Tuesday, October 28, 2014


"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." -Samuel Beckett

         Twice this month, my dear Garret had a meltdown. Both big ones. In school. Suffice it to say we were both exhausted afterwards. 45 minutes after. In the middle of the meltdown, I found myself just holding his hands and arms tight, my head bowed down, weeping, asking "Why?". To whoever was listening. The Universe preferably.

          I  failed him those two days. I failed as a parent. 

         Parenting is difficult. That much is true. There is no manual. There is no grad school for that. Autism or Special Needs parenting, all the more. Everything is trial and error. With errors aplenty. But no matter. We try again. We try new strategies on how to deal with tantrums. Meltdowns. Rigidity to routine. We take on different perspectives, different attitudes. Some days they work. Some days they don't. Some days the load becomes too heavy we know of no other way but to break down, fall on our knees and ask "Why?". 

       But each time this happens, we learn. We learn something we haven't learned before-- the limits of our patience, the self-control it took for our child not to break down minutes before. We learn to ask, "Wait, what went on right there? What did we just do or not do?" We may have failed and fallen yet again. But we know we have learned crucial lessons each time.

     A former student of mine recently told me how she was going to share my blog to a friend of hers whose son was recently diagnosed with autism. She thought my stories were inspiring to many especially special needs parents. Maybe my story could uplift her friend.

     Here's what I think: I am by no means perfect. Far from it. I am a mess when it comes to parenting. I fail many many times. If there ever was an award for failure, I'd be first in line to get it.  More than half the time, I am scared shit about what is to come. But here's what I do: I stand back up. I dust off my knees, my hands, whatever part of my body that was smeared with the dirt of missteps and failures. I hold my heart in my hands, not just on on my sleeve. I put it on the scarred palms of hands for all the world to see. I weep. I scream. I rant. I ask "why?". And then I close my eyes and breathe. I breathe and remember what is important. My boys.  My gifts from the Universe. The Universe whom I have thrown the question "Why" countless times. I open my eyes and see the beauty that is them. In that beauty is the truth that they reveal to me and generously teach me-- Courage. My two boys are courage come alive. Their truth has become mine and that is why I am able to get back up, reset, try again. 

     No matter that I am afraid. I still tell myself, "Today is done. Tomorrow is a new day. I'll do better. I will be better. I am even better today than I was yesterday." 

     This is the beauty of parenting. Of Autism parenting. Of special needs parenting. The journey is unpredictable, unknowable and sometimes all we can see are the possibilities of failure. But out of those possibilities are opportunities to become better parents, become better human beings and discover our own personal truths.

     Along with the question of "Why?" is the question of whether if I had the power to change things, would I? And if I would, what would it be?

     I would be a hypocrite to I say I would not change a thing. If it means it would make my boys' lives a less difficult and less challenging, then I would change many things.

     But at the back of my mind is a nagging thought--  what if the very purpose the Universe chose to give me the gift of Autism in the persons of my two boys is so that I, as their mother, as a parent, as a woman, as a human being can go to the edge of failure, become the very epitome of fear, fail again and again and in the process become a better person, become braver, become a more fearless human being? And in this beautiful process, make the world around me become better? Make this life better?

     Courage. Strength in the face of pain or grief. To do things that frightens one. To do better, to be better, to fail better requires courage. Parenting my two boys. Loving them, raising them requires courage. Everyday I am afraid. This is why everyday I have the capacity to be brave.
     There is no manual or grad school for parenting, for any kind of parenting. There is only one requirement: To not be afraid of failure. To try and try again. To fail better. To strive to be better. To be better. Every single day. 




Monday, September 8, 2014

In The Morning Light

 I'll find you
in the morning light
Where birds sing
the break of dawn
Where the clock
Tick-tocks with
Our tiptoed socks
Warming our toes
On the cold tiled floor
All is quiet
Save for the beating
Of my heart
against yours
Your eyes crinkle
When you smile
I love you,
My little Prince
And you answer back
"I yuv yoo, Mama."
My heart soars...
And this is when
I am reminded 
Time and again
What my life is for.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Little Things

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. "
- Robert Brault.

