She is not my daughter, but I really fell in love with this little girl. I fondly call her Ruthie Bebe. Maybe this is because I invested a lot of time for her while she was growing up. Her mother (my sister) had to get back to her work barely a month after Ruthie’s birth. Me being in the house all the time ( cause I only work on weekends as church choir director) have got a lot of time to spare for this poor little thing. No, she is not unloved. Never. Her father (formerly our Youth pastor) and mother (a school registrar) loved her so much. But there are a lot of times they need to leave the girl in my care as they go on with their work. So I played quite a big role in this kid’s life. I became her favorite nanny. Whenever she cries, I can be the best person to comfort her. I felt like Mother Goose, ha ha ha.
There are times her pastor dad had to go out-of-town as he gets invited to other places quite often. Then I would help my sister out by sleeping over to their house (the church parsonage, actually). Early next morning, my sister Brenda would leave Ruthie by my side to leave for work. What endeared her more to me was she exhibited great pleasure upon seeing me in their home at an early hour. She would smile, say my name, laugh and would snuggle beside me or on top of me.
She had a nanny taking care of most of her needs, so all I got to do is to play with her all day long. She gets all the dirty work and I got all the fun parts. Even when we go to our church services, I usually find her ending up on me. I was always with her, and I guess she fell in love with me too. She would, as my sister would say, ask for me whenever I was not around; especially when she threw tantrums.
I guess my natural fondness to little kids made me attractive to children. Ruthie is no exception. I can spend the whole day watching this girl and never letting her wander beyond my field of vision. How I immensely enjoyed watching her cute movements and hearing her baby talk. We got to read and understand each other beyond words. I would look at her and she would readily respond by smiling back at me or playfully do her moves.
Last March, they moved to Palawan, a province on the west side of the country and how I missed her. Nowadays, I can only get in touch with her via webcam and cell phone. I long to be with Ruthie again. One day, I will arrive at their island and get her up in my arms again. I guess she would shy away at first but after a few minutes, she will surely scrutinize my face with her bare hands. Just like she did as she grew up in my arms.
I thought I would write about her just this afternoon. Her father, Pastor Jezer visited and spoke in our worship service this morning. He will be back in the island in two days but I am yet to join them over there.
Today, Ruthie is already two-and-a-half years old and she has a baby brother too, Marc Ernest who I also had the pleasure of taking care albeit very briefly as they decided to migrate. I have other nephews and nieces who I love just the same. But Ruthie, being the one I really took care of, grew in me and got my heart captivated. Actually, she is not the first niece I got to take care of. My first ‘baby’, now a full-grown lady and a full-pledged school teacher, is really my first try at babysitting. But that is another story.