THE KEY TO FINDING YOUR MR. RIGHT

When you were young, you used to keep a long list of qualities to look for in a man. You wanted someone who was good-looking, tall, filthy rich, generous with his gifts, flatteries and promises, demonstrative with his feelings for you, adventurous and daring, possessive and protective, and always ready to engage in a brawl to defend you and your honor. You would imagine yourself flaunting him before your relatives and friends, with his arm constantly draped across your shoulders in a proprietorial way, making you the object of people’s admiration and envy.

But, then, you grew up — and with age came maturity.

You realized that all those qualities were flitting and superficial, and were based solely on your immature, romantic — twisted even– notion of what love should be.

You came to understand the importance of taking seriously the pursuit of a great life partner. After all, the man you will marry was to be that person you will have to live with under one roof, the one person you will have to sleep with every night and will wake up to every morning, the one person you will have to stay with until you are both old, wrinkly, toothless and senile, the one person that you will have to make the most important decisions with, and the one person who will be the father of your children and your partner in raising them.

So, you came up with a new list of qualities to look for in a man.

It was still long. But you could declare with pride that, this time around, it was based on a much more mature, insightful and realistic view of what love –true love—should be.

Couple holding hands.
image from cbmw.org

 

QUALITIES THAT MY POTENTIAL LIFE PARTNER SHOULD HAVE

  1. Reliable / Dependable. He should be solid and stable in all aspects, and should be willing and ready to step up each time the need arises. He does not crack easily under pressure or heavy burden, is not needy or clingy or lacking in self-esteem, and neither should he be walking around with lots of emotional baggage with him. He should be my pillar of strength.

 

  1. Faithful / Committed. He should prove that he is loyal and dedicated, not only to me and our family, but also to his other relationships, his job, his health, his obligations and his word. He should not show any indication that he will cheat on me with the first woman who will give him the come-hither look.

 

  1. Honest / Decent. He should be a man of integrity who is able to handle himself in a principled and honorable manner. He must be truthful, sincere and candid in all his dealings, most particularly in how he treats me. Yes, truth sometimes hurts, but secrets and lies oftentimes ruin most marriages.

 

  1. Smart. He should have a quick-witted intelligence and critical thinking skills that will not fail to arouse my interest, and to challenge and keep me on my toes mentally. It is of utmost importance that we be on the same mental wavelength. It would not hurt if he is also street-smart and financially savvy.

 

  1. Spiritual. He does not have to memorize Bible verses or to go to church every single day. However, he should be God-fearing and must walk in obedience to God. His unwavering faith will get us through the good, and the not so good, times. He should always start and end each day with a prayer of thanks, fully aware that every blessing we enjoy could only come from the Lord. He should also have a forgiving heart.

 

  1. Hardworking and Motivated. To be a great provider for our family, he should know how to set his priorities straight. He should be patient, diligent and focused. He knows that good things come to those who work hard. He should be willing to sacrifice and go the extra mile for our family.

 

  1. Witty and Funny. He should know how to find a reason to laugh even amid the darkest and most challenging moments. When the demands of the adult world prove to be overwhelming, he should be able to bring out the children in us. His sense of humor, playfulness and happy demeanor will keep us both afloat and eternally young at heart.

 

  1. Affectionate. He should be attentive to my needs, sensitive to my moods, appreciative of my efforts, and accepting of my flaws, quirks and imperfections. He would want to spend time with me, is genuinely interested in what’s going on with my life, and is comfortable in sharing with me his thoughts, his convictions, his dreams. He builds me up, and values and supports my opinions and beliefs. He is willing to make compromises. He views me as his partner, his equal and his teammate.

 

  1. Passionate. He should be enthusiastic about and fired up over his advocacies, intentions and endeavors. Mediocrity should never be in his vocabulary. Even when it comes to our sexual relationship, he should always be sizzling with sexual energy and is not afraid to try new things so as to spark excitement. Boredom in bed can be a deal breaker for some couples. On the other hand, passion ignites the flame that keeps the home fire burning.

