Inspiration All Around

I like being around my kids. It can be tiring and frustrating at times, but almost always, it is entertaining and educational. Inspiring even. Having lived with my children for several years now, am still debating whether kids learn more from their parents or whether parents learn more from their children.

My children don't particularly enjoy eating salads. So one night, there I was trying to convince them to eat more veggies and I said: "Eat some salad. It will make you healthy and you'll live longer..." My nine-year old daughter quickly retorted: "That's a myth. Veggies don't make you live longer. Once you've finished your mission, you die..."

I don't remember thinking that way when I was nine.

I also thought about the day we got my son's report card at the end of the school year. Since his grades could have been better (they were not bad, they just could have been improved with more effort), I tried to cheer him up by saying: "...At least we survived Kuya..." to which he retorted: "Yeah, but I just survived..."

He then told me that he felt like writing something and with his permission, I share it with everyone here. Today, is Mother's Day. I get a break from writing. Kidding aside, I share it here since am happy that my son also writes and that he seems to have realized a lot of things on his own over the year just passed. I guess that's what motherhood is all about. We are here to guide, to encourage, and to push -- but in the end, the greatest lessons our children take to heart are those that touch them personally and those which they recognize by themselves.

So what follows after is the piece written by my son. Just some notes for a better appreciation of the piece. "...Jagged crags appeared to jut into the opaqueness..." is a line from The Most Dangerous Game. Lotto stands for the daily five-point quizzes which Mr. Pagsi gives where the winning numbers or scores are only 4 or 5. BV stands for bad vibes or how you describe a situation when you are not feeling too good about things. During my time, this would have been something like Bad trip. The lines: "How do you truly measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets..." is from the song Seasons of Love from the musical RENT - a song which the 1A boys of schoolyear 2010-2011 enjoyed performing. The Magnificent Failure is also a piece that the 1A boys took up and refers to Jesus Christ. Here goes:

ď1-A: A Freshmanís StoryĒ

"On my second day of first year, my classmates and I met our English teacher, the legendary Mr. Pagsi. He took us to the chapel for our first lesson, the first of many memorable lessons. He talked about the Alpha and the Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. In between these symbols was a cross and he explained the significance of these symbols. The alpha is the beginning; it stands for God because he is the origin of every good thing. The omega is the end which also stands for God because we all come back to Him in the end. The cross stands for Jesus, our guide on this journey that we call life, our best friend through thick and thin. That was the first time that I witnessed his awesomeness.

The year breezed by as we learned many things from him; songs, life lessons, quotes and everything else in between. I donít think I will ever forget that jagged crags appeared to jut into the opaqueness. It felt like such a short time because we were having so much fun in 1-A. Before I knew it, we were having our final mass as a class which seemed like the end because it was our last meeting as 1-A.

Summer started and it was pretty boring. There was no more lotto; no one was cramming at 7 am for the daily quiz like we normally did. Half the class came back for our final lesson. We took up Lost Horizon and some of you may think that that was it. 1-A was finally over, but I donít buy that.

For me it ended on April 8, 2011, the day I got my report card. I was feeling BV because for the first time, I experienced a year when I didnít get honors and I lost a bet. I passed but A-boys arenít supposed to just pass. I felt like I betrayed myself and that I shouldíve done better. I was pissed off and then I had an epiphany.

I realized that some, if not every great person had experienced failure many times. Remember the magnificent failure? Anyway, I learned a lot that year but how do you truly measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee, in inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife,
in 525600 minutes, in diapers, report cards, in spoked wheels, in speeding tickets, in contracts, dollars, in funerals, in births? Figure in and measure it in love, thatís the only way. I promised myself that I would do better next year and then I felt better knowing that I had already run the gauntlet and that I wouldnít have to go through it again. As I was on my way home, I saw inspiration walking on the sidewalk. By inspiration, I mean I saw Mr. Pagsi walking with Fr. Francis Alvarez, S.J. So I said hi to sir and I arrived home feeling less BV. Most of the time people put their dedications at the start, but I saved the best for last. I dedicate this to A 2014 and to sir. Thanks for the epic year."

It was truly an epic year. With my kids and inspiration all around, it has been an epic life.

To all the mothers out there, including my own mother, Happy Mother's Day! May the Lord continue to bless you with the faith and grace needed so you can be the mother that your kids need you to be.

[By Angelica Viloria | Sunday, May 8, 2011]


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