As everyone got busy preparing for New Year's Eve, it finally hit me that this year, Grandpa isn't here to hang the fireworks anymore. Sadness tinged my heart as I saw Grandma preparing the usual New Year's Eve feast by herself; Grandpa was the cook in the house. So while the kids entertained themselves making noise outside, I sat down with my mom in the kitchen and helped out in the food preparation. Memories of my childhood came rolling in as I busily got into the serious job of making round rice balls for the guinitaan (tambo-tambong).
For a kid, making perfect, round-sized rice balls is the mission for New Year's Eve, and my cousins and I preoccupy ourselves in making the rice balls as round and as uniformed in size as much as possible. Although it took us at least an hour or more to finish the mission, we were constantly chattering about our must-dos or resolutions for the new year and all the stuff that kids talk about on such an exciting evening. For goodness sake, it's a brand new year full of laughter and adventure.
On this year's New Year's Eve, my neice and nephews weren't the least excited about making rice balls. All I heard was them saying "yuck." As for me, I cherish those moments I had with my cousins, when it was a blast to make rice balls.
Time has changed.