 

  1. Compatible with me. Although it is important that we celebrate and support each other’s individuality, a certain level of compatibility between partners is essential towards a happy and enduring relationship. We should complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses, we should have significant things in common (such as basic values and principles in life), and we should be a good friend to each other as friendship is a solid ground for a future together.

 

Ultimately, the most consequential ingredients of a blissful, healthy and fulfilling marital relationship are LOVE, TRUST and RESPECT.

TULA NG PAGBATI

Nagsimula ang lahat sa pagkakaibigan

Na nauwi sa isang madamdaming kasalan;

Sa harapan ng altar, pangako ‘y ibinigay

Na tayo ay magsasama nang panghabambuhay.

 

Tatlong magandang supling, tayo’y biniyayaan

Upang suportahan, pagyamani’t alagaan;

Sa murang edad ay sabay nating natutunan

Buhay-maypamilya pala ay hindi biruan.

 

Marami mang problema’t pagsubok na naranasan

Dahil walang iwanan, lahat ay nakayanan;

Malaking tulong din ang kapangyarihan ng dasal

Tayo’y ‘di pinabayaan ng Poong Maykapal.

 

Sa dalawampu’t-isang taon ng ating samahan

Bilang magkatuwang, mag-asawa’t magkaibigan,

‘Di matatawaran ating mga pinagdaanan

At hawak-kamay na nasawata at nalampasan.

 

Sa oras man ng kalungkutan o panahon ng kasiyahan

Matinding pagdarahop man o pagbangon sa kasaganaan,

Sa banig man ng karamdaman o kama ng kalusugan

Tayo ay magkasama…..pinagtibay ng karanasan.

 

Ngayong anibersaryo ay ating ipinagdiriwang

Hayaan mong ikaw ay aking mahandugan,

Nitong munting tula na aking pinagpaguran

Dugo, pawis, uhog, luha ang aking ipinuhunan.

 

Kalakip ng tulang ito ay mga litrato

Na sinulatan ko ng mga “cute” na komento;

Mga kaibigan, at syempre pa ikaw, mahal ko

Sana’y magustuhan nyo itong payak na alay ko.

 

ISTORYA NG AMING BUHAY PAG-IBIG

1
ang aming sakalan, este, kasalan

 

Matapos ang aming kasalan ay ang mga unang taon ng kalabitan, daganan, lambingan, kargahan, pasanan, halikan, yakapan, hawakan ng kamay, harutan, at tawanan.

 

Subalit, tulad ng lahat ng iba pang mga pag-iibigan, nagkakaroon din kami ng mga tampuhan, isnaban, dedmahan, kagatan, sabunutan, suntukan, sakalan, panaan, walang pansinan, palakasan, pasikatan, at seryosohan.

 

 

Ang lahat ng ito ay natatapos naman sa suyuan, pangakuan, pilitan, pakiputan, at pagkakasunduan.

 

Pero, ang totoong sikreto sa mahaba at masayang relasyon namin ay ang pagiging bata once in a while. May talunan, taguan, languyan, kainan, inuman, palamigan, pa-selfiehan, pagpapakilala sa kanya-kanyang mga kaibigan, laruan, pakyutan, pa-Korean, galaan, paturistahan, papormalan…..

 

at sandamakmak na papichuran! 🙂

 

Kami ay umaasa na, hanggang sa wakas, kami ay patuloy na magsasamang may ngiti sa mga labi — nagmamahalan, malusog at masaya. “Forever and beyond,” iyan ang pangako namin sa isa’t-isa.

68

 

Note: Here are more articles about our love story.

Keeping The Flame Of Love (And Romance!) Ablaze

The Cheesiest Day of the Year Deserves This Cheesiest Message!

Tula Ng Pag-ibig at Pagmumuni-muni

DECADES OF “FOR BETTER AND FOR WORSE”

13615466_10208618946622525_2355490752481118941_n
During Imelda and Abelardo’s wedding. June 30, 1966.

