Thursday, January 23, 2014

Of 6 year olds, Crushes and Marrying

I usually blog about Nina so this time, I'm giving a little cybertime to Kuya for a change.

Hubs and kuya returned from the annual field trip today and hubs had a lot to tell.  Normally, i am the one who usually goes with the kids since my schedules are more flexible.  But since my sister and I were scheduled to watch Wicked on stage and i wasnt sure if i could make it back in time, hubs ended up going with them instead (aside from the fact that Kuya said he wanted Dad to be the one to go with him).

Before i start with my story, let me give a little backgrounder first... Kuya's preschool actually belongs to an exclusive girl's school campus.  But because the neighboring all-boys school beside them did not offer pre-school courses, the administrators took the opportunity and made their pre-school co-ed.  So it goes without saying that most sections in the pre-school have more girls than boys.  And that is where i will begin my story.

Hubs told me that while the kids were wandering around the flower farm, a mother of one if Kuya's classmates approached him.  She casually mentioned that our son was known to kiss a lot of his female classmates.  Somewhat embarrassed with that revelation, hubs explained that we have been conditioning Kuya that the only females that he should be kissing are mommy and Nina.  Hubs further explained that Kuya has always been very affectionate to his little sister and his female cousins.  Apparently, the mom wasn't at all bothered by it and even said that her daughter "liked" it and that she had a crush on our son.  It appears that our little boy has his own following among the girls in the class, her daughter being one of them. The daughter apparently went on and declared to her mom that she liked Kuya because he was "so smart and that she wanted to marry him."  Thank God I wasn't there because i would not know how to react to something like that.  In  act even up to now, i still don't know how to respond to that.  It appeared to hubs that what the mom had to say was true because aside from the fact that the little girl kept following (and sometimes waiting) for them, while at the bus, kuya had a captive audience of 3 girls intently listening to his stories and laughing at his antics.  Uh oh....

My baby is a 5 year-old hearththrob.  A girl has declared her intentions of marrying him.  I am going over my head on this.  I am perfectly aware that this is nothing serious and that there is no reason for me to over-react.  Hey, they're just 5 aren't they?  Sure, but that that isn't my point.  When i was 5 the only things on my mind were playing and trying to get out of having to do schoolwork or chores.  The gender of the other kids that i played with were inconsequential/ignored and crushes, more so marriage, were all alien concepts to me.  What is happening to our children?  Why are their thoughts polluted with ideas of crushes and marriages?  Aren't they supposed to be innocent still at this age?  I know for a fact that during my time, crushes only became 'normal' when we were in the late elementary levels and in high school.  What happened between then and now?  

Media.  Yes, i blame the for robbing the innocence out of children - television commercials that focus on boys giving them more attention if the wear this, use that or even eat this particular brand, print ads that objectify women rather than focus on the product at hand... All these make it appear to our kids that its okay for them to act like adults, to behave the way adults do.  And in the course of that, they grow up much too fast and leave behind the childlike innocence that can only be found among them.  When you move the clock forward, you can never bring back the minutes and even the seconds that you lost in between.  There is no turning back.  

I know my son will eventually be the object of crushes by other girls, eventually he will probably find a girl whom he will shower with the same affection that he does for me and Nina.  But not now.  And perhaps maybe not in the next 5 years.  I want him to enjoy being a kid, being a child.  I want him to remain pure, unabashed, and untainted by commercialism and materialism for as long as it is possible.  Perhaps by that time, i will be prepared the next time a parent comes up to me and lets me know that her daughter is crushing over my son and has declared that she wants to marry him.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Conquering Mountains Through Buttonholes

This happened probably around late last year but as usual, things started piling over and writing about it was set aside. Still I knew I had to write about it so I decided to temporarily jot it down on my Ipad waiting for my son at the doctor's clinic until I could fine tune things up a bit for the blog.

Nina has always had a fascination for buttons and buckles often times, she would insist on buttoning and rebuttoning her jacket, her dad's shirt, her own blouse, or her sandals.  While hearing mass one Sunday, Nina took favor on the buttons of my blouse.  Unfortunately, the button was so small and the holes were a tight fit.  After managing to unbotton my shirt, she then began working on putting it back.  I have to say that even for someone with fully functioning digits, the task would be challenging particularly because the holes were relatively small.  But still she persisted.  She repeatedly refused any help from me, her dad or her aunt who were all beginning to notice that it was taking her a looooong time to complete her self appointed task.  Because I had to stay still until she finished her task, I was become somewhat impatient (not to mention uncomfortable) but i couldn't convince her to get any help.

After about 25 minutes of struggling, she finally got the button in.  Was i proud of her?  I was bursting!  While this may not appear to be such a big deal for most parents, being able to button up a shirt when you have 3 stiff digits in each hand is a big big milestone.  It wasn't easy, but her determination made it possible.  

Patience is really something that i know i need to work on developing but seeing my daughter work tirelessly inspires me to do the same.  How many of us give up so quickly when things don't quite go the way we planned.  How many times have I lost heart or complained because I could not lose the excess weight I had been trying to get rid of ever since I gave birth 4 years ago?  Comparing my own concerns with the challenges that prevent my daughter from functioning "normally" I am put to shame.  How can I push my kids to persevere  with conquering their mountains only to give up my goal to become healthy and fit because of mere laziness?  Ouch!

Convicted, I convince myself to try harder and follow the example of my daughter.  Yes, the tables have been turned.  My only hope is that she will stay as determined when it comes to the bigger life challenges which would involve not just buttons or buckles.

Lord, I pray that we be given as much determination as Nina has, that inspite of whatever difficulties we may be faced with, we would go on, doing that which we know we need to do.  Amen.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Starting the Year Right

I remember from the last Developmental Assessment that Nina had, we were asked if she could already pedal a bicycle without assistance.  During that time, she had yet to master the skill.  Undoubtedly, it was easier for her not to, since there would always be someone pushing the bike for her and all she had to do was just sit.  Every now and then, we would teach her to put more pressure on her feet and guide her thru the process.  Her kuya was the most patient one but more often that not, he would just give in and push the bike for her so that "she would not have a hard time."

Yesterday, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that after months and months of coaxing and prodding, our patience had finally paid off.  With just a few encouragement, Nina was able to pedal around the terrace with very little assistance from her Kuya.  

Instances like these make me realize that we really need to be grateful even for the small stuff.  While some parents would not make such a big deal out of their kid learning how to pedal a 3-wheeled bike, to a parent of a child with special needs, this IS a big, big, big deal!  
So the next time you see someone celebrating his or her child's milestones, celebrate with them!  Nothing can ever be so insignificant that it cannot be worth rejoicing over.  And for those who shared with our joy, Thank You!