Special needs parents know this too well. We live this quote every single day of our lives. We not only enjoy the "little things". We celebrate them. So here I am celebrating another "little thing". 

Lately Garret  has been naming his toys like this:

He picks up a toy, (star, hippo, airplane, etc.) brings it to me and says, "star" and does not stop until I stop what I'm doing and repeat after him.  With toys that he has difficulty naming, he does this:

He picks up 'octopus', brings it to me and says, "fa-yer" (flower). I say, "No Garret, Octopus." He says, "Fayer" again. And then says, "uh-tu-tu".

For hippo, he says, "doggy".

For airplane, he says "car". 

I wondered what made him name his toys this way. And then it came upon me that when you do look at the octopus, it does look like a flower with its tentacles spread all around. Come to think of it, the hippopotamus has four legs and some dogs do look like hippos. His toy airplane has wheels. Cars have wheels. Of course, it's a car. I could almost hear his voice say, "Duh, Mama."

How many victories to count in this story? Commenting. Imagination. Comparison.  Deduction? Where do I even begin?

Garret was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder on April 5, 2008.  In November 2011, Morgan, our youngest son was diagnosed with ASD as well. For the past six years, various challenges presented themselves to us, to say the least. But while the obstacles are many,  the blessings and milestones reached by my boys and myself are more numerous in our journey. Garret and Morgan have taught me more than I could ever teach them in this life. Courage, resilience, gratitude and a deeper appreciation of all the "small" things. 

As my boys have progressed  in countless ways, I have found the courage to find the light in every situation rather than dwell in the parts that Autism casts its shadow upon. It gets better. It really does. With the support and dedication of the "village" that raises my two boys--the teachers, therapists, family, friends near and even from other parts of the world, I realize how incredibly blessed my boys are, how blessed I am. And so with utmost gratitude and awe at the "little" things that my boys achieve, I do not hesitate to announce it to the entire world. Because we couldn't have come this far by ourselves. Perhaps, too,  the celebration of our "little" victories would inspire others who are in a similar journey to always keep doing the good work, keep fighting the good fight. 

With his charming eyes that just twinkle when he smiles, I have long ago decided to call Garret my little prince. Just like Antoine de Saint-Exupery's Little Prince, he teaches me to always look with my heart. Even when the dark days come, especially when the dark days come, it is only right to look at the world with the heart. And to grasp the purest joy I can find inside and to always choose the light. To choose to see and celebrate the milestones and not focus on the setbacks. To decide to marvel at how far we have come rather than furrow our brows at how far we still have to go. To appreciate the present rather than worry excessively about the uncertain future. 

I may call him our 'Little' prince but his courage to face the world everyday is great and the "little" milestones he reaches are nothing short of amazing. And I celebrate him and Morgan, our feisty king, every single day.

Why I call Morgan, our "Feisty King"? That will be for another post. Soon. 

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Friday, July 11, 2014

In the Right Direction

This morning as Garret was lining up with his classmates outside the classroom, getting ready for their 10 am class, one of his classmates remarked to him, "Hoy, dako!" I was nearby when I heard it and my chest immediately tightened. I inhaled deeply before telling the kid as calmly as I could, "His name is not 'Dako'. His name is Garret."

"Dako" in our vernacular means big.

Garret attends Kinder 1 classes. He is 9 years old. His classmates are 5-6 year-olds. Obviously he is physically taller and bigger than his classmates. But this is where his level of cognition and social skills roughly are. So we decided to place him in the level where he is most adaptive, and can relatively cope with the lessons and simply put, happy.

At this age it might be safe to say that these kids have no concept of discrimination yet. Yet. This is why at this very age, it is important to veer their perception of "differences" to the right direction before the discrimination escalates into plain bullying.