Today, at a time when the most convenient solution to virtually every marital woe is separation — and when the concept of forever is alarmingly taken lightly —, witnessing a marriage that spans five decades is a welcome breath of fresh air.

Imelda Pulongbarit and Abelardo Banzil just recently celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. Theirs, however, was not the butterflies-in-the-stomach kind of romance. Far from it.

Imelda had another favored suitor when Abel pursued her. After barely two weeks of courtship, Abel, who at 27 was nine years Imelda’s senior, unexpectedly showed up with his parents on the doorstep of the Pulongbarits to ask for Imelda’s hand in marriage. It was a whirlwind arrangement that eventually ended up at the altar. Since both came from poor families, they had nothing to offer their guests during the reception but rice porridge. Also, Imelda was made to wear a wedding gown that she did not know she had to return to its rightful owner right after the ceremony.

That happened on the fateful day of June 30, 1966.

A year after the wedding, the couple was blessed with a beautiful pink bundle of joy. Another two years down the line and baby girl #2 was born. This fruitful  pattern persisted until, by the year 1980, their brood had ballooned to eight – six girls and two boys.

Imelda had always been hardworking and enterprising. Despite being armed with just a grade school diploma, she was already earning her own money and helping her parents in raising her younger siblings even before she got married. She used to do domestic work for the more affluent families in the small, sleepy town of Bagac, Bataan where she grew up. Later on, she worked as a storekeeper, and when she managed to borrow enough money, she invested in her very own grocery store at the town’s public market. When the kids started coming along, though, she decided to give up her store to get a vegetable stall.  It was more labor-intensive (she had to travel to the province’s capital at the crack of dawn each day to buy fresh vegetables in bulk), but it was also more lucrative. Abelardo, meanwhile, was a 6×6 truck driver then. However, their joint income was never enough to cover the burgeoning expenses of bringing up their growing children.

So, in 1981, Abelardo packed his bags to try his luck in Saudi Arabia. There, where he would find himself working for almost 21 years, he served as a family driver for a kind, old Muslim couple.

Their marriage was far from perfect. Just a year after their wedding, Imelda wanted to leave her husband. Though she already learned to love him, she found it hard to accept his vices and indiscretions. Thanks to her parents and parents-in-law, she was made to stay. When Abelardo was working in the Middle East, Imelda also had to struggle with loneliness. She was in her prime and she tremendously missed her husband, but that did not sway her to give in to temptations and abandon her fidelity to her husband, and her faith in and obedience to God. The hardest challenge, though, and the most painful experience that she had to endure happened in 1982, when their eldest son, who was a second-grader then, drowned. She was tormented with grief over her loss, but she could not allow herself to mourn for long. Abelardo’s contract restrained him from coming home just yet, so Imelda had to be strong for her seven other children.

In 1989, she made an extremely difficult decision. She left her kids, who by then, were mostly in high school and college already, to join her husband in Saudi.

For the next nine years, she would start each day by kneeling before her make-shift altar to offer an earnest prayer for them. During that time, when the only way of communicating back home was through snail mail, she had no idea how they were doing on a daily basis. Were they eating right and on time? Were their clothes not drenched in sweat or soaked by rainwater? Were they studying hard? Were their friends of good influence to them? Were they looking after each other? There was not a day that passed that she did not cry for her children.

In 1992, at the age of 44, she learned that she was pregnant. It was unexpected and would pose an additional complication to their already complicated life, but they nevertheless welcomed the news as another divine blessing.

Her employer wanted to adopt the baby. They also urged her to convert to Islam, bribing her with a promise of a better life. But Imelda would not hear any of it. She went home to deliver the baby. When the infant was barely three months old, Imelda had to leave her in the care of her third child who just graduated from college, to go back to her work in Saudi. That was another decision that cut deep into her heart.

