Every week, Preen tackles motherhood sans the rose-tinted glasses. Our columnists L. Juliano, Marla Darwin, Monica Eleazar-Manzano, and Rossana Unson tell their personal experiences like it is—at times frustrating, oftentimes confusing, but always enlightening.
I have noticed an undeniable shift in your whole being. As you turned nine, you grew a few inches taller, picked up an even more voracious appetite for food making you bigger in size and weight, but the most alarming change so far is—almost instantly, the recessive “naughty” gene from your dad’s own bloodline has surfaced. A very BIG uh-oh! Although we aren’t so surprised (because your father and I both believe in the power of the DNA), it seems that we have been reprimanding you on a daily basis and it is challenging our parenting skills to the point of complete exhaustion. You know very well that we don’t believe in violence as a form of discipline so we won’t result to that…ever. This we promise you. So, tell us, what is up?
You never used to harm anyone, not even an ant, but we have caught you on many occasions hitting, pushing, or biting your friend and even your little sister—especially when we aren’t looking. In our current situation it is tough since we do not have any household helpers. I ask you why you do the (naughty) things that you do and you cannot give a logical answer. I know that you aren’t mirroring anyone else in the family because no one has ever done this to you so, I scratch my head and wonder, “Where is this angst coming from?” Is it from electronic media exposure? From the very little times we allow you to play on the iPad or watch movies on weekends? I know you have always been a sensitive child in the sense that you don’t digest external stimuli like most children. That is always my explanation to any foul behavior you’ve ever had.
Interestingly though, in Anthroposophy, they say that right about this time of a child’s eight to nine year’s life transition is the crossing of the Rubicon. A very trying time for both child and parent as it is a peek of what’s to come in the time of your adolescence. They say that children feel the “fall of grace,” that they are suddenly awakened from their dreamy states and feel the separation from the world around them. Could this be it? It must be!
Your father and I shake our heads and half-jokingly laugh and tease each other because we know we are in for a rollercoaster ride. Talk about karma spitting right back at our face for all our own misdeeds as tweens! What happened to our sweet little boy who was so meek and mild? You have always been so easy to manage up until this year. Oh boy! I sure hope and pray that this is all just temporary.
I guess this is a wake-up call for us to be more attentive to the inner changes you are going through. That you need us more to hold your hand as you journey and grow through this process. Your father and I will strive to continue teaching you what is right from wrong in an age-appropriate manner, but please understand that we are learning as parents, too. I know that you won’t be able to read or understand all of this anytime soon so I reach out and speak to your soul.
I am challenging myself, too. Instead of putting my attention on your newfound tricks (like peeing on the cement pavement in front of your cousin, which you apparently found very funny), I want to focus on all the good things that you do. Perhaps, this will remind me of how proud I am to be your parent―even at this stage which I am not very fond of the moment but will surely miss when you do grow up. Hopefully, by doing this strategy, it would encourage the better aspects of you to shine as we recognize the sparks of light radiating from you.
You are a gentle and kind-hearted soul. Ever since the arrival of your little sister, you have slept next to her hugging and protecting her, taking the role of kuya or older brother very seriously. I know you love her deeply. And wouldn’t have it any other way as you have requested for a sibling for years before she came to this world. She is also your personal wish manifested.
You take time to teach your classmate who is lagging behind lessons because you understand how it is to have a huge imagination, bigger than what the teacher or classroom could ever hold.
When asked nicely, you do chores with much gusto like singing while washing the dishes. I also love it when you get lost in your own world when taking a bath. You sing and dance like no one is watching. I hear you, and sometimes, see you but I pretend not to watch because I know that this moment is fleeting and I want to savor it by not disturbing you. I smile inside whenever you break loose. Please continue to do silly and funny things like that beyond your childhood years! It’s what makes you so lovable and uniquely you!
I know your passion for good food is a serious matter because you always ask us, “When we will open a restaurant where I can work?” You also give us insight on the meals we cook. “A little more salt,” you would say. Or give compliments to me or your father for a well-prepared dish. Perhaps this is a way of telling us that you could potentially be a chef someday. Let’s start by learning how to make easy recipes together, shall we?
No matter what transpires during the day, we always end by making up, hugging and sleeping next to each other—definitely a co-sleeping family perk. You say you will sleep next to us, your parents and sister until you turn 30. Let’s see how long that promise will be.
Thank you for allowing us to mold you into a better person each day. It is a privilege to be your mother. Despite all of your recent shenanigans, your father and I love you. Please remember that when you transition to become a teenager.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Preen.ph, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.
Art by Dorothy Guya