Last night was a busy day after coming from New Jersey in the morning. After I was picked up from the airport by my cousin's husband, we immediately proceeded to the house. My cousin and her parents were there, while her kids were still in the baby sitter's place. While waiting for the kids to arrive, I took the opportunity to have a long conversation with Lola (my cousin's mother) in the dining room. She prepared a Filipino style breakfast. We did discuss a lot of things – my family, about my plans in the future and whereabouts of our friends back in the Philippines. She was my former English teacher in high school and I took the opportunity to thank her personally for being strict in the class and somehow the discipline she instilled in us, personally helped me prepared in my undergrad program back in Manila.
It was a long and never-ending story of life and we laughed a lot remembering those happenings almost 22 years ago! Finally, the kids arrived and at first they were quite hesitant to approach me especially the girl, Andrea. On the other hand, Alex (little boy) was happy enough to sit besides me watching the High School Musical 2 film on dvd. Most of the time, Alex and Andrea will stand up and showed their prowess in dancing and singing, imitating the main cast of the film, Troy and Gabriella. I was really amused how these young kids entertained me (their Uncle) as their guest.
I was at ease playing with them and easily got their attention especially the little boy. Being a new friend, Alex asked me so many things, especially my Xmas presence for them! It seems that the boy is really excited to open his gift. I was successful not to tell them about the real identity of the gift until my cousin's sister arrived from work at the hospital. By the way, the sister has 2 grown up kids which were shy to extend their hands for a hand shake's welcome. After preparing my lunch, Lola is busy playing the cards, while the kids are still pre-occupied with their toys, including the drawings I made for them. Well, these drawings were requested by them with proper name for each drawing. At the end, the girl (Andrea) showed her anger and cried because I failed her not to draw a princess based on her specifications – long hair and opened hands! I also failed to write properly the name she wants for the princess which really triggered her to show here tantrums. Well, with that early stage of knowing them, I finally say that kids sometimes are demanding and making their parents' blood to rise!
When my cousin arrived from her office, she invited me to join her to go for shopping at Wal-Mart. The kids heard this and they were desperate to convince their mum to be with us, thinking that I will be leaving very soon. And because of my instant attachment to the kids, especially with Alex, my cousin convinced them to stay after a bubble warm bath, and not to worry that Uncle Rey will leave, but stay in the house for almost 3 weeks. Anyway, we finally left the house and it was freezing outside and the boulders of snow along the roads are still visible. We had our dinner at Harvey's first before going to Wal-mart. It was an excellent meal – friend chicken and rice (ala Kenny Roger's style). We talked about so many personal things and we just having a good time to share our stories after not seeing each other for almost 15 years.
As usual, visiting the store will guarantee a book purchase and this time I bought for my cousin to read, One More Day of Mitch Albom at 40% discount. I already read the book few months ago and it is highly recommended to everyone! I also volunteer to prepare a dessert (fudge) for the family tonight and hopefully some of them will be packed and consumed during my long travel to North Carolina tomorrow, Saturday (Day 5) to spend our Xmas day with close friends.
We arrived the house and the kids were already asleep. I did a quick shower and helped my cousin wrapped some gifts for her boss' two young kids and officemates. I went to bed almost past midnight with things ready for my first visit to the city centre of Toronto. I only slept 8 hours in the span of two days.