Years of sacrifice after, they started to reap the fruits of their concerted hard work as a family.

13874705_10208636693186178_1208173596_n
the Banzils’ wall of pride

Their eldest, Asuncion, graduated with a degree in Education; Lorena with a degree in Computer Engineering and an MBA in Business Administration; Amelia with a degree in Commerce; Alicia in Nursing; Emma in Industrial Engineering and in Nursing; Aileen in ECE; Abelardo Jr. in Electrical Engineering; and Tin in Travel Management. Seven of them are already married and are living comfortable lives, while the youngest is having the time of her life exploring the world as a flight attendant.

Their life as a couple is a bottomless pit of lessons that they strive to pass on to their children and their children’s children.

They inculcated in them early on the values of education, of love for one another, of humility and kindness to other people, of hard work, perseverance and determination, of patience and hope, of fidelity to the wedding vows, and most importantly, of the unwavering faith in the Lord.

Today, the couple is enjoying their retirement in their ancestral home in the province. But parenthood knows no end. When any one of their children or grandchildren needs their tender, loving care, they could just easily walk down the street where their two daughters live, or jump into their car and drive off to Rizal or Cavite, or board a plane and fly to US or Canada or Qatar. Yes, their kids are scattered around the globe, but no amount of distance could stop these two from doing what they do best – parenting.

13728920_10208531264710532_7069439711783620501_n
the golden wedding anniversary cake

 

13769550_10208618949702602_4425747672925029059_n
Imelda  and Abelardo with all their children

 

13872971_10208633094496213_8922190161857633525_n
Imelda and Abelardo with all  their grandchildren

 

13620275_10208618946702527_6672853887493771005_n
Imelda and Abelardo. 50 years and  counting.

TULA NG PAG-IBIG AT PAGMUMUNI-MUNI

KAPAG IKAW AY KASAMA

 

Sadya nga palang ang buhay

Ay maliwanag at makulay!

 

Tila sinagtala

Sa kalul’wang nawawala.

Parang bulalakaw

Sa pusong may panglaw.

 

Animo’y bahaghari

Sa mundong humihikbi.

Kawangis ay araw

Sa kalangitang mapusyaw.

 

Kapag ikaw ay kasama

Puso’y lipos ng ligaya;

Walang ibang nakikita

Kundi ganda at pag-asa.

 

Hagikgik ng sanggol

Masayang pagbayo ng tambol.

 

Tunog ng kampana

Malamig na hangin sa tumana.

 

Kahulan ng mga tuta

Nakabibighaning tawanan ng mga bata.

 

Huni ng mga ibon

Kaaya-ayang indayog ng mga dahon.

 

Tigatik ng ulan

Bulungan ng magkasintahan.

 

Samyo ng bulaklak

Pamilyang nagmamahalan nang busilak.

 

Kapag ikaw ay kasama

Lumbay ng mundo ay ‘di alintana;

Mga suliranin sa paligid

Himalang nababawasan, lumiliit.

 

Trapiko sa EDSA

Baha sa España

Pangbu-bully ng Tsina

Panggugulo ng mga terorista.

 

Iligal na droga

Presidenteng palamura

Mga komunista

Mabagal na hustisya.

 

Talamak na nakawan

Malalang kahirapan

Mga pulitikong nagbabangayan

Mga buhay na kinitil ng tokhang at digmaan.

 

Kriminalidad na hindi masawata

‘Di magkatugmang mga paniniwala

Lahi, teritoryo, relihiyon, kasarian

Sa maliit na bagay ay nagpapatayan.

 

Ang malaking agwat ng mahirap at mayaman

Mas lumalaki pa dahil sa kasuwapangan

Kung ang mahirap, tiyan ay laging walang laman

Ang mayaman, problema’y anong bansa ang susunod na pupuntahan.

 

Inang Kalikasan ay ginagahasa

Ang mundo’y nakaratay sa hirap at dusa

Darating ang araw, ito’y magugunaw

At tayong lahat, sabay-sabay na papanaw.

