My heart was pounding hard and slowly ran back home.  I was two blocks away.  When I got home, there were so many people… relatives, neighbors, people I didn’t know.

I ran to my grandparent’s bedroom. And I saw him lying in bed, lifeless.  No one tried to comfort me. Why would they?  I wasn’t his daughter, I wasn’t his son.  I was just the spoiled grandchild they who took away my grandfather’s attention from everyone else.

When I was born, they said my mother left me with my grandparents to marry another man.  Honestly, I’ve heard different versions on why and how my mother left me.  I didn’t care really.  All that mattered to me was that I felt loved and cared for by my grandparents, especially my grandfather.  He sent me to school using the little retirement money that they had. Fed me, took care of me when I was sick, hugged me when I felt alone and bullied.  He read me stories, and made me feel what it was like how to have a family.

I ran and sat in the corner of my bedroom and cried.  I wanted to scream my heart out.  I hated the world, I hated God, I hated everyone, I hated my grandfather and most of I hated myself.

Because I could’ve been with him and told him I loved him and I that I appreciated everything he did for me, and that I needed him.  Maybe…just maybe he could’ve still been alive.

Instead, like what I remember everyone was saying; I was out partying.


I was 19.  It was late at night and I was walking down the street going to a friend’s house.  I was 3 hours away from home so I wanted to wait until its morning before I take the bus.  I asked a friend if I could sleep on their couch tonight.  He said his parents said it was fine.

I was supposed to be with my boyfriend to meet his family.  But the night did not go as expected.  We exchanged hurting words; he hit me and then said sorry.  It wasn’t the first time.

I took off wanting to be alone.

When I got to my friend’s house, I’ve had 10 missed calls from my boyfriend.  15 messages all saying that I needed to go home with him.

My cellphone rang again, I picked it up.  He sounded drunk, he was begging me to see him, that we needed to be together, and that he loved me so much. A part of me says I needed to go back, just like before.  But that night, I couldn’t.  I told him he needed to sober up first, then we can talk in the morning. We were both crying. We were both hurt.  That night, I taught myself to stand-up for what I thought was the right thing.  I said “no”.  I asked him to give me a little space and that everything will be okay, if he could just let me be that night.

“Whatever happens to me tonight…it’s your entire fault.”  Those were his last words before the line went silent.

I cried for his name, to hear him speak again on the phone. My friend heard what was happening, and he helped calm me down.  I cried myself to sleep that night.  I uttered a prayer that I was doing the right thing.  And that he didn’t do anything stupid, and that everything will be okay.

The next morning, I learned that my boyfriend committed suicide.  And like what he said, it was my fault.

Words can twist a person in many ways.

Some can lift up your spirit; some break you more than you hope it would.

Unfortunately, for me, it’s the latter than I remember the most.

The early bird
Gets the worm.

Mama bear says…
The EARLY bird
gets the EARLY worm!

Always set an appointment!

I’m In

Posted: September 25, 2014 in Mama Bear
Tags: , , , , , ,

I'm In

When your life has been laid out to me
by experts
and numbers
and charts

And that it needed someone
with the strongest of hearts
I knew I didn’t fit in
I wasn’t your match

But you held my hand with hope
and your cry calls out my name
your smile thaws cold souls
and you carry my life in your vein

I will stick with you
through thick and thin
I will move mountains
to show you I’m in.

Credits go to the owner:

