09 October 2011
Mothers ought to…
1. Be calm.
2. Be assertive.
3. Be responsible.
4. Be fair.
5. Be true.
6. Be open.
7. Be trusting.
8. Be smart.
9. Be kind.
And most of all…
10. Be there.
10 October 2011
I Didn’t Want to Miss Out on Their Growing Up Years
Sixteen years ago, I took a leap of faith—that of wriggling out of that comfort zone of having a regular income. Five children was a brood too big to leave all their growing up to the help. The fear that something would happen to them in my absence was too much to even think about. Without their father around, the responsibility of making sure they were alright was greater.
This brings to mind my one and only wish, or dream, when I was moving into adulthood, and that is to marry a good man, be a good wife, have beautiful children, and be a good mother to them. Career was very secondary to me, despite being prodded to strive and be employed in big corporations in Manila, or become a president of a company, or own a business, or what have you. Perhaps, it was the idea of many that greatness was about these achievements. Mine was not in the list of things that great men and women do. Mine was simply to take care of my children the best way I could.
Somebody told me that I did good. And that I did best. To be there when your children are in their critical, formative years is precious, not only to me as a mother but also to my children. To be there when they enter adolescence. To be there, when they have all these questions. To be there, when they have to make this little decisions that involved their friends, classmates, teachers, school work, etc. To be there, when they go off the school bus, hungry and tired. To be there, just to be there.
Now that my children have grown, I have seen that they are calm and confident; thinkers and decision-makers; creative and imaginative; and many more. The circumstances that have shown these qualities may be too many to mention here now, but in time, I would be able to recollect and share with you some anecdotes, beginning tomorrow.
11 October 2011
Can you handle yourself?
I don’t exactly recall who among my children was the first to had asked permission to go to a mall without me or an adult for a company, but I am quite sure that question must have been asked me at one point in their intermediate (grades 4-6) and early high school years.
My reply to any such asking for permission was always: “Can you handle yourself? What if something happens and you are caught in a difficult situation, can you take care of yourself? Do you know what to do?”
I had always wanted them to make the decision for themselves. And they had always made the decision not to without adult company, and would usually come back to me saying: “Next time na lang, Nanay. Di ko yata kaya.” There you go.
18 October 2011
What do you need it for?
If you can honesty tell yourself that you need it badly, then by all means, have it. Always throwing back the responsibility to decide for themselves, I had told them this when cellphones occupied the minds of my children when they were in high school. They had seen their classmates bring mobile phones in school, conveniently calling or texting their friends or family while in class. Too bad, the school had started to not allow students to bring them in when more and more of them brought the gadget to school.
And I had asked them again: What do you need the mobile phone for?
The school was a five minute walk from our house. The school has a landline and we have a landline. In case of emergency, they could always use the landline; unless they went somewhere else and had an emergency.
They didn’t force the issue.