 

Sa lipunang tigib ng hilahil at siphayo

Poot, galit at ‘di pagkakasundo-sundo

Kapag ikaw ay kasama at sa aki’y nakaakbay

Nalilimot ang lahat, ngiti ay sumisilay.

 

Sadya nga palang ang buhay

Ay maliwanag at makulay!

 

20476355_1385259801556597_7527427836967879607_n

THE CHEESIEST DAY OF THE YEAR DESERVES THIS CHEESIEST MESSAGE!

Today, Roel and I would mark our 20th wedding anniversary. Twenty years!

A lot has changed since that fateful day, but I could still vividly picture in my mind the young groom patiently waiting for me at the end of the altar……as if the wedding happened only yesterday.

10574381_670979016318016_6435861415704570801_n

Wearing a traditional Barong Tagalog, he was the perfect vision of a debonair gentleman. Looking at him staring back at me, I saw in that instant all the things he was and would always be to me – my knight in shining armor, my soulmate, my kindred spirit, my bosom buddy, my confidant, my partner in crime, my better half, my significant other, my forever and beyond. During that moment, when time magically stood still, I felt like my heart would burst out of my chest – with affection, love, excitement, anticipation, determination and certainty.

During the traditional march, my step faltered, not with doubt or hesitation, but with the sudden realization that, finally, there it was. I was standing face-to-face with my future and eternity. He will be my home, my universe, my sun, my anchor, my rock, my beacon, my sanctuary. Every twinkle in my eyes, every flicker of an eyelash, every bounce in my step, every joy in my heart, every smile on my lips, every lilt in my laughter, every butterfly in my stomach, every glow in my cheek, every quiver, every flutter, every touch, every sweet whisper – everything that is good and beautiful in me – will only be for him and because of him.

When I reached his side and we joined hands, I felt everything fall into place. No more void, no more need, no more wanting, no more brokenness, no more restlessness, no more flaw. I was complete, and I was where I was supposed to be all along.

When we said our vows, all emotions came to the fore, almost stifling and suffocating in their rawness and sacredness. “I take thee to be my lawfully wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish until death do us part.”

And when he placed the ring on my finger, I knew with absolute certainty that no matter what happens, no matter what the future and the fates hold for us, we will always be there for each other. We will be each other’s balance – a force that stabilizes and steadies each other other, the half that would complete the other and, together, would make a stunning whole – humor in a gloomy day, caution to temper impulsiveness and carelessness, a push for the feet that drag, spontaneity when boredom strikes, a soft bed to cushion a fall, a Devil’s advocate, a conscience, wings, fire, a security blanket, a one-man cheering squad, a fire extinguisher, a safety net, a thirst-quencher, a torch.

When we shared our very first kiss as husband and wife, tears welled from my eyes. I realized right then that from that day onwards, we could be exchanging a million more in the span of our lifetime together. The passion, the longing, the spark might all be gone along with youth, but the need to comfort and assure each other with even a peck in the cheek will always stay.

When the priest finally presented us to all our families and friends as the new couple joined before God and His church, and cheerful applause erupted, I was assaulted by a series of visions. Silver, pearl, ruby, gold, diamond – all the momentous wedding anniversaries we will be celebrating. Moments when we will visit and revisit that day. With fondness, with lessons learned along the way, with renewed commitment and with gratitude.

Twenty years ago, I chased my dream. Relentlessly. And now that I’m securely holding it in my hands, I’m not letting go. Ever.

Happy wedding anniversary, Knee. I’m looking forward to making more memories with you. And I hope you’ll never grow tired of hearing this because, I assure you, I will never get tired of saying these three little words – words that sum up all the emotions you evoke in me. I love you.

ADOLESCENCE 102: THINGS TEENS WISH THEIR PARENTS WOULD REALIZE, ASAP!

