Family and Parenting

Chewing on a Stone

October 20th, 2011

“Raising children is like chewing on a stone”, says a popular Arab teaching.  Exactly the metaphor to describe how being a parent is one of the hardest tasks there is.  Parenthood is not as simple as saying omph, and voila…the child sloshes out of your womb. You, my dear, are helping shape another life. That of your child.

When you think about it, financial security is not really what young people today needs in order to survive their generation. It isn’t about the fact that you can clothe them well or feed them, or send them to the best schools. The more important thing I guess is how you can help them to become “themselves”. Or, to put it more bluntly, how they will be able to truly find themselves.

I have come to realize this after so many times of facing and exorcising my own demons. We all have that moment, or time, when we come face to face with darkness. That certain moment when you feel that you are never good enough…or when everything is not just good enough. When you doubt your strength, your ability, your talent. Absurd, I know.

These are the times when you question the internal/emotional anguish that you feel you probably do not deserve. And these normally happens when you aren’t acquainted with the “you” that is supposed-to-be “you”. Get it? When you have not fully blossomed into the person that you must be, when the noise around drowns you , and you end up uncertain which way to go, or how to proceed. Sometimes, painful as it may seem, its other people’s way that wins.

However, kids these days are more intelligent. And  I am thankful of that, because for me, parenthood is one big role you must play and must play to the hilt. Perhaps I am not doing quite well in this area, but I’m learning.

My two children are so strong-willed. They know what they want, and it’s sad that sometimes I get in their way. How can they be themselves if I keep on imposing my own rules?  People can be beyond rhyme or reason. It may partly be due to our own genetic programming or something. Superiority complex? We think we are the better ones, being the adult.

They have to be given freedom to realize things on their own. As what Ernest Dimnet quotes: “Children have to be educated, but they have also to be left to educate themselves”

A Heart That Never Hates

October 18th, 2011

Comedian Chokoleit’s tweet this morning goes: Carry a heart that never hates. Carry a smile that never fades. Carry a touch that never hurts & always carry a LOVE that always gives.

Wow. It definitely made my day! I have been mad and pissed off and totally distracted since yesterday after coming home to a cluttered house that looks more like a war between Iraq and Afghanistan just erupted inside all four corners of it. Even though I still have time to freshen up after that 15-hour travel from Pili (so I can attend the flag ceremony at my office), what I did was to wash all the piles of dirty dishes, re-arrange our wicker furniture, pick all the shirts and garments strewn everywhere, tidy up the kitchen, take a quick bedroom clean-up, and mop the floor. Oh believe me, when one is angry, she or he can do things as fast! I did all of that in less than an hour (before speeding off to work). But I was mouthing all my angst away while doing the chores.

Today, you guessed right,  the cycle repeated itself. Before leaving the house, I scrubbed the tiles of our restroom to make it squeaky clean, and was not successful  (lol). I still found time to fold our washed laundry, put the kids’ uniforms on the closet. Tidy up the bedroom. Again, I was tired from all the mouthing (albeit, to myself only) and working. Anger can really consume you, that’s a fact. It can make you accomplish tasks, yes, but just the same — it will leave you exhausted, inside and out.

Reading the post of Chokoleit, however, allowed me to mull on things better. Sometimes, it pays to be more gentle in our dealings. Having a heart that never (okay, that’s a strong word!) hates makes you weigh situations, face challenges in a light manner, and think win-win.

First, I missed the fact that we’re all busy: us with work, and the kids with their school. But it doesn’t mean I was the only one being affected by all these. Who knows, they’re also probably exerting their best effort despite (the hubby washed all the uniforms, the kids probably did some small errands). Second, the house help is no longer necessary because we’ve been having one since I gave birth to my youngest. From 2001,  we have had ten of them already. Maybe its about time that we be more independent. It’ll take some time, but we will get by. And lastly, we must not underestimate the power of love (hello, Laura Branigan!). When we have it, anger and hate will have no space inside our hearts…yes, inside my chubby and lovely heart…

Dmitri Tikboy

December 26th, 2010

Something is keeping our family “high” these days (ooops, before the cops read my blog, we’re not into any form of substance abuse, okay?).

Actually, I’m pertaining to my daughter’s birthday gift that she wished for several months ago. Faith never a missed a day reminding us of a poodle or shih tzu for a birthday present.

He came to us a day before Christmas, and from then on, he’s been filling our hearts with glee.

Tikboy. That’s his name before my former student Cham gave it to us. The name seem to match his restless personality – even our vet said the little boy’s quite “sutil”. He’d hop and jump and wiggle his tail every second. What a hyper, little boy! During his third vaccination, we heard a loud ‘thud’ from somewhere. Tikboy fell from the vet’s car! And whenever it’s time for his vitamins and medicines, he’d scamper around like he knows there’ll be series of bitter drugs for him.

