One Proud Mom, Although…

It’s of utmost pleasure on my part to reveal here my son placed 2nd overall in the recent Board Exam for Electronics and Communications Engineers. People around have congratulated me. They said I must have done something right as his only parent. That made me smile.

His success in the national exam was actually the outcome of several months of his commitment to diligent studying. In addition, he has always felt passionate about his field. His father was into the technical profession, too, by the way. Like father, like son.

Before starting his college studies I had expressed my wish that he took up Music instead. My son is also a talented pianist and guitarist. I made sure he had the proper lessons with those two musical instruments in his childhood and teenage years. Isn’t it that Science and Maths are the tools for living, but Music and the rest of the Arts are the reasons for living? He was adamant, though, in his selection in preparing himself to become a full-fledged engineer someday. I backed down.

Six years later, here we are. I am beaming with pride. I’m happy with the results, too, of course. My son seems to have made the correct choice.

from left: me, my son, my sis, my nephew

But I am here not just to tell you how proud I am of my son. It isn’t my style sugarcoating my reality. A spirit in pain is also hiding behind my smiles in our photos. For he and I are currently undergoing a difficult period in our lives. I am hoping it’s gonna be an evanescent phase for both of us.

There’s a downside to having a child who’s endowed with way academic strength than his or her progenitor. Suddenly, nothing I say seems to matter anymore. Suddenly,
there’s nothing left for me to do but take a backseat. It’s as if any contribution or
suggestion from my side is necessary no more. Oh yes – I must keep on reminding myself – he already turned 22 this April.

Yet I ruminate on the following parental guidelines that have echoed in my mind for so Image (2)long: Do your best for your child. Show him unconditional love. Make sure that he knows how much he matters to you, etc. I did my damnedest to follow them all. Now I realized all those loads of advice…are actually crap. Nothing in life is guaranteed. No relationship maxim, even between mother and child, from any sphere on this planet is a sure thing.

You might think I must have done something not right that brought about this predicament. Alright, I do own up to not being the perfect parent and to having committed some mistakes along the way. But God knows how hard I tried. How hard I really tried. And only God knows how much I love my only child; The love which made me swear to all the angels in heaven two decades ago I’d be a much better parent to my son in raising him than my own parents combined in rearing me. I subsequently thought I was succeeding through all the years that my son was growing up. He appeared to be turning out finer and finer each passing day – which made me cling to the credence that the bond cementing us together would be stronger than steel.


Nowadays, however, I keep on questioning my prior performance as a mother and asking myself what went wrong.

Or perhaps, I deserve this because I hadn’t exactly been an ideal daughter to my parents either. On the whole – and I say this in supreme truthfulness – my son is a thousand times better individual and human being compared to me.

Still, how poignant it is to discern I have failed in everything. Motherhood, I had promised myself, would be my redemption. The one thing, I thought, I might do well in life. How could I have been so mistaken.


After the oathtaking ceremony, my family members and I went to a restaurant for a quiet celebration. During dinner, while my son was occupied shooting the breeze with his cousins, my mother and siblings took time to ponder and talk about our situation.

“It’s hard having an only child, I guess.” I conveyed with somberness to them.

My sister responded, “No. You just had it hard being the only parent.”

Inside a coffee shop during the celebration with my mother, my brother, my sister, my nephews, and my son.

17 thoughts on “One Proud Mom, Although…

  1. Congratulations to your son, and all involved.The evolution in shape to an individual’s story, makes its way on the backs to interactions in the conversation that is life. It’s all about family, and how it shares parts of us, and all of us, even the best constructed runway is never perfect. Have a good weekend, Marj!

    • Family complications can make one feel misbegotten, yeah. I’d better leave it to providence to iron out the rough spots.
      Thanks for always being around, Sean. It means a great deal to me.
      Happy weekend to you, too. Stay well.

  2. OH MYYY. 2nd!!! CONGRATULATIONS! To your son and of course, to you as well. As a parent, his success is your success. Who, what, and where he is right now is partly because of you too ’cause you’ve been that constant in his life that I know he depends and takes strength on. Who tried to give what he needs and more. Whatever differences you have between the two of you right now, I hope you’ll work it out. Think of it as a phase you’ll both get through together. You’re not perfect but you’re a great mother and I know he knows it. Loving him, doing everything in your power to give him a better life and future etc Don’t think you’ve done something wrong or that you’re paying for whatever shortcomings you’ve had in the past because whatever things you did back then made you who and what you are right now and what I see and know of you here, that person is someone you should be proud of. There are parents out there who don’t give a damn and you sure aren’t one of them.