It is unfortunate that, unlike most consumer goods, children don’t come with instruction manuals. Parents are expected to perform their parental duties based on common sense and intuition. And since our kids go through multiple stages, all of which with varying and distinct degrees of complexity and uniqueness, we are bound to flounder, stagger or trip. Over and over again. Constant doubt, guilt and fear that all parents (yup, no one is immune!) are inexplicably prone to don’t make things any easier, either. Yes, we receive a handful of well-meaning advice from people who have already traversed this bumpy road before. There are also a lot of DIY and Idiot’s-Guide-to-Parenting books available in the market. And, of course, one can always turn to the ever-reliable Mr. Google to find crash courses on Parenting 101. But, could there be a more accurate source than straight from the horses’ mouths – or in this case, our children themselves? And since adolescence is definitely the most challenging of all the stages that we struggle through with them – infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood – (and also, adolescents are, by far, the most vocal lot!), this article will focus solely on what our teenaged kids have to say.

While my earlier blog post, Adolescence 101: Don’ts for Parents of Teens, was about a set of “rules” I came up with based on my personal experiences as a mother of three teens, this one, in contrast, is based on the kids’ perspective. Through an on-line survey conducted by my son’s girlfriend among some University of the Philippines students, the respondents were to list the things that they think their parents should realize in order for them to develop some semblance of harmony in their relationship. Reading through their extremely candid answers, I was blown away by an avalanche of emotions. I’m sure, one or two of the following answers will also tug at your heartstrings.

Advisory: Grab that box of tissues. You’ll need it!

Teens always keep their thoughts hidden and well guarded from their parents.
Teens always keep their thoughts hidden and well guarded from their parents.
  1. We (you parents and us children) come from different generations, and therefore, from different contexts. Teenagers of the modern days are extremely different from those during your time. Forming an opinion about us based on some Jurassic standard is like comparing apples with oranges.
  1. You are not perfect. Parents make wrong decisions, too, but we don’t hold that against you. We won’t treat you any less if you own up to your mistakes and say sorry.
  1. We have a lot of questions, fears and doubts. It is better that we get the answers and reassurance from you than anywhere else.
  1. We already have too much on our plates. You’ve been through this years ago so you know how complicated a teenager’s life is. You don’t need to aggravate that by putting unnecessary pressure on us.
  1. We crave for freedom – to weigh our options, to make our own decisions, to be independent, to commit mistakes, to learn our lessons, to find our way and to discover the world. You need to trust us. Don’t be too controlling and don’t shelter us too much. The more you restrict us, the more likely we will rebel. We also need space where we could truly be ourselves, alone.
  1. We value our privacy, and you should respect that. But balance it with just the right amount of perception in case we need you to intervene when we are going through a rough patch and we are too proud to ask for your help.
  1. We need to feel safe and secure. We need to know that whenever we fall, there are arms ready to silently pick us up; that you are always there for us no matter what. We can’t face this alone. It may not seem like it but it’s during these teenage years when we need you the most.
  1. We need to see harmony at home. Though we may not show it, we are thrilled when you guys are acting all romantic and sweet to each other.
  1. We need you as our role models. We may not be listening to your advice as much as we should, but we see your every action. Someday, we want to be exactly like you.
  1. There are times when we will deliberately shut you out of our lives, preferring to deal with our problems on our own or with the counsel of close friends. Nevertheless, I think you should never quit trying to be involved in our lives, if only to let us know that you care.
The Anatomy of a Teenager's Brain. Photo owned by Sharpestpencil.com.
The Anatomy of a Teen’s Brain. Photo owned by Sharpestpencil.com.
  1. We need your time. We need you to listen to us or we will find other ways to get your attention. And trust us, you won’t like all of them.
  1. If we start acting up, which can happen a lot, handle things with enough love and understanding. Rage will get you nowhere.
  1. It is important for us to feel comfortable enough to tell you anything and everything. We tend to keep things to ourselves or to our small group of friends – things that could potentially harm us. Openness between us should be firmly established. Also, know that communication skills will either be your strongest tool or your downfall as parents, depending on how well you use them with us.
  1. Excessive and regular punishments will further strain our relationship. Yes, we need authority: you should establish your role as the one in charge of the house because once we realize that we can talk back without any consequences, we will live out our entire teenage life thinking that it’s okay to do anything. But, rebellion is also inherent in us so you should be able to balance authority and freedom. Also know that consequences are different from punishment. Just because you punish us for doing something wrong doesn’t mean we will realize the consequences of our actions.
  1. We need you to understand us, not judge us. Make us feel like we can approach you for anything, without the fear of being scolded or judged. You should also understand that we are bound to stumble. Everything about us is changing and we’re reeling from all those many changes. Don’t belittle the emotions and experiences we have. Just because we’re younger and are at “that phase” doesn’t justify you invalidating what is inherently human about us. Yes, teenage romance sounds stupid and trivial. But you were once there. A little additional understanding will go a long way.
  1. We are full of vigor, enthusiasm, and curiosity to discover the world. Also, we are still on the journey of finding who we are. Be our guidance but never cut off our wings.
  1. There are biological reasons as to why we are moody, rebellious and always sleepy. It’s not necessarily a manifestation of our character. At our age, it’s normal to have crushes and it doesn’t mean that we’ll drop off everything because of that guy/girl. We also like to try new things. Most importantly, we are not all perfectly intelligent and talented, so don’t expect too much from us. “You know the best way to make it through with hearts and wrists intact is to realize two out of three ain’t bad.” – Fall Out Boy
  1. We would appreciate it if you would be as honest to us as you would want us to be honest to you.
  1. While we’re no longer quite the kissable babies we used to be, we still occasionally need a little babying from you.
  1. We love you even if it’s not evident. You should know by now that we are not the demonstrative type.

