The #2 is MY #1

After the end of every school year, for the past six years, I have been going up the stage in school to accept and hang on my son’s neck a silver medal for academic achievement.  Out of more or less 400 students in his grade level, my son has consistently been Top 2.  The students getting the first and the third spots have changed several times, but The Son stood his ground. As one parent puts it, he has kept his throne.

As a hands on parent, maybe I should share in taking credit for his achievements.  I can always claim that without my help and guidance — and the tons of reviewers that i used to make (okay, honestly, I still make some up to  now) — without me giving encouragement and support, maybe he wouldn’t have been consistent.  Maybe my persistent nagging (how redundant is that!) does the work.  Maybe i can claim that he is doing well in school because i won’t let him do otherwise (translation: confiscate every single toy, book or whatever that normal boys make time for… or ground him for the rest of his student life!).

Honestly? I won’t take credit for my son’s achievements.  He has reached this far because he worked hard for it.  Yeah, maybe I give a little nudge every once in a while… maybe i do nag him, specially when time is of the essence… and yes, i still help review him come exam day.  But once he is in school he’s on his own.  He uses his own brains to understand things. He works hard to  perfect his activities and he relates to the teachers and peers in his own personal way.  It is all him.  I dare not take away his glory.

As a parent, the most i can do is to give the best guidance, support and encouragement as much as I can while he is young.  I just sow the seeds and he does the rest of the work.  He makes his mistakes and learns from them.  He makes decisions and face the consequences.  But sometimes, too, I can only watch and guide from afar.  Sometimes i can only pray that i guided him well enough to make good choices when he’s on his own.

So far, he is doing pretty well. 

This morning, I was the picture of a very proud (and beaming) mom. 


Girlie Goals Revisited

Several weeks ago, I wrote about getting the chance to do something I have long wanted to do (Girlie Goal #25 — sing ala Barbra!).  It was such an exhilirating experience, really.  Sometimes we do have to get out of our comfort zone… walk that extra mile… give ourselves that nudge to do something that fear has been keeping us from doing. 

When I was young, i used to make a list of my Girlie Goals.  Allow me to share with you parts of that list… Parts because i have long lost the actual list and i simply have forgotten the others (maybe they are not as interesting). 

Girlie Goals written when I was 12:

Teach little kids (check!)… Have hair straightened (check!)… Dye my hair brown (check!)… Have my own brown horse… Name my horse Chessie… Have a print ad (done!)… Meet a certain pro basketball player (check!! met and went out with him several times, even…)… write articles and get published (done on several occasions!)… have a billboard… write a book… sing in front of a crowd (done just recently!)… have a Lexus… ride a hot air balloon… 

That’s as much as I can remember from my old list.  Now that I am looking at it, it feels good knowing that I got to do most of what my 12 year old self had wished for.  It makes me realize that my whole life journey has been pretty interesting and fulfilling (so far), simply because I got to do the stuff that my younger self had dreamed of.  Yes, some were really trivial — like meeting a basketball player! How lame was that?! But then at that time it was very real to that 12 year old… And when the 24 year old actually met said ballplayer, well, it was proof enough that dreams do come true.  Talk about achievement.

Still, there are other things that i haven’t done.  And yes, there are other things that are not on this list that i know I would want to do.  Like i said before, my Girlie Goals may not be as grand as “save the whales” or “save the environment” or “adopt a child from another country,”  but my goals give meaning to who I am.  During the times when things just don’t make sense, looking back at the goals that I have accomplished helps remind me of who I am… of the things I like… of how different my needs are from other people’s needs, and that i don’t always have to please them to be happy. 

Sometimes — no, a lot of times — it’s the little things that you do for yourself that make you the happiest. 

Girlie Goals 2010 and beyond… 

write that book i have long wanted to write… come out in a tv ad (without having to go through all the go-sees!)… maintain my ideal weight… set up an educational foundation for underprivileged children… write more articles and be published regularly… learn how to pole dance… and yes, I still want that Lexus… 

etc. etc. etc…