Sarah and I have been married for almost six years now and still have no child no matter how hard we try. We have consulted several specialists and they all say there is nothing wrong with both of us. Our friends and family keep saying that maybe it’s not our time yet. Sarah insists that we might get lucky this year. But every month, I would see a pregnancy test strip thrown in the trash can, with one colored band. It kills me to know that my how hurt my wife must feel.
“Robert!…Robert!! ” Sarah screamed from our bathroom.
“What happened? Are you okay? Open the door!” I knocked.
Sarah opened the door with a shock in her face. She started bouncing back and forth in our room.
“Robert…we’re going to have a baby!!!” She continued jumping.
“Oh wow!” And I thought that was the happiest moment of my life.
Months passed by and Sarah’s pregnancy was going well. Her doctor assured us that our baby is perfectly healthy. The ultrasound and tests showed that we are going to have a daughter.
“I’m going to name her Emma…” Sarah suggested.
“Beautiful, I like that.” I agreed.
“And she’s going to be the most beautiful girl ever. She’s going to have my blonde wavy hair and pretty skin. She’ll have your blue eyes and smile…”
“And I’ll teach her play the piano…” I reminded her.
“Of course Robert…and then I’ll take her shopping and play dress-up all the time…” Sarah stopped talking.
“You okay hun?”
“I think my water just broke…”
“Congratulations Mr. Alexander! You’re now a father to a healthy baby girl. Your wife is now at Room 201. Your daughter’s with her. You can see them now” Dr. Banner greeted.
I saw Sarah cradling my daughter when I entered the room and I was about to join her when I noticed something on her face. Why does she look…unhappy?
“Are you ok Sarah? The doctor says you and Emma are perfectly healthy.” What she said next confused me.
“She’s not Emma…she’s not my daughter.” She whispered.
“What are you talking about?” My question was answered when I saw the baby’s face. She has unruly red hair with a large dark purple birthmark covering almost half of her face. My daughter. But why, What did we do wrong?
“She’s not my Emma Robert. Take her away from me!!!” She said, with a tone of disgust.
I took our daughter from her and tried to calm her down. She envisioned a perfect child. And this is not her Emma.
We named our daughter Leah instead and now she’s five years old. She has been the opposite of what we have wanted from a daughter. The reddish brown birthmark is very dominant on her face. She cries a lot even in public and never made friends. She has no patience in learning the piano and prefers playing with mud than dolls. She get’s stared at when we’re in public.
I’ve tried to teach myself to love here. I certainly did, but each time she’d do something clearly telling she doesn’t want any of it. Like yesterday, I clearly told her not to touch anything when I brought her to a friend’s shop. How hard could it be to comprehend that instruction? Instead she started running around and broke an antique vase. I had to pay $1,300 for it. It was antique.
Today, my sister Cora and her husband John are throwing a birthday party for their son, Jack. I promised to come and my stupid babysitter didn’t show up again. Robert is in a business trip so I had no choice but to bring Leah with me. I don’t know why but just looking at her really irritates me.
‘What the hell is taking you so long?! We have to go!”
“I’m almost done mom!….okay…how do I look?” she asked.
“Ugh…don’t ask.” She looked hurt from what I said. I really didn’t care. I dragged her to the car. We were at the party venue in 30mins. Cora never holds back when it came to parties. She rented a blow-up castle as I heard Jack were always fascinated with King Arthur.
As usual…when I entered the lobby…everyone stared at me and this odd looking girl holding my hand.
“Leah! Just go play somewhere without breaking anything. Be back here after an hour.” She just nodded and ran away. Good riddance I thought.
I spent the hour chatting with Cora and other moms and was so glad that Leah is not on my side to bother me. It was then time to go home and I couldn’t find her. She’s always been difficult to manage. I went to different rooms but didn’t see her.
“Hey Jack… have you seen Leah?” I asked the cute little boy.
“I saw her up the balcony earlier. I tried calling but she wouldn’t come down.”
I went up to see Leah dangerously sitting on the balcony’s railing…probably checking how far down it is. We must be on the 3rd level of the house… I walked slowly towards her.
I spent the whole party playing on my own. Somehow, I know that my mom hates being just around me but I don’t know why. I saw a beautiful balcony on one of the rooms. I wonder how far down it is. I leaned to see if it’s really scary when I felt a little nudge behind me and lost my grip on the side. No!! “Mommy, save me!!!” I was falling and as my body turned around…I saw one last face… mom? And everything went black.
It’s been two years since Leah died from an accident during a party and my marriage is now falling apart. The hurt I felt when I lost her was incomparable as I know I had not been good father to her. Sarah on the other hand seems to handle it better than I did.
“Robert!!!!!” I heard a scream from our room.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“You won’t believe it…I’m pregnant again!”
“Oh God…thanks for giving me another chance.” And everything went back to its course.
My marriage with Sarah was as strong as before and we promised to be better parents this time.
Months passed on and now… I’m sitting again outside the delivery room. It felt like forever until I Dr. Banner burst out the door.
“Congratulations Mr. Alexander! You’re now a father to a healthy baby girl. Your wife is now at Room 201. Your daughter’s with her.” Dr. Banner greeted.
Why this feel like this has happened before…
“By the way…I have to say that your daughter has the most beautiful face I’ve seen.” He smiled.
“Thank you. Can I see them now?” I asked
“Yes, go ahead.”
And there’s Sarah cradling my daughter in her arms. She looked at me and gently said…”Robert…look at her, our Emma…” she said with tone full of love.
My daughter looks like everything we have wished for… wavy golden hair, rosy cheeks and soft pink skin. Her eyes are blue just like mine. Beautiful.


Emma is now five years old and she’s been nothing but perfect. Everyone has envied us having such a beautiful talented little girl. Her piano skills are almost as good as her dad and she’s had many offers to appear on different talent showcases.