For us, parents, this stage should not be about letting go. It should be about hanging on. We might be getting hurt by our kids’ words and actions, but we have to understand that it is a vital part of our role as parents. Just the other day, for instance, when I asked my son why he prefers going to his girlfriend’s place to study on weekends rather than doing it here at home, he replied that he could not concentrate here enough because he is always annoyed. His words cut deeply through my heart. After I let go of my initial anger, I cried. I was in pain because I knew that I was doing everything in my power to make our home conducive and comfortable for them. And then, I came across this quote in the internet. It is by a certain Eddie Vedder.

“No matter how good a parent you are, at some point, your kids are gonna have to create their own independence and think that Mom and Dad aren’t cool, just to establish themselves. That’s what adolescence is about. They’re gonna go through that no matter what.”

Those reassuring lines helped me to deal with my own emotions. I was still hurting but the hurt was somewhat subdued by the realization that my son did not really intend to cause me pain; that he probably regretted his words but was too proud to apologize and too embarrassed to approach me. In the future, if I have to face the same situation again, I am certain that I can react more appropriately. I will also make sure that all the pains that we will be inflicting inadvertently on each other throughout this challenging phase will not leave any permanent mark. After all, I am now armed with a powerful tool – our kids’ innermost thoughts and fervent wishes on what they think we, their parents, should realize.

Finally, we have to realize that “adolescence is that hazy limbo between childhood and adulthood”. It could be an extremely confusing stage for our teens. While a part of them wants to cling to the security and safety of their childhood, another part needs to get free and face the uncertainties and challenges of adulthood. Furthermore, they often get frustrated because they feel that they are no longer allowed to be children WHILE not yet accepted as adults. So, whatever they may turn into – a monster, a grouch, a know-it-all, a drama queen, a recluse, a sleepyhead, a diva, a lazybones, a rebel, a daredevil, an eye candy, a geek, a wallflower or a giggly schoolgirl -, we have to remember that it’s all a facade; a mask that they use to hide their insecurities. Because, deep inside that disguise is a lost child – our lost children – craving for our love and understanding.

Thanks. ‘Till my next blog entry!