Migo and the gift he never wanted
When he was born seven years ago, Migo was the most beloved baby in the whole, wide world—or, at the very least, in his family’s cozy neighborhood! He was the first and only grandchild on both sides of their small clan, so you can only imagine how much he was fussed over by his lolos and lolas, titas and titos—etc.!
At Yuletide, of course he received the most presents, since Christmas is for children—and he was the only child around! He was doted on and spoiled by everybody—so perhaps he could be forgiven if he grew up feeling very special!
Since all of his relatives loved him so much, Migo was caught offguard when he learned from his Yaya Belle that, after seven years, his mother was going to have another baby! After a day or so of not knowing how to take the rumor, he got up the nerve to ask his parents about it.
“Yes, Migo,” they replied very happily, “you’re going to have a baby sister!”
Migo knew that he was supposed to be happy, too—but while he was excited about the new arrival, he was honestly also a bit worried. —In fact, more than a bit—he couldn’t sleep that night! He wondered how his new sister’s arrival would change his cozy and comfortable existence, in which everything revolved around him!
Yes, she would be just a tiny creature when she came, but he knew that babies eat a lot from day to night and grow up very fast! Would he eventually have to share his room with her? Would his parents and grandparents love him any less? Would he get less to eat? Would he receive fewer gifts at Christmas? —He couldn’t sleep!
In the coming days, Migo nervously looked for changes in the way that his parents related to him, and was relieved to find nothing to worry about. Still, as his mother’s tummy got bigger and bigger, she couldn’t play with him as much as before, so that bothered him. Was this a sign of worse things to come?
Migo’s parents eventually noticed that he was behaving differently, so they decided to have a talk with him about the new addition to their family.
They described her as a gift from God to all of them, just like Migo was when he was born. He changed them from a married couple into a family, and now their second child would change him, too: He would become, not just a son, but also a brother—an older brother, Kuya Migo, whose duty and joy would be to love and protect his baby sister!
“But,” Migo asked plaintively, “Will you love me less?”
“Oh no, Migo,” his mother fervently assured him. “Love isn’t something that becomes less as you give it to more people, it’s always full and complete, each time you give it!”
“OK, but I was born first—so, will you love me more?!”
Migo’s parents looked at each other, surprised—and even shocked. They hadn’t expected this forthright follow-up question!
It was Migo’s father’s turn to answer, as sincerely as he could: “Migo, we will love you completely—both of you.”
Would that be enough assurance for their first-born son? They weren’t sure. So, before the baby arrived, they included him not just in their preparations for Christmas, but also in shopping for baby clothes for the new member of the family, their trips to the doctor’s clinic for Mommy’s regular check-up visits, etc.
Despite their best efforts, however, Migo still felt left out in small and subtle ways—so, as his baby sister’s arrival date approached, he stayed in his room more than usual.
She was supposed to be born just before New Year’s Eve, so Migo’s grandparents suggested that her name should be Marie Evangeline. For his part, Migo simply waited for her arrival—not quite sure how he would react.
On Dec. 23, with the baby’s scheduled birth date more than a week away, Migo’s mother stayed at home finalizing preparations for the family’s noche buena feast, while his father was buying furniture for the new nursery.
Migo stayed home with his mom, and was sulking in his room when she called him to help her and Yaya Belle put up some new and festive curtains.
As they went about this humdrum task, however, she felt a sudden twinge as she was handing the curtains up to Belle. She ignored it and bent down to get some more fabric—and felt another, stronger pain.
“Ma’am?,” Belle exclaimed. “Bakit po?”
“I don’t know,” Migo’s mom breathed, slowly sitting down. “Migo, better call Dad.” Scared, Migo did as instructed, while his mother breathed deeply to make the pain go away.
“Dad’s coming home right now,” Migo told his mother, really nervous. “Mommy, what else can I do? Are you giving birth already? It’s supposed to be a New Year baby!”
“Migo, it’s not her fault that we aren’t following the doctor’s schedule! These things happen. Call a neighbor—the nurse down the road.” Running in and out—and in again—Migo followed all of his mother’s instructions, as Belle helped her lie down on the carpet, and held her hand tightly.
Minutes passed without anybody who could be of real help arriving, until—“Migo, hold my other hand—tight!” —His mother took a really big breath, pushed very hard—and the baby was most unexpectedly born!
It’s a good thing that help came right after, and Migo’s dad took his mother and newly born baby sister to the hospital in an ambulance. But, there was no doubt that Migo and Yaya Belle’s presence of mind had been important in the successful outcome of what could have been a very risky situation!
—And, what about Migo’s insecurity and nervousness about how he would react to his baby sister’s actual birth? All of his doubts, fears and resentments vanished the second he saw her red, screaming and yet beautiful face—and instant brotherly love kicked in! Would her arrival result in his being loved less? Who cared?
—He would love her more!
She was his kid sister after all—so small and vulnerable— and he would protect and take care of her forever—and, for sure!