I am the worst kind of mother.
I did not know that today the little big man, who's not so little anymore, who just turned 13 just over a week ago, was one of the contestants in a beauty pageant in school. All the while, I thought he was preparing for a class presentation for their Buwan Ng Wika culminating activity. I even considered going to work today because my boss was hesitant in allowing me to take a leave. At the last minute though, my leave was approved. But really, all the while I thought it was just one of those routine activities that a good mother should attend for her kids. I was so wrong.
How do I describe the feeling? Years ago, I witnessed this little big man fight in his very first taekwondo competition. I had jitters. My hands trembled as I held the videocam to capture the fight. I was a newbie taekwondo parent surrounded by parents of brown- and black-belts who've been through dozens of competitions. That first competition gave him a bronze medal. He came out of it triumphant and went on to dozens more competitions with more bronzes, silvers and golds. And me? I came out even more triumphant with every medal, every fall, every tear. He had as many triumphs as defeats.
Today I was a newbie mom to a teenage son who joined a beauty/talent/intelligence contest for the first time.
It felt exactly the same thing.
I looked on child rearing not only as a work of love and duty
but as a profession that was fully as interesting and challenging
as any honorable profession in the world
and one that demanded the best that I could bring to it.