    • I can’t find the exact words to thank you enough for your wonderful comment. So just let me tell you that I appreciate quite so your sentiments and support towards me. You just expressed the right words I needed to look at the matter another way and carry on.

      Maybe I was not being realistic in thinking things wouldn’t change between my son and me. But it did, and perhaps more changes are to take place. I better brace myself. 🙂

      Thank you very much once more, Miss prettiest philosopher I’ve ever laid eyes on. 🙂

    • Thank you for the link. That was amusing :-).

      I also look forward to reading more from you on your blog. There’s been a noticeable change in your expression and style. And it’s all pretty good.

      I hope you are having a calm and pleasurable weekend.

  3. No one said parenting was easy, and sometimes it’s not so easy being a kid, either. Your son is to be congratulated for working so hard and scoring so well on his exams. And accolades to you too, because … well … because you’re his mom and you automatically get some of the credit, at the very least for shouldering all the worry I know (from experience) you did over the years. Just think about what he’s done and keep on smiling!

    • You’re right, Paul. These days I console myself with the fact that his actions and their consequences this time purely stem from his choices or decisions. If not consulting me at all plus my impending absence in his life will make him happier, then I am ready to live with that.

      Thank you very much for dropping by. Your every input is treasured for their precious insights. And it’s really good to see you again. You’ve been dearly missed.

      • You embarrass me with your eloquence, but know the old saying, “Stop it I love it!”
        Your son will come around. It took me years. It may be the same with him. Unfortunate, but it seems that’s life.

  4. Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs in the world. There is no perfect parent, and we all make mistakes, but most of us do the best we can with whatever skills we have. I am certain that you are being much too hard on yourself. I think we never fully appreciate our own parents until we become parents ourselves. That is when we realize the sacrifices that were made for us, and how hard they worked to try and give us a good life. There is a normal developmental phase in late adolescence and early adulthood when children hold their parents at arms length. They need to do this in order to assert their autonomy and independence, otherwise they would never leave the nest. In time, they draw closer.

    • That’s exactly what’s been going through my mind these days: How I never fully appreciated my parents – their sacrifices, and their endeavor to provide a good life for me; all because I got so absorbed with my own pains and resentments toward them. It breaks my heart realizing these things now.
      My own approach to parenthood had been different from my parents’ and that made me smug enough to believe I wouldn’t experience the usual conflict that take place between parents and children. How wrong I was.

      Thank you for dispensing your thoughts about my situation. I really appreciate it and at the same time I feel honoured by your presence here.

      You look so beautiful in your FB photo. As always.
      Take good care, dear blogger.

  5. Hey Marj! Long timmmmmeee! Wow, it’s so strange to me that you wanted your son to be a musician – where I’m from, nobody wants their kid to be a musician, much less an artist. Probably for two reasons – a) not enough money and b) not much social prestige. I get so much flack from my family because this is what I want to do, what I sometimes feel I need to do. Maybe in the case of your son, he feels that engineering is his calling? Maybe it’s something he feels is innate. I dunno. Anyway, you seem to have done something right – he’s going forward fervently with his career and I sometimes think only a loving and caring parent could help to see that through! As always, great reading your posts. All the best and much love from SA.

    • Thank you, Josh. I’m delighted you understand how I feel and why I wanted my son to belong to the field that engrosses you as well. If I were your parent, I would be smiling all the time and would have jumped for joy by reason of the choices and decisions you’ve made in your life.

      I do like your attitude, and you are very talented and energetic it makes me wonder if you sleep at all 🙂 – what with all the activities you engage in these days.

      All the best to you, too, and so much love in return from the Philippines.

  6. You gave him love, support and the drive to work hard and succeed. Pretty good accounting in my book. As they say, sometimes the key thing in life is showing up!

    • I appreciate your good thoughts about my being a parent, Wyrd, and yes, I did more than showing up because I gave him the best I could.
      I used to think a strong bond or a very loving relationship between parent and child is impervious to changes. Well, now I know it isn’t.

      Again, please pardon me for the slow response: Jet lag is still upon me. 🙂

      • Ah, yes, well there is almost nothing impervious to change! (The only thing that never changes is that everything changes. That’s the basic universal irony.)


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s