Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Why Make Things Difficult?

It is examination time again.  My daughter and I are faced with scheduled exams before we shall welcome summer.  While Faizah's classmates are buried into tutorial sessions, she was busy skipping ropes at home with cousins and friends.  I have my own long exams, research proposals, and requirements to meet, but I do not want to deprive my daughter of the time when I can assist her in her studies.  So, I called her up to get ready for a review.  

It is a blessing that one of her classmate's mother was very generous to share with Faizah the practice test questions that she had prepared for her son to review on.  Faizah quickly answered the test and handed it back to me for correction.  

When I picked the Language Practice Test papers, Faizah rushed and said "Hmmm...mama, I am sorry if did not tell the truth in the question that asked "When was the last time you ate fried chicken?".

"Well, let me see..." I told her.  Then I  quickly went over the item and to my confusion, I asked her "why, what is wrong with eating fried chicken only last Sunday?"

"Mama, I did not eat fried chicken last Sunday.  I ate fried chicken last Saturday.  But I do not know how to spell Saturday, so I just wrote Sunday there as my answer because it is easy to spell!"

"Uhmmm, I can take that", I told my daughter and secretly smiled at her reasoning.  

So we moved on with the Araling Panlipunan practice test.  Then I was glad to note that she only had two mistakes.  I observed that she was in a hurry answering the practice test for the desire to jump ropes again.

"You are doing very good in Aral Pan, you have only two mistakes", so I declared.

"Then that means you have to buy me steaks!" she replied eagerly.

"There you go! You always have something to ask for whenever you get well in a test...Remember this is not a graded test yet, you will still have to face the school exam tomorrow.  This is just practice, remember!", I retorted.

"Mama, don't be scared! I won't let you buy steaks now...I just said 'then that means you have to buy me steaks' because steaks and mistakes, rhymed! Just relax!".

Wheew! This verbal encounter made me think.  My daughter has taught me a lesson today and that is to keep things easy and to relax - do not make a fuss!  Yes, why should insist on spelling Saturday, when all you know is Sunday?  And why think of other things when what was just said was a way of showing off ones learning?  Tsssk, tsk, tsk...why do i have to make things difficult? 


Thursday, September 1, 2011


I Don’t Have A Family!

I was studying for my exam in Bioethics when my daughter heard me say out loud the primary principles of Bioethics in the Filipino culture – goodness, beneficence, and family.  She interrupted me with her “but Ma, you don’t have a family anymore!”

I was stunned for a moment.  Does she understand what she meant with family?  My rational mind raced and I made a quick review of the things that I might have done that made her think I don’t have a family.  Is she angry with me?  I was afraid.

“Oh my dear, I have you.  You are my family!” I reached out to her and tried to bring her to my arms.  She wriggled out from me and looked away.  “But Ma, a family is composed of a father, mother and children.  Before, I have a Papa and Mama.  Now, I do not have a Papa anymore.  So I no longer have a family!”

Oh! She must have meant she has an incomplete family.  Not sure if my words will be enough for her, I allowed a few seconds of silence as I held her.  “Baby, you are right that an ideal family should have a father, mother and children.  But in our case, even if your Papa is already gone, we are still a family.  You and I, no matter what happens will always be family.”

To paint an extended family picture in her mind, I reminded her that she still has her grandpas, grandmas, aunts, uncles, and cousins around as family.  “Besides, we will always have God as our Father.  You and I, together with God will always be family.”  She just smiled and went to work back on her coloring book. 

The next day, she came home from school asking me for our family picture.  “Lord, please help me with this assignment.  I am not sure what’s working on her mind and heart, now.  Help me to satisfy her questions, if ever she raises one,” I prayed quickly.

She didn’t want those pictures that I found.  She wanted a recent family picture!  I tried to show her our old wacky picture and she started to cry, “I don’t like that. I want a new picture and I want my papa back!”

I have to bat away tears and have to straighten my voice.  “Papa is no longer coming back, you know that.  And I cannot give you a new picture of us together.  But I can make a nice picture of us together.  Here, let me show you on the computer what I did with our previous photos.”  She was still crying but she managed to look at what I have on the computer.  She examined the picture and said, “No, I will not have that.  Let’s look for another one.” So we did and found an old card that we did for family members when she was yet a year old.  She got it and pasted it on her book to complete her assignment.

She did not ask anything or did talk about papa after that.  But I sense that she misses papa so much.  I miss him, too. 

So this is my prayer.  May my daughter face and overcome her reality and that God will fill in whatever void there are in her life.  The good memories of papa will always be within our hearts.  May she move onwards and be happy to embrace the life ahead of her.  She may be too young to understand everything that happened, but I believe that there is nothing impossible with God.  He can make us whole.
All That I Love

All that I love, only put me in despair
What used to be an adventure
Just bruised my heart, put me to tears
Made me cranky, lead me out of here!

All that I love, I put in a bin


Have to tie them, have to contain
Lead me out of here, please, no hell
For in all that I love, nothing's well.

All that I love, party and dancercise
Now are gone, bring me no lies
The laughter and neon lights
The lights, the flicker, slowly dies.

All that I love, now are dead
Quiet as the monastery, so still
The sexton's my witness, always will
As I lay all that I love, to their peaceful bed.