Emma wanted to join in one so I’ll make that call later tonight when we get home. For the meantime, I’m dressing up Emma for another birthday party Cora has prepared for her second child, Jeremy who’s now turning six as well.
“Are you ready Emma?” I called.
“Yes mom….ok… so how do I look?” she asked.
“Beautiful ,as always my dear.” Her face lit up with delight. “Let’s go?”
“Okay, mom.” Such grace.
It only took us twenty minutes to reach the venue. Cora wanted a beach party this time and rented entire mini-hotel owned by their family.
“Hey Sarah! Oh Emma… look at you!! Pretty.” She beamed.
“Where’s the birthday boy?” I asked without letting go of Emma.
“Oh somewhere… probably playing with their friends, want to join them Emma?” She asked.
“Yes! Can I mom?”
“Of course dear… don’t go too far.” I reminded her. I spent the hour chatting with Cora and John until it’s time to go home.
“Hey Jeremy dear…have you seen Emma?” I asked.
“Yeah… she’s upstairs on one of the rooms… I think she’s playing hide and seek with Angela.”
“Thanks Jeremy… happy birthday again!”
“Thanks, Aunt Sarah!”
I went up the stairs when I saw Emma running to one of the rooms. Probably looking for a place to hide. She looks so adorable.
“Emma, honey….it’s time to go home.” I followed her inside the room.
She’s leaning with her arms on the bar on the terrace overlooking the beach. Must be watching the other kids play by the shore.
I walked towards her… “Emma….we’re going home dear.”
My voice seemed to startle her as she quickly turned around.
Emma’s reaction bothered me. She was holding the side bars of the railing tightly with her hand.
Her body was shaking.
“What’s wrong Emma… are you okay?” I asked… worried.
She didn’t answer.
I don’t understand the look of her face…she eyes are horrified…of me?
I walked slowly closer to her…
“Emma? What is it? ”
Please don’t push me again”.


I’ve retold this story quite a few times mostly when it’s Halloween or fright nights.  I’ve experimented on using different POVs and the post above is the unedited version that I used some 7 years ago. (So please forgive my ellipses, my juvenile editing skills)  I’m proud of this though, cause its raw from my head. 🙂

I hope you liked it.  Let me know what you think through the comments below,

Swept Away

Posted: September 21, 2014 in Mist
Tags: , , , , , ,

It’s late in this humid afternoon.  From afar, the pillowy dark clouds are rolling fast to the north and I can hear the threatening thunder.

I stood next to my oak tree with delight, because it’s going to be the night I’ve been waiting for.

The worried look from people tells me that warnings must have been flashed all over the news.  The panic and despair from families who know they’ll never be ready, excites me!

It’s my day!

I’ve waited in this corner for too long and I’m tired of being invisible.  Even when someone finally notices me, they force themselves to pretend I wasn’t there.  As if I’m just a mist; and admitting my existence will mean nightmares are real.

But I’m over that now. Today they will see me. And everyone will know my name!

The sky is darker now and the rain started to pour.

It didn’t stop for hours.

The wind blew the roofs and thunders scared the little children. I hear emergency alarms everywhere and people screamed scouring for their rescue.

They’re music to my ears; an orchestra in my honor.

The water filled the rivers, and the drainage system started to flood. It entered the homes and flushed away the materials of flattery that people wear as masks to the world.

And then I see it.

My cage started to rise.

It started to float above the surface and saw a glimpse of the howling sky.

I was free.

I was carried away.

Far away from the prison that has kept me cold and alone.  I don’t remember how I got there.

I don’t remember who put me there.

I only remember the chains that I tried to get away from before my breath was taken away… and my scream faded through the night.  I saw myself rot to the bones, and it will never be enough until they see me; until they know my name.

My thirst yearned for this night.

And my selfish resolve is blind to the suffering of the living.

They’re collaterals.

Now I’ll sit here and just wait.

Until the morning sun glimmered hope again to those who got through the curse.

But only for a short while…

For they have seen me.

And now they remember me.

I was once a daughter.

I was once a friend.

I was once hopeful.

And they said my name, and they tell my story.

“She was Angela.  13 years old.

She’s been missing for more than a week now”.

They say she was violated, chained and left for dead at the old basement in an abandoned house.  Nobody went there, because they think it was haunted when they heard those tiny screams in the night.

And a shadow at the Oak tree stands guard at sunset.

The rain became my vessel, as it carried me to the surface where I can feel the light.

I’ve heard it call me many times, but it was beyond my reach until now.

And then I flew.

The sounds faded through the clouds just as how my existence was drowned from the humanity’s obsessions of heroes, wealth and politics.

They knew my name.

And they will forget.