Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Learning Parenting from your Parents

"You will not realize fully the sacrifices that your parents made for you unless you become a parent yourself." I always relive that principle whenever I encounter challenges in parenting my two kids.

Yung panganganak lang, is a major feat in itself. I can imagine my own mother, who is a ManileƱa, brought by my father to an unknown barrio called Aroroy in Masbate in the Visayan Region. She helped in the tindahan / bakery of her in-laws. But she's wise, she goes back to Manila everytime she needs to give birth to her 3kids. Manila is where the good clinics are, albeit public, and where her parents are.

Normally, after giving birth, she leaves us, under the care of our maternal grandmother. We won't go back to aroroy, until we're about 3 years old. We spend a few years with our parents, and when we're ready to go to school. It's back to Grandma in Manila. We stay with grandma until like... forever. We only go back to Aroroy during summer breaks. We even spend Christmas with Grandma, because my mom, fears the huge waves that normally ply the seas. We need to undergo 3hour boatride going to our province, on top of the 12-hour bus trip. We usually go home during summer breaks only.

My two elder brothers went to a Chinese boarding School in Iloilo City. My parents learned about this school through a Chinese trader that usually comes to the store. He said it was a great school for teaching kids independence and the requisite Chinese language.

So, off they went to an unknown province, guided only by our favorite Auntie Ninang Dolly and a yaya. The stories they tell everytime they come home, are scary. There was time they encountered a terrible storm in the middle of the sea. My aunt just held-on with my two elder brothers who were with her, fearing for their lives. My brothers would tell stories how terribly strict their teachers and dormitory advisers were.

Anecdotes goes like this, Like they would be ask to submit at least 10 flies daily, to get rid of the flies in the dorm. Like they have to eat all the viands served, even if it's lousy ampalaya, because if they don't finish it by lunch, it's the same ulam they would have for dinner.

They practically grew up in the dormitory, they had chicken pox there, and only came home during summer breaks to have their circumsions. :)

Ako naman, I studied in Manila, from grade 1 to grade 5. I was a year late in getting into grade 1, because I'm the youngest and only girl. My father put-off sending me to school. Going to school means I am

In order to give us the best education, My parents missed a lot of our childhood. Before, I was young, when I think about it. I feel "tampo" even angry. How can they send us away? How could they miss our milestones?

But when I think about it now, and especially at this stage, when I'm looking for the best schools for our eldest. I realize that my parents made those decisions, because for them, it's the only way to give us the best future. It must have been tough for them also. They sacrificed the time and money for sending us away, just to give us a good education, for our future. They must also be feeling guilty, at some point.

As for me, I don't think I can do the same. I want to see every milestone in my kids' lives. I want to be there for them all the time.