The kid's remark, "Dako" to my son clearly proves how he acknowledged that Garret was different, being bigger than the rest of them. I wonder with this acknowledgement, how much of it he understands or interprets as being, good, not good, acceptable, okay, not okay. Of course, it is not his fault if he perceives the being "big" as something not good because what he sees most of the time may be according to society's so-called "norm". The norm here being, his classmates in K1 should be of the same height or physical build. And who knows what else he considers the "norm" as he is taught at home and in other places.  I do hope though that he perceives "dako" as interesting, to begin with.

My mama bear instinct shot up upon hearing that kid's remark. Even though I was aware at the time that it may be my own interpretation of how the kid perceived his own words, I still felt compelled to defend my son and in the process educate his classmate.

What happened today may be my cue that it is the right time to talk to the entire class about their "big" classmate. If I'm lucky enough, their young minds may still be in the level where they indeed see something different as interesting. Where they see "not like them" as something to be curious and to learn more about.

Having said all that, what then could be the right direction where we could steer the ships of these youngsters' perception? Or for the rest of the population who are not young anymore but are in need of a change in perception?

Perhaps we could start with acknowledging the different. Acknowledging means not ignoring. How many of us have been taught that it's rude to stare at people? What happens instead of staring? We ignore people, don't look at them in the eye especially the ones who are "different". It's like the elephant in the room. Everybody knows it's there but nobody wants to acknowledge it. Now, what does that achieve? Nothing really, except awkwardness and discomfort. As an autism parent, I have had my fare share of stares in public places whenever I bring my boys to the grocery. What do I do? I look at them in the eye and smile at them. They have no choice but to smile back. Whether it was out of embarrassment that I caught them staring or whether they understood our predicament, I don't know. All I know is a smile is one way of breaking the "rudeness". It gives us autism parents a feeling of communal understanding, an assurance that even if our kids are having a meltdown at the mall, nobody is judging us or our kids. And especially during those times where we really don't have the strength anymore to smile at anybody, when a stranger shows us a kind, understanding face, it takes a fraction of a load off our shoulders. On this note, however let me say that there is a huge difference between acknowledgement and judgment. I think this is self-explanatory.

After acknowledging what is different then maybe we could move on to knowing more about the different.

Ignorance is not always bliss. It hurts our kids. It hurts the autism parents, the family members of the kid with autism. What is strange scares us. What is unknown brings anxiety. And the only way to eradicate fear and ignorance is to confront it. Google it, Autism, Down Syndrome, Global Developmental Delay, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Delay and all else. If you don't have internet connection, which I highly doubt, ask a pediatrician. Or ask us, ask the parents. Don't worry we won't bite. We would appreciate it even if you ask about our kids. Kindly, of course. But we will bite those who make snide, purposeful, ignorant remarks about our kids and our lives.

With knowledge comes a shift in paradigm. In perception. In beliefs. Which we hope will open the way to acceptance. If not acceptance, then tolerance to begin with. The shift in paradigm that we hope people will have when they know more about what our kids' disabilities are is the realization that all human beings are indeed created different. And that different is okay. Different is not something to be feared. Different is not something to be chiseled into the "norm". Different is the source where we voraciously learn from each other.

The ultimate direction that we hope people can arrive at, that kids can arrive at is celebration. A Celebration of the Different. To not only acknowledge, know and accept our children. But more importantly to marvel at their individual differences. Their own individual differences. That even we members of the neurotypical / normal race are remarkably different. To give value to all the quirks and various physical, cognitive and social facets of our children. Verbal or non-verbal. Restless or behaved. Short in height or tall. Small or Big.

Autism parents, special needs parents celebrate every milestone. There are no little achievements. Little is not in our vocabulary. Because we know the value of every single thing our children work hard for and accomplish every single day. Therefore we shout to the world their successes. We pause in our tracks and thank the heavens for the very persons our children are. We celebrate them. Every part of who they are.

