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…

Flowers From Nanay’s Garden

October 17th, 2011

Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.  ~Henry Beecher, Life Thoughts, 1858

 

Earth laughs in flowers.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Hamatreya”

 

For myself I hold no preferences among flowers, so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous.  Bricks to all greenhouses!  Black thumb and cutworm to the potted plant!  ~Edward Abbey

I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.
~Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Afternoon on a Hill”

Reunited, After 21 Years!

October 17th, 2011

Who would’ve known that after twenty-one looong years of physical absence, I will bump into my elementary classmates back again. These are the same people who helped mould me into what I am today. The same people I spent my childhood with: tending herbal and medicinal gardens after class, fetching water from the school’s nearby creek to clean our restrooms (we do this especially if we’ve been the assigned sweepers for the day), playing Chinese garter and having fistfights with thereafter, and some sweet things like sharing stories during vacant hours at the stage, near the acacia tree.

Meeting them at my grandfather’s wake reminds me of what Pauline Wilson sings so soulfully:  “With so many roads that seem to lead down to the sea, I wonder which road will be the right one for me? Others may fall away, dead ending left and right – but there is this one road that journeys far out of sight. Have you wondered where your road will lead you?….”

We are all but travelers in this lifetime. And the road we choose to mark our footprints on defines what the rest of us will be. Somebody once said about two very crucial life forces: fate and destiny. It is fate if you simply wait on the promise; it is destiny if you act on it.  Fate awaits you, but you create your own destiny. Right?

I found mirth in them knowing that not all of them may have held a job like mine, but  are genuinely happy in the lives they have chosen. One is now a mother of six. The other one (a cousin  of mine) recently divorced her husband. One guy already has a grandson! One is still single. So on and so forth.

Dear classmates, you’ll never know how humbled and proud I am meeting you even for just a brief moment. Your stories will always serve as a gentle reminder on how I must face my own destiny. Hope to see you guys in summer of 2012 for the planned reunion! I also hope by then, the class will be in full force. Too bad, we lost two of our beloved classmates already. But wherever they are, I’m quite sure they’re having a grand time in the hands of the Great Creator.

 

With so many roads
that seem to lead
down to the sea
I wonder which road
will be the right
one for me 

others may fall away,
dead ending left and right
but there is this one road
that journeys far out of sight
Have you wondered where
your road will lead you?

Blame It on James Ingram

October 3rd, 2011

I dropped a tear in the ocean.  The day you find it is the day I will stop missing you.  ~Author Unknown

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