The Kind Moon and the Hardworking Sun

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Author: Zea Perez

Edited by JECaulton and Jae Oh

“Mom, can you stay? When will you be back? Are you not afraid of the virus?” Kaloy asks, still in his pyjamas, his head propped on the bedroom’s door.

“You are an early bird,” I beam. “Do not worry. I am protected.” I touch my PPE gear. “I shall soon be back. But for now, I must work. We need to buy milk. I know you will take good care of your little brother.”

Kaloy huffs and reluctantly concedes. I usher him to our favourite bamboo seat.

“Besides, what will happen to the patients if I would not be there? Maybe they will cry so hard, they will have to swim in their tears,” I animatedly exaggerate.

He tries to imagine the scene, waving his arms, swimming in the air.  We chuckle. In the window, I catch a glimpse of the sunrise inching its way up into a clear blue sky.

‘But I am a kid too, right?’ He settles himself comfortably on the bamboo seat, his brows knitted.

I open the windows, and sunshine sun comes in bursting onto us. I smile and turn to him on my knees. I hold lightly his shoulders.

“Yes, you are right. How smart you are to figure that out. I know you need me. But this time, children need to stay home and mothers need to work.” I fix some locks of hair around his forehead.

“But those people in homecare centres are patients, they are sick and weak,” he says, little drops of tears streaming down on his tiny face. He embraces me. I gently wrap him with my arms and pat his back soothingly.

“When I was a kid like you, I cried every time my mom and dad went to work. I wanted to be with them wherever they went.  I did not want to be left alone. One day my mom brought me along to her work. I was so thrilled. But when I got there, Mom had to do many things as well as everyone else. I just stayed in one corner. I got so bored that in no time I wanted to go home and wished I played with my cousins.”

“Bored? I won’t be bored at all!” he says.

“But now more than anything else, it’s not just about getting bored there at the homecare centre, you might catch the virus. The ugly virus loves kids, like this.” I open my mouth wide, showing the Dracula face. “Waaaah!”

Kaloy’s eyes light up, imagining the virus Dracula swallowing little children.  “Waaaah! Waaah! Waaah!” we both say. Eventually, he concurs.

“Hey, remember the story of the sun and the moon? You asked me once, why is the sun not around during nighttime when everyone needs it the most? Can you still recall the story?” I ask him, more serious now.

“The sun is not there during nighttime because it has to work on the other side of the planet,” he responds eagerly.

“The other side of the planet needs the light of the sun to bring life. There are things and plants and children there, too, needing sunlight. The sun is like Mom.” I hold both his hands. He looks at me wonderingly, and I continue.

“At nighttime, the moon is there to give light. The moon is like your granny, your uncles, and aunts; your cousins and your friends.” Kaloy’s face brightens.

“And you, you are like the green bud growing, healthy and strong.” I cradle him up. “What a heavy baby you are! Promise me you will stay healthy, okay?”

“No worries, Mom. I am strong. I will eat more vegetables, stay home, and wash my hands.” He shows me both hands.  I catch his little fingers in mine.

“Besides, little brother needs me and he needs to be taught how to wash his hands.” Kaloy untangles from my embrace and goes back to bed lightheartedly, with his little brother on the side.

I kiss his forehead.  I contemplate this strong, beautiful kid, my little bud. I know he will grow up into a fine, responsible guy, just like his dad. His dad is having a hard time now. He was forced to stay in his ship where he works because of the pandemic lockdown.

I wear my mask and face shield. A new journey is ahead of me as a nurse, a front liner. It is a novel challenge for me to take good care of asymptomatic COVID-19 patients in homecare centres.

I get on to my feet, looking up and beyond, hoping to be as hardworking as the faithful sun —  for my patients, and of course, for all the little buds in the world.

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- Total nr. of readings: 603 Copyright © The author [2020] All Rights Reserved. This story may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the author except for personal use.

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