As promised…

It has been a semi-frustrating blog week…

Semi-frustrating because  1) my internet connection has been acting up since saturday evening (see Limited Connectivity entry), and 2) my chance and definitely unintentional brush with icky porn the other day (see Blogging etiquette post). 

Sometimes the universe just throws things at you that you are not prepared for.  Good that I had topics to write about, but it can be pretty exhausting to be angry — or frustrated. 

Today I am keeping my cool.  For along with the frustrating times come moments, too, that warm our hearts. 

Here is something that is light and easy…

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This morning as I dropped off my son in school, I lingered a little longer and from the back seat of my car I watched as he walked to the school gate, then enter the school premises, and eventually disappeared going up the stairs to his classroom.  Somehow I couldn’t dismiss that tug in my chest as I watched him walk away.                                           

I remember the first time my son entered big school.  He was only 5 then. He wasn’t the clingy “Mom, please don’t leave me!!!” nor the whiny “I don’t want to go to school!!!” type.  Nor was he the one who cries silent tears — tears that will surely melt a mom’s heart and make her want to whisk her child away (like school was a bad place or something!).  No, my son held his own… He made me bring him to his classroom, he let me leave guiltlessly when it was time to leave, yet made me promise to be there at dismissal time.  And I was there as promised.

He is in 5th grade now.   I still drop him off  in the morning… but by now I am just allowed to either stay in the car or bring him to the gate (“Mom, that is so not cool!!”).  Watching him this morning, I can’t help but ask myself until when do I intend to do this?  I mean, at some point I will have to learn to let go, right?

Letting go is not easy.  Sometimes we wish we can forever hold our children in our hands so they are always protected.  But we also know that by letting them go, we let them learn… we let them experience life… and we let them grow.  Because if we hold on too tight, we will stifle their growth.  There are things that they simply have to learn on their own.

But we know that whatever happens, we will be there to catch them should they fall. Perhaps what is important is that they have the knowledge and the security that whatever happens, when they need us, we will be there to pick them up…

Every dismissal.  As promised.   

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photo via weheartit.com

Little hands touching the heart

I was fixing my files earlier when i came across a bunch of papers with doodles and sketches… and then I saw one of the first love notes that my boy gave me when he was still very little.  My heart can’t help but skip a bit. 

picture perfect

I can’t help but ask, where has time gone?    It seems not too long ago when I was just teaching my son how to write and draw… I used to sing him all the nursery songs i knew and i used to recite the poems i wanted him to learn.  Our nightly rituals included me reading him a book and the two of us singing songs before going to sleep.  I used to hold his little hands a lot and he used to give me lots and lots of big hugs, shower my face with wet kisses. And he used to give me all these notes and doodles and sketches…

Now he’s eleven.  Not a baby anymore, yet not exactly a teenager, too.  He is at the stage where he asks for some space, yet still wants to see me watching over him from afar.  Unlike the times when he would be proud to be seen with mommy, now hugging mommy in public is just so uncool.  Sometimes he answers back like an adult and thinks he can get away with it… then comes back to ask for my help on something. 

When i watch him as he sleeps at night, I can’t help but marvel at how he has grown, right in front of my eyes, without me really realizing it.  To me he is still the baby that I carried and sang lullabies to.  He is still the little boy who gave me cute little love notes… the same one who would extend his little hand so we can walk hand in hand whenever we are out.

Despite me being a full-time, hands on mom, i still don’t think that the time I spend with him is ever enough.  I want to make the most of our moments together because I know that sooner or later, he will have his own life, and he won’t be needing much of me.  At some point, I would really have to let go so he can live his life, grow as his own person.

Time flies so fast.  Children grow up fast.  Sometimes we have to remind ourselves just that.  Our babies are not babies forever…though in our hearts they always will be.   We have to make the most of the time we share together… the time when we can teach them, nurture them, and love them.  

Lest we forget, the joy that our child brings to our lives simply can never be compared with anything else.  The overwhelming love that tugs our hearts is indescribable.  It’s priceless. 

