[Originally posted on The Freelance Pinoy, August 17, 2012. ]
I’m a single, 27-year old writer who spoils my nephew (a.k.a. Pumpkin Pie) and niece (a.k.a Apple Pie) rotten… or so my Mom says. I don’t get to see the Pies everyday as they’re staying with my mom (their parents work abroad) in the province while I’m living independently in the city. But despite the distance—or maybe because of it—I make it a point to call them as often as I can just to have a five-minute or less baby-talk with them.
You see, I’ve been told several times that I’m a workaholic. When I start writing or editing articles, my concentration is so spot-on that even eating on time takes a backseat. I tend to stay away from this juvenile habit when I go home to visit my parents. In fact, as much as possible, I don’t bring my work when I’m with the family.
But as a freelancer, there are times when I can’t pass a writing opportunity—an abrupt yet challenging topic, a sudden but prolific writing gig, or a recently-concluded, blog-worthy experience. And so with Frappie, my ever loyal laptop, I write, I edit. But unlike when I’m alone in my apartment, I take breaks when the Pies are just within my kissing distance. These are numerous breaks that sometimes result to an all-nighter because the morning was well-spent with the Pies—giggling, playing, singing, giggling, dancing, reading, and more giggling.
I welcome their distractions. And truth be told, I seek their distractions. Five minutes after starting an article, I’ll leave my table, go to their room and just smother them with hugs and kisses. Three-year old Pumpkin Pie’s scent is addictive; while one-year and five-month old Apple Pie’s heavenly. I always think that if we can bottle baby’s distinct and aromatic smell, we don’t really need expensive perfumes. We’ll just go around sniffing each other! Hah!
I’m so into seeking the Pies “interference” that I’d even check on them during siesta. It doesn’t matter that I have a full conversation with myself in my head, listing why I should just finish my work and leave the sleeping babies alone. I always give in—opening their bedroom’s door as silently as I can, tiptoeing to avoid unnecessary noise, and just look at them for a minute or two. If I’m feeling friskier than usual, I’ll touch their hair or kiss them soundlessly.
And the “distractions” don’t end there. Sometimes, I’ll playfully banter with their nannies so I can feed them. Pumpkin Pie and I will then make it a ceremony—choosing the right plate (Are you going to use McQueen or Spiderman?), picking the color of his plastic utensils (What color is this? Yellow. Correct.), and so and on and so forth. Other times, even a few characters away from finishing my article, I’ll stop working and play Lion King for Pumpkin Pie or Happy Feet for Apple Pie on my laptop.
As I write about my work and the Pies, I realized that my “challenges” as a freelancer and an aunt is not as tumultuous as those of freelance moms. They’re not even close.
But then again, considering them as challenges isn’t apt. My nephew and niece aren’t challenges, they’re not even distractions. They’re my sources of happiness, my additional drive. They’re the reasons why I smile when I work at home and eat on time. They’re the inspiration, the reason for writing this 600-word blog even when I’m supposed to just write a couple of paragraphs.
“Only an aunt can give hugs like a mother, can keep secrets like a sister, and share love like a friend.” (Unknown)
UPDATE: Well, since this was posted last year, I’m a year older now, so I’m a single, 28 years old, “occasional” freelancer. And more importantly, the Pies aren’t babies anymore. They’re the most awesome (yep, I’m their aunt, so no contest here) toddlers! Meet my superhero Pies: Pumpkin Pie as Spider Man and Apple Pie as Bat Girl!
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LOVE and LIGHT to all! X