Saturday, April 11, 2015

Wanted: Mom and Dad

I didn't  really consider myself a lucky, fat and normal kid growing up. Well, I was and I am still fat, okay. Studying in a private school where most of my schoolmates are children of a certain doctor or an attorney or a councilor or any professional-sounding individual like engineer, nurse, midwife and so on- while I am a daughter of two government employees. Well, they don't have titles, their names don't start with Arch., Engr., Dr., or Atty. so I must have a reason to feel really inferior to my classmates.

What I didn't realize at that time was that I was beyond privileged and extremely lucky because unlike some of my classmates who turned out to be spoiled brats, constant bullies, and young parents, I was normal- because I have a complete family. I have a mom and a dad, and sometimes, it's all that really matters and that could spell a huge difference in a child's life.

So my mom went on a five-day seminar at Subic this week, and this is the first time in my entire existence that I am bringing myself to admit that I really missed her. It just feels incomplete not having her around in our house for four days. Well, it's not like this is the first time my parents went on a seminar. Our (my siblings and I) entire childhood was almost filled with our memories of us sending dad to the airport or fetching him, of mom going to different places to attend some seminar, of both of them being out of town at the same time, leaving us with our Lola or aunts.

I've found out that during one of the lowest points of your life, when your entire life flashes before your eyes, when your reminisce the better times you had, when all you worry about the chains of your bicycle getting misaligned while driving or what your Lola would buy for merienda, -- you learn to appreciate the little things that seemed trivial at first.

This week, I came up with 10 reasons why I don't want mom to be out again:

1. No delicious breakfast.
2. No wake-up call to get my lazy ass off the bed and do some household chores. Even if most of the time she would wake me up just to ask questions that we both know she knows the answer for.
3. No delicious dinner.
4. No groceries.
5. She's the only person in the house who knows where everything is. Sugar, coffee, flashlight, hammer.....
6. I can tell her things I cannot tell Dad because I am really, really scared.
7. I can annoy her constantly and convince her to buy me stuff I should be paying myself.
8. My dog loves her.
9. She provides a sense of comfort and warmth inside the house.
10. She talks a lot.

Consequently, I also made 10 reasons why I'll miss dad when he's out:

1. The plants will die.
2. My dog really loves him.
3. I can ask for money without being audited.
4. He brings a sense of security and authority in the house.
5. TV bonding.
6. I will miss his questions/requests about computers or internet.
7. He really makes eating fruits and vegetables look a lot of fun.
8. His temper......
9. He doesn't really say much, but his words are very, very on point.
10. His intellectual sense of humor.

So there. If you are a parent and you come across this post through some random act of wizardry or anything like that, I just ought to tell you one thing ( as a teacher, ehem, and as a child), go spend quality time with your child/ren as often as you can. When I say quality, that doesn't mean going to Disneyland or some amusement park, sometimes, a simple break from your busy work to ask how their day went and actually listening to their response, verbal or not, could make a lot of difference in their lives. Children never needed all those fancy gadgets and expensive shoes or dress, they need YOU, and you alone. They need you as their mothers and fathers, not you as the bank manager or the lawyer. They need you to make them feel wanted. They need you to make them feel you miss them or you love them, and that is something IPads, a pair of Jordan breds or new clothes can do. Your children needs constant affirmation and reassurance that it is perfectly okay to have mistakes as long as you learn from it and not dwell on it.

And if by any chance you are a child, a son or a daughter, regardless of how young or how old you are, always be grateful for your parent/s. Show them your gratitude by studying or working hard to make them happy. I hope we all live up to how we were raised by our parents. I hope we make them proud of who and what we have become at this point of our lives, and who and what we will become in the years to come. I hope we all come to realize that they did what they can, gave what they have and lost what they once had, in order for us to have a better life than theirs.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Angels and God

March 10. Fifteen years ago, our parents left us in the house.The sun was almost setting, as my ditse was  preparing snacks for the three of us. Her old 3315 cellphone rang, and the next thing I heard was: "Ano? Bakit wala na siya?", 'I must be dreaming", I thought to myself upon hearing my older sister cry like a baby again. But apparently, everything is real. She shook me and said, "wala na si Daddy Pole", and we both cried, mourning the death of the only grandfather we know. He was supposed to turn a year older four days before his death.