His name is supposed to be Dmitri, but we had a not-so-pleasant experience with our first pet whom we called Igor. Our Igor died only after 8 hours he’s been brought to us. I guess names tend to attract negative and positive vibes as well. Case in point: my name. I sometimes don’t like the fact that my own name repels raffle draws, especially the big ones! Never in my entire life have I won anything from a raffle.

Perhaps Igor didn’t want his name. Since Tikboy seem to like his, we never attempted changing it.

Tikboy loves to be cuddled

such a sweet, little boy 🙂

I Beg Your Pardon, Please?

November 29th, 2010

Do you know the feeling when you have to type 60 wps for fear of losing your own train of thought? When a beautiful idea pops in and disappears in nanoseconds flat? There! I’ve finally said it. I just don’t get it why this brain’s wired this way. When I was a child, my parents thought I was good at inventing excuses because aside from slightly poor hearing (on my left ear), my mind tend to wander on many things at the same time. They’d rather ask my younger siblings than risk sending me on an errand.
Now, I suspect it’s heritable. I can see signs in Elmo.

Me: “Anak, please buy me two sachets of fabric conditioner.”

After a few growling and gnarling, he finally obliged.

Elmo: “Nanay, here it is.” An ice pop on one hand and “one” sachet on the other. Grrr.
So, off he got back to the store.
One time I asked him to buy ginger. He ended up going back and forth.
Why wouldn’t he?
First, he brought me a bulb of onion. Then garlic. Thank God, he got it right the third time.
Ayyyy.
Please Lord, don’t make Faith inherit this trait. Huhu.

The Long and Short of It

November 23rd, 2010

What transpired yesterday was a sudden, startling, “wake-up call” that made me realize how extremely valuable our soul’s temple is. And if there’s one lesson the “experience” taught me, it’s to seriously consider sending one of my children to medical school. Now, that may give you an impression of tyranny and selfishness (honestly, I can almost hear the two of them complaining their large & small intestines out!) for two reasons: 1) mom can be a pain in the ass sometimes; thank God, Tatay’s made of “cool-er” stuff, and 2) this early on, they have made their decisions as far as future career’s concerned: boy wants to be an “enstein jr.” (or at a least a combination of physicists Leonard, Sheldon, Raj, and Howard in the Big Bang Theory) while girl wants to be a fine arts student. Proof to that is her constant purchase of sketch pads and drawing materials. Period.

Some days, it becomes pretty amusing how Jun and I would banter wildly about it. I mean the roads that these kids may tread on. Husband talks Faith into becoming a “dermatologist” someday so we can all have young-looking skin comparable to Belo clients even if we hit old age. “No, anak” I’ll tell her, “you better pursue “Law”, that way, it’d be easy for us to get through when things get tangled up!”.

Haha. What an annoying, meddlesome adults!

But as I was saying, yesterday jolted me from complacency particularly in the health department. And mine, I tell you, would rival that of a “Bicho-preguiça”. FYI, “Bicho-preguiça” or sloths are a “lazy animal” known for their slow movements and their very slow metabolism. In my list of priorities, healthy lifestyle or anything related to healthy living makes a poor second or third choice only. There was a time I almost liked doing treadmills but that “likeness” was short-lived. And then there’s a period in my chubby-oh-so-heavy-existence whenI almost invested portion of my salary going to the gym for a regular workout, but it did not last long either. I’d rather gulp slimming coffees than sweat it out. That kind of sloth-ish mentality.

So when I woke up with an excruciating pain on my left abdomen and almost passed out as I prepare myself to work, images of the grim reaper in full battle gear somersaulted inside my head. I thought he was going to get me there and then! Imagine what would it be like if these children lost their mother?! That’s a terrible thought.

First, husband cleansed my aura via pranic healing, then he energised the affected part of my body. The pain subsided a bit. Until the agonizing pain came back with a capital v (spell it v-e-n-g-e-a-n-c-e).  We had no choice but to go to a doctor. The first clinic we went into, unfortunately, can no longer take patients in. Apparently, you have to call them or request for an early appointment if you want to be checked-up.

The pain wouldn’t go and I am left wondering where to bring my ass into. Certainly, it cannot wait until the next day. Or my innards might just explode. Only in the afternoon were we able to find one who diagnosed, and treated, and gave me medications.

Today, I am feeling better.

I wonder why we produce a lot of doctors in this country but there seem to be a few of them doing practice. Have they all migrated to other countries? That was when I thought, why not send Faith or Elmo to medical course? Won’t do any harm. Both are excelling in their academics anyway. Both are showing a promise in the future.

In the end though, I realized what would matter are their own decisions. What would weigh harder are their choices. After all, we are here merely to guide them. They don’t have to be our saviors, or second-liners, or builders of our lost hopes and dreams. Neither are they meant to fill-in our childhood deprivations.

As Deepak Chopra tweeted this morning, “In the eyes of love, all people are doing the best they can from their own levels of consciousness.”
Trust that children may do what’s best…for everyone.

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