he had the most maangas na hairstyle at the Region 3 Age Group Taekwondo Championship.
but it was all he had to show. on the first round of his first match with an opponent he beat at his last tournament in nueva ecija, he was a hesitant, blundering, clueless little big man. first round, the score was tied at 1-1. after the time-out, he came back with a little fire hitting 4 consecutive points but got head kicked and ended the second round with a 4-4.
so it was sudden death. (for no-tkd-background readers, it's the tie-breaker.) coincidentally, my videocam ran out of disk space (note to self: clean out memory cards before games!) so i watched in frustration as i saw my champion son backing off the whole time instead of attacking his opponent. everyone -- me, hubby, teammates, parents, coach -- were literally screaming at him to attack, but he did nothing.
i can still hear our teammates and the parents' sigh of disappointment. i can still feel my hand touching hubby's arm to calm him down as he lashed in dismay at the son. i can still run over and over in my head the look on the little big man's face as he broke into tears when the referee declared his opponent the winner, his coach patting his head. while i walked away coz i didn't know what to say to him that would comfort him. that would comfort me.
the hubby was most frustrated. he commanded us to pick up our stuff and stormed out of the gymnasium to head home. i knew how he felt: all the training and hardships they went through gone to naught. his first game as a red belt playing in novice2 went kaput. how we waited for two months before he could play again only to end up with a severe loss that could've been a gold if only he had performed his regular game. what happened really, we couldn't tell. he just cried and cried on the way home.
normally, when we attend games, we are unable to go to sunday mass because it takes the whole day. so we had the chance to go today. normally too, we would be seated on the first few rows at the left side of the churh. but since it was palm sunday, the church was already full when we arrived so we settled at the sidelines where we couldn't view the altar but it was presko and we had makeshift seats out of excess kneelers.
halfway through the mass, i noticed this slightly obese boy, about 12 to 13 y/o with glazed eyes, looking harshly at my kids and other kids around. his mom and dad were on both his sides, holding his hands each. after a while, i heard him humming loudly -- singing actually, an unidentifiable rhythm. his dad hugged the boy to him. after a while, he was struggling to be let go as if he wanted to go somewhere but his dad kept him beside him. his mom looked at him lovingly and wiped the sweat on his neck. all of us around him knew he was special and were tolerant of his behavior.
then i felt God talking to me. here is a little family, much like mine, with much more to be disappointed about than me. and here they are, in church, praising and thanking God for their special son. they are not ashamed of him. they are happy coz their son is alive and well. i felt so guilty that tears welled up in my eyes. i looked at the hubby and i knew he knew too what was going on in my head and in my heart. i knew i had so much more to be thankful for because i had a smart, talented, healthy son whom i should be so proud of. how could i be so ungrateful!
walking home from church, i watched my son -- the little big man -- and whispered my thanks to God and my apology for being disappointed in my son. talking to hubby later, he too had the same realization. we know we wouldn't have our son any other way. he's our prize, our gold and nothing can take that away from us.
thanks, mike borja, for the photos.