I was about 7 years old when my papa stayed in Manila for several months to study for the the bar exams. My ever brave mama had to brace herself to take care of all four of us (the fifth one was yet to arrive--after the bar :D ). Papa would come home once in a while, and whenever he did, the whole household warmed up with joy.
One time while he was away, I did the silliest, naughtiest, most cruel thing that one would do to the people who ache for nothing more but Papa's presence. I made the sound of someone knocking at the door, opened it and squealed: "Papa! Papa!"
In no time, I heard the rush of heavy footsteps from upstairs, stopping in the middle of the stairway. Three faces (my brother, my elder sister and mama) smiled in anticipation as they looked at the door, only to be met by the wicked grin of someone who was about to get some bad scolding.
After all the cursing, they all went back to their rooms, albeit with heavy hearts.
Now, 26 years later, I understand why they were so mad at me. Like them, there's nothing I'd like to do more now than to give my papa a big hug.
Papa, please take care. I miss you.