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.

Learning From A Community Of Formidable Broken Souls

We are observing Holy Week and today is Holy Thursday here. No work. Yay. It’s customary for people to head to the beach during this period. But I’ve no intention of doing so as I’ve longed for this luxury to just stay home for a few days, do some spring cleaning and hopefully catch up on my writing. Yes I haven’t written anything here for several weeks now because of my busy schedule and because of certain personal reasons.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve had the privilege though of browsing through a few of the most interesting blog sites I’ve ever seen at WordPress. It’s mainly due to a highly popular female blogger who keeps a blog that might be the center of this community of intellectuals. Composed of mostly astute thinkers who write penetrating, brilliant posts about their lives and other interesting stuff, it shelters amazing writers with fragmented souls who inspire me because I’m a broken soul myself (although I ain’t an intellectual like any of them :-)). How I love to read their stories and what it takes for them to soldier on despite their torments and handicaps in life. Such a relief to find authenticity from their writings that somehow validate my own feelings of inadequacy and disintegration.

One of them is this lady blogger in her fifties who first caught my attention when she wrote her reasons for blogging in her neighbor’s blog. She definitely writes from the heart, and she holds nothing back. Backed by her more than excellent writing competence, she captivated me enough to become an instant fan of her blog. There can be only admiration for this woman who tells her stories in raw honesty. Her courage to express the agonies she’s been locking in her soul is formidable. Once her story and her words have held my attention, it’ll grip me to the very end.  A week ago, her piece as to the deep agony she has been experiencing from the cold treatment she has gotten from one of her sons came out. Her inspiration to write that story came from another equally talented young male blogger whose blog by the way enthralled me likewise (but that would deserve another post here). Anyway, her story resonated with me as I am a mother to a young man too and have felt I made quite a few mistakes being his single parent. (I never abandoned my son though as I couldn’t possibly live without him. My misdeeds were a lot more inconsequential but nevertheless faulty that an exemplary parent should not do.)  As this lady blogger peeled each layer of her story, it pierced deeper and deeper into my marrow until I couldn’t take it any more I had to stop and get away from my computer to try to free myself from her pain that was wrenching my heart.

A few days after, she had a follow-up post where one of the commenters blew us all by saying we have no right to expect anything from our children. That we should not mistake their distance as gross misconduct and it’s their absolute right to choose to expel us parents from their lives. We do not own them at all and we simply have to respect whatever decisions they make in their lives, even if it kills us in the aftermath. Period. Tough but so true. The lady blogger took the advice with grace and humility I’m bowled over by it all.

How blessed I feel for taking a part merely as a reader in all those exchanges and gaining such wisdom as a prize.

And how fortunate I feel that my son is still with me. No lady has taken him away from me yet. Sometimes, when I watch my son from a distance whether he’s busy doing something or simply sleeping, my heart gets overwhelmed by the realization of just how lucky I am for having him in my life. It’s crystal clear I am still everything to my child. But only for now. Things will change in the near future I’ve no doubt about that. I just pray I’ll never have to experience what my favorite lady blogger has been going through these days.

Happy Birthday to the Love of My Life!

My son and I celebrated his 19th birthday just a few days ago. Nothing grand.  And it’s just the two of us which is how it’s always been.

I managed to post some special messages on his FB wallpost. I posted them on mine as well to show the world how much he means to me. And I’ve decided to share them to my readers here as well. Three messages for 3 consecutive days before his actual birthday. Here they are:

1st day

As your birthday approaches, I can’t help but realize how blessed I’ve been to have you as my son. I may not be the best mom in the world but I sure am the luckiest.. Because you’ve always loved me to pieces, inspite of my frailties, in your own endearing ways.

Only in your love can I feel heaven and earth as one..

2nd day

The love that has sustained me all these years is the very same love that will grace my heart for eternity.. Happy 19th Birthday to my dearest son.

I can’t imagine my life without you..

3rd day

I can never know of a love as compelling as a mother’s love for her child. In the same vein that all the love and riches of this world can’t compare to the rapture of holding you dearest to my heart.

Happy !9th Birthday to you, my son.

I’m just so happy to have you near me.


So there they are. I tried my best to my express my feelings in words though my love for him remains ineffable. And it got me thinking these days about how I’ve done in life as a mother. It’s true, I can’t consider myself as one of the best moms in the world for the simple fact that I’m not even fond of children. And I”ve made some mistakes I’m too mortified to confess as a parent.

When I was still a young lady, having children wasn’t among my top priorities. My unplanned pregnancy 20 years ago was sort of an accident. When my marriage ended when my son was barely 10 years old, I wasn’t sure then how I’d be able to cope. Though now I believe I did splendidly. I may not be mother material nor the selfless kind of mom, but I’m not the type as well who would pass my responsibility to others, however heavy it is. And so I carried on all these years with just my strength and determination to finish to the end.

 I’d also like to congratulate my dear son for recently completing his third year in college. Three more years to go including his board review and his studies will be over. Hopefully, we’re gonna do just fine. What matters now is just for us to be able to get through. Yes we’ve been through a lot. Hopefully, everything is going to be okay as long as we are still safe and in good health. All I can say is God has been good to me and I thank Him endlessly for giving me my son. There’s really nothing more I could ask for.