Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Walk proud, Ida gurl

The little girl I used to carry at a Halloween party at a friend's home in UP Village in 1990 before our family moved up to Baguio

"Definition of good, emotionally-adept parenting: that the child grows up with no wish whatever to become a writer."

"Most of our childhood is stored not in photos, but in certain biscuits, lights of day, smells, textures of carpet."

Two quotes, all attributed to Alain de Botton, make me think of my two daughters who're beyond physical reach, except through their FB, Twitter or Instagram updates. The sisters are bonding in parts elsewhere while their mother reflects on times gone by and how swift the hands of time are moving to close that circle chuva la di la.

Maria Popova, another great curator of ideas like de Botton, shared through her blog, brainpickings.org, a letter that the poet Maya Angelou wrote to her younger self. Re-reading it for the fifth time today, I am struck at how her words have a force of truth that only mothers of daughters can relate to. I quote the letter in full by way of wishing  my younger of two girls all the best on her special day today:

You’re itching to be on your own. You don’t want anybody telling you what time you have to be in at night or how to raise your baby. You’re going to leave your mother’s big comfortable house and she won’t stop you, because she knows you too well.

But listen to what she says:

When you walk out of my door, don’t let anybody raise you — you’ve been raised.

You know right from wrong.

In every relationship you make, you’ll have to show readiness to adjust and make adaptations.

Remember, you can always come home.

You will go home again when the world knocks you down — or when you fall down in full view of the world. But only for two or three weeks at a time. Your mother will pamper you and feed you your favorite meal of red beans and rice. You’ll make a practice of going home so she can liberate you again — one of the greatest gifts, along with nurturing your courage, that she will give you.

Be courageous, but not foolhardy.

Walk proud as you are, 

And the girl whose fallback meal was Oreos dunked in a glass of milk when my home-cooked ones were wanting can now adjust to assorted situations in her new life. Ride 'em, cowgirl! 
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