March 14. I was feeling really awful from the amount of work we had that week, I just really wanted to sleep all day and  hibernate probably; but I have to get up and take a Final exam that I only know of hours before the scheduled date. 'Lord, bahala Ka na ha.' I said to myself as I was trying to remember the very few lessons I know this semester.

So my first exam, which happened to be practical thing was really really bad and I felt like the dumbest person in the world for not being able to answer/perform all those activities correctly even if I consider myself a 'computer literate', but it turned out I really wasn't.

I immediately proceeded to my next class and hurriedly made a project due for submission in an hour, but yeah, I didn't make it so I just wished and prayed that our professor would still allow me to pass the requirement the following meeting. But God (and my angels, I presume), gave me something more!

During our late lunch, my classmates were thinking of skipping the last class because we have not reviewed yet while I was hoping for a miracle that our professor would not make it because he missed it or something like that.

An hour before the exam, we went back to the college and I sheepishly asked one of my classmates if she could lend me a book, which she willingly did and we even had some sort of a peer review. I was just staring at the book, trying to absorb and make sense of what I am reading when our professor came and asked us to transfer to another room.

I was not really confident in  taking the exam, but I just asked for His guidance and told Him I'll just answer what I know. It took us about three hours to finish the grueling examination, my hands are aching, my head feels heavy, my eyes are itchy and I  really really feel sleepy.

So with a very heavy heart, I went home. Thinking what might happen with my exams, then I thought how my dad would react once he knows how I've been doing in this masteral course. I thought of how I'll be able to comply with the requirements. I thought of not enrolling the following semester because every semester that I am working and studying at the same time becomes harder that it was before. I thought that this is the perfect recipe for being a failure again.

The following week is yet another stressful week. Forms, checking, preparation for graduation and other requirements and all the tasks that a teacher faces every single day made me occupied and brought all the stress it could.

But God has always His way of surprising us in the midst of overwhelming situations. His assurance of everything is unbelievable and His blessings come when we least expect it. I know You sent your angels to guide me in taking that very last exam which I did not expect to pass, but You gave me wisdom to answer and remind me of the things I almost forgot. I owe  this to you, Lord. Without you,  Daddy Pole, Inang Pita, Lola Barang and all the angels you've given me, I know this would not be possible.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Between endings and beginnings

Life is cycle of endings and beginnings. For one thing to begin, another must end. 17 days before the month ends, I should really be happy now, I should be excited to pack my things, leave the school and wait for what lies ahead. But I am not.

I never thought that leaving would be this hard, that even just the thought of giving my farewell message to my pupils would scare the hell out of me, that even how much I try to avoid confronting my feelings, there'll come a point that I have to face anxiety, fear, sadness and happiness all at the same time.

And that small space between endings and beginnings is what hurts the most- saying goodbyes, wishing them all the best, encouraging them to make all their dreams come true, no matter how silly it may seem for others.

That small space between endings and beginnings, where each hug is tighter, each step away from one another is heavier, where each tear is both happy and sad, where each word takes heartbeats to say, and where we come to realize that it might be the last time to see each other.

March 26, you'll be my first elementary graduates, I couldn't be any prouder of what we have achieved together. No matter how much I try to avoid saying my goodbye messages despite your constant prodding, I know when that day comes, I will be the happiest (and the saddest) teacher in the world. I am happy because on that day, you will make your parents proud. I am happy because despite my half-hearted acceptance of being a Grade 6 adviser because of your batch's known reputation, you all have proven me and other people wrong. I am happy because you've made me a part of your life, and you've trusted me with some of your secrets. I am happy because I am genuinely happy for sixty three young children who wants nothing but love, understanding, time and acceptance, marching along the halls of your second home.

And that small space between endings and beginnings is what hurts the most. #