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photo credit: Picture perfect drawing of me from my Superson (from 5-6 years back)

Mommy tantrums

Last night i found myself ranting about someone I don’t really know, but never really liked (that usually happens when past relationships get entangled with present ones).  I was going at it for a good ten minutes when my 11yr old overheard what I was saying and asked if that person I was saying mean things about did something bad to me personally before.  I said no, but her existence somehow has an effect on my life and the thought of her just irritates me.

To this, my son replied, “But mom, why can’t you be the bigger person?”

That basically shut me up. 

(mommy in tantrum mode)

  

It dawned on me that while I was whining and complaining like a spoiled brat,  my son was teaching me the mature thing to do.  Be the bigger person.  Pretty embarrassing, really.  At that moment, the roles were reversed.  I was the immature one.

We teach our children about fairness, about having good manners, about patience, understanding, about not being petty… all the good things, all the values that we would want them to imbibe.  But sometimes we forget that we do have to be role models.  We have to set an example… we cannot teach them one thing and act the opposite way.  We do have to be careful with our words and our actions specially around our kids because we don’t want to  be inconsistent.

Being the bigger person is not always easy.  There really are people who just rub you the wrong way that the mere mention of their names make you go ballistic.  Yet how can you expect your children to be non-violent, peace loving citizens, when they see you blowing your top just at the mere mention of one name?   

Self-restraint.  This is something we should all have. 

Yes, and next time I rant about some person I dislike, I’ll make sure that my son’s not within earshot.

 

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photo credit : myvibrantfamily.com

 

Staying 27

It never used to bother me when people ask how old I am.  My friends are mostly of the same age so we understand each other’s language, i dress appropriately that people won’t think i’m from another era (say ’60s or 70’s), nor would they think i’m trying hard to look young… and i am surrounded by young kids a lot of times that i feel young, too.  Believe me, laughter begets laughter.  Try surrounding yourself with grumpy old people and see how long your light spirits will last.

My age used to be just a number.  It didn’t feel like such a big deal when i turned a quarter of a century.  I still felt young and alive and had so much to look forward to.   And then when i had my child, i was a happy young mom.  I had friends who went on a hiatus when they turned thirty.  They felt they were too old to stay single.  I remember being a joyful thirty year old “young” mom.   

But then lately, as i watch my son turn into a fine lad, warning bells seem to be ringing relentlessly inside my head.  Okay, so maybe it’s more of a gong that i am hearing.  That nagging sound that keeps reminding me that well, i am not so young, after all.     And that unless i stick to my make up story that i had my son at a very young age (say 16), well people who ask my age are bound to know that I am not in my late twenties — nor am i just thirty (where my age stopped.  but press release has always been 27).  Of course I can always hope that they suck at math and can’t make mental computations.

So, does this age thing bother me now?  Yes, it’s starting to.  Getting old scares me.  I don’t want to turn out old and wrinkly with gray hair.  Worse, old AND grumpy.  A hag in every sense of the word.  I am afraid of getting old without knowing my purpose in life. 

Can i do something about it? Maybe.  I can accept the fact that everybody grows older everyday. It’s a sign of life, so I should be thankful.  Perhaps embrace the idea that wisdom comes with age (… thus, i am wiser than well, my son and his friends).  I am more experienced, more knowledgeable, and i should be proud of my personal successes, big or small. 

 And yes, if i wish to age with grace, daily use of moisturizer and body lotion will help, too.  Have a strict beauty regimen.  I can dye my hair brown (or even magenta) if i feel like it.  Smiling helps a lot, too.  So maybe i should always flash my mega watt smile at friends and strangers alike.

Age is not just a number when you really think about it.  It signifies the years you have been blessed with this gift called life.    Instead of being in denial, i guess I should be grateful i have reached this far… and look forward to having more.

Of course I can always say that my son is really JUST my younger brother… but who am I kidding??

 

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watch out for: Signs that I’m Getting Old (or I’m Not as Young as I  Say I Am)