Family and Parenting

Another of Those Motherhood Dramas

November 25th, 2011

I have understood that now as a mother to my eleven-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter. In contrast to what I perceived before as an overrated show of affection & protectiveness parents have for their children, I kind of feel a sense of enlightenment from ignorance, a fundamental shift away from self-focus to a more nurturing, compassionate, doting side of the self.

This morning, as the kids dress up for school, I realized how grown-up they have become. Gone are the days when my arms and shoulder would suffer night and day from carrying their chubby little bodies. I miss those moments when I have to lull them to sleep, feed them with baby food, or wash their chocolate-stained baby clothes. I smiled at the reminiscence of their first taste of education. Elmo only turned three when I enrolled him at a preparatory school. It was funny how amazed his teacher was that he’s more familiar with his senior classmates about shapes, alphabet, numbers, etc. He can even recite the abcd‘s in reverse order, and answers his activity books way before the school year ends. There was one occasion I asked his yaya to erase all his answers from the book.

I looked at Elmo and Faith now and I can’t help but utter a silent/sincere thanks, we (husband and I) probably are doing a great job. Aside from occasional bouts of childhood silliness, my children are every parents’ dream. Sweet and responsible kids. They both do well in school. Not that I’m grade-conscious, nonetheless, I feel proud seeing high marks on their report card. Second grading period surprised me with an average of 98% for my daughter and 95% for my son, who is, by the way, going to graduate from primary school this year.

Bliss is that sudden leap of joy when you hear them say “Nanay, alis na po ako/kami. I love you.” An instant reminder of God’s infinite, unconditional love for humanity. Bliss is the unexplainable urge to be a better person no matter what. Bliss is resolving to weather any kind of storms to protect them from things that may hamper their full potential’s development. Bliss is just being thankful. For these precious gifts.

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.
Please Lord, don’t make Faith inherit this trait. Huhu.
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