|with Sophia at La Carnita, before I brought her to her ACET|
I brought Sophia to Ateneo today to take her college entrance test. Traffic was predictably horrible, but that's not even the story.
I remember the day I took my test 25 years ago. It was the middle of November 1992 and I had just buried my mom a month earlier. I felt the vastness of my future ahead of me, although I did not know what it was going to be like, exactly. One thing I was certain of -- I would have to work damn hard. I could not study in any university without a scholarship. I did not have the means.
I remember walking toward the gate of the campus after the exam. The math was tough, and I was sure I would fail. By then it was half-dark and I was amazed at the contrast between busy, chaotic Katipunan Avenue and beautiful, quiet Ateneo that always occasioned introspection. I commuted back to Valenzuela.
Plenty happened in the quarter of a century, between that day and today. An entire lifetime, perhaps more. I did pass the test, ending up in the top 15% (I did well in math, after all)and snagging a 100% financial scholarship besides. I got pregnant and got married at 17. By the time I graduated in 97 I was a mom of 2. Had 2 more kids, endured a spouse until I was 31, bolted and established a life of my own. Got a career, went back to Ateneo for my MA, and started teaching there.
I remembered all these while I was walking to the gate after dropping Sophie at her exam venue at the HS building. We must have walked 20, 30 minutes going in, and I was exhausted.
But happy. I had the opportunity to provide for her a place nearby so she did not have to travel so far like I did. A comfortable ride so she did not have to move from jeep to bus to jeep, like I did. We also had brunch at a Mexican place at Regis Center -- eating out was a luxury during my time. Finally we had a good, however long, walk at the exam venue. At least she had a mom who could be around, walk with her and wish her good luck.
No, I did not fetch her. She went ahead to meet her friends and watch a play. I am enjoying what remains of my dayoff, here in my room, with the comforts I now enjoy because yes, I did work damn hard. Still do.
Mom would have been proud.