God permitting, this year, I will be forty four years old, hubby will be fifty.
Our only child, our son is eight years old.
He just finished Grade 1.
This morning he got his blue belt in taekwondo, officially recognized by his master’s mother club and for the summer, we intend to sign him up for more taekwondo lessons, basketball clinic, horse riding, (Finally! Because despite buying him a horse at six, he was not accepted at riding school because eight is the age one is taken in. The teacher in riding school says, his school, his rules. Fine.) and more ‘scientific’ swimming. He intends to continue with his regular 6AM or 4PM twice a week golf practice which he started two months ago with his Spanish mestizo friend Zeus and this morning, on our way to the parking lot, he asked his Papa to buy him an acoustic guitar as he just signed himself up for guitar lessons.
(Photo Credit: texgolf.com)
(Photo Credit: camera.org)
(Photo Credit: findbasketballcamps.com)
‘I already talked with Teacher Mark, the guitar teacher!’ , he declared. (Teacher Mark, we later learned, plays for a local band, professionally).
While buying stuff to munch on at a convenience store and while waiting for the driver as he was gassing up, we talked about how we might be doing the right or the wrong things in raising our son.
Isn’t that too much independence on his part? Signing up for guitar lessons without asking our permission?, I asked hubby, while filling our paper cups with hot choco from the machine.
‘It’s OK. I think he just knows us too well. He knows we’d say ‘Yes’ anyway. I can rein him in‘ he reassured me, as he grabbed a hot dog.
Isn’t he growing much faster than he should? I grumbled.
‘Don’t they all? Kids these days!’ he answered.
We kept tossing and throwing questions we couldn’t answer at each other. At the moment, it seemed the right thing to do as over-aged beginners at parenting. He didn’t come into our lives with a DIY or how-to manual.
What about his milk? Should it still be Promil Pre-School? What Pre-school? He will be in Grade 2! C’mon at 8 years old? They don’t make KLIM milk anymore, that was good, wasn’t it? What does his dentist say? What dentist? When was the last visit? And what’s this thing about weekend sleepover? Why doesn’t he eat rice? Well, I like the way he trims the fat off his pork chop and peels off the chicken skin.But his idea of vegetables is French fries! He is too outdoorsy, isn’t he? But don’t we prefer that to his having a love affair with his mobile phone or his tablet or computer games? Did you see his abs? He has what?
The difficulty is that, one, we have not been a constant presence in PTA meetings. We concede to being both busy working parents (while we might have missed PTA meetings, never , not once did we miss a school program or any of his performances – there’s a world of difference) so the task is sometimes relegated to his nanny of five years who, by now has made more friends in school than we have. Besides, the rare occasions that I’d be compelled to attend have been most tedious – almost akin to self-flagellation. No, make that self-immolation. I find the whole experience dreadful.
We are sending our son to a school five minute drive away from our house. It is a relatively new and young school for pre-school, nursery and kindergarten. This year they opened Grade 1 and Grade 2 the next school year.
The dread stems from the fact that my husband and I actually are the only parents there who have gray and white hair (me) and balding (hubby). The rest of the parents all look, act, behave and dress hip – young enough to be our sons and daughters. They are looking so fresh like a freshly pressed blog and looking just out of college. So, despite a skewed and cramped schedule, I’d dye my hair the night before to, you know, ‘blend’ whenever there is a must attend meeting. Often we are addressed as ‘Tito’ and ‘Tita’ by these parents, a generic term equivalent to Auntie or Uncle- the same terms our nieces and nephews would call us. Our conversations with them are punctuated and peppered, nah, make that avalanche-d with ‘Po’ and ‘Opo’, the Filipino way of showing respect for older persons (Okay, that hurt!). Of course, I have to quell the urge to go ballistic. We’re all parents here, right? Did they just make us primus inter pares?
As I am in these meetings coming from or on my way to work ( I do not keep regular hours), I try to look my corporate best.
(Photo Credit: clph.0rg)
During one particularly memorable meeting, through the glass windows I could see my son flipping over monkey bars, tumbling, roughhousing, head standing on the grassy lawn. As an over-protective mother I’d reflexively, instinctively bolted from my seat and ran to the playground to ‘catch’ him just in case. Of course, when the fear wore off, the knee joint pain kicked in. I have this nasty habit of wearing four to six inch heels almost on a daily basis. I ran so fast I got lucky I did not fracture my stilettos.
This singular act of ‘rushing to save my son’ would send his nanny into fits of laughter as she told me ‘But he does that all the time! All kids do!’
I know. I must have looked like a caricature. That’s why I avoid PTA meetings like I would midday sun without sunblock!
Is there a Parenting For Seniors 101 class for the summer?
Sign us up! Please!