What if parents of normal kids out there realize the value of even the minutest detail of their own children's efforts for striving and not just the first honor medals and valedictorian certificates? What if parents of neurotypical kids celebrate the kindness of their children and not just the 100 of every subject in their report cards? What if they celebrate their children who don't fit into the "old school" system, who learn through the arts and sports? What if parents celebrate how their children are able to learn life skills as simple as doing house chores willfully, cleaning up after their own messes, running errands efficiently not just how they read a thousand pages of Algebra and Calculus books? When that happens, then that will be the real celebration. That will be the real essence of the Celebration of the Different. 

"His name is not 'Dako'. His name is Garret." Garret's classmate looked at me silently seemingly afraid that I would reprimand him. I looked at his i.d. and said, "J, your classmate's name is Garret. Okay?" He still kept quiet. I offered him my palm for a high-five and smiled at him. He high-fived me, a smile slowly creeping into his face.

Come Monday next week, I'll be speaking to Garret's class and try the best way I can to steer them in the right direction of how they view the "different". How they see my big son. How they perceive Garret and his being different. Hopefully, they'll learn to accept that Big can be okay. That Big can be in fact, beautiful. And hopefully they will grow up and learn to celebrate the big, the different. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Finding That Balance

June 11, 2014

I came home to this-- Garret writing all on his own. No prompts. All him.

Where was I when all of this was happening? I was having a conference with a parent whose child is hyperactive and has language delays, whose nutrition includes consuming three 250 ml chocolate drinks a day and whose spare time is spent on playing games on the tablet four hours a day. I was in an an hour-long conference where I had to answer the question, "Why do chocolate drinks cause kids to be hyperactive?"(I know, right?)  Where I had to explain to the parent why spending hours and hours on the tablet is not good at all. I was in a conference that left me drained because I wondered how many more parents out there are feeding their neuro-typical, normal, able-bodied and able-minded children sugar and junk and letting them spend hours on the tablet instead of engaging them in meaningful conversations or exercising with them or letting them pursue potentials in the arts, music or sports just waiting to be tapped because the parents are too tired from work at the end of the day?

No judgment here. After all, parents are not super heroes. Although they try to be. Me included.

I am by no means, an expert on parenting. But I am a parent. I'm a mother of two boys with autism; with impaired language, social skills and sensory dysfunctions. I know all too well the effect of sugar and junk food and all sorts of crap on my two boys. I know all too well the enormously negative effect of letting my boys play the iPad for hours on end. Imagine toilet-training turned upside down. And that's just my kid. The effect is immediate. Unlike maybe normal kids. So perhaps this is the reason why parents of normal kids do not see or refuse to see the point of all this. Because the effect of junk food and sugar and iPad addiction, isn't immediate for their children. Think later. Think long-term.

Parents do get tired at the end of the day. After all, we all have to work to keep our kids in school, in therapy programs, in special education programs. But in trying to provide for our children, we sometimes forget the most important part of this equation-- our children. So how does a parent find that extra ounce of strength and stamina to engage their children instead of leaving them to the tempting arms of the iPad? How does a parent choose to discipline their children by providing for them food choices that are healthy? 

The key perhaps is in trying to find the right balance. Still, easier said than done. But what if we put the same amount of effort in trying to put our children in the best schools, having the best things in life, struggle-free even, into finding that balance?

We'll never know if we don't try.

So when I came home after the conference, Andro narrated to me what the "bugoy boys" were up to while Mama was at work. Garret wrote on his writing book all by himself, got a sheet of wet wipes to wipe off some of the writings and continued to finish the task at hand, which if I may emphasize again, was of his own choosing. Unprompted. The Morgan, as he was about to tear his older brother's writing book, because that's what he is "into" right now, (I know, I have to do something to replace this with something more productive),  was gently told by his papa, "No, Morgan." To which he immediately stopped what he was about to do, look at his papa and smiled at him. No words but an immediate response. And a clear acknowledgement and show of compliance.

In an alternate universe, in a non-autism universe, I often wondered and asked myself whether I could have been as "hands-on" as I am right now. I wondered whether I could have fed my children unhealthy foods relying on the fact that my kids are "okay". I wondered whether I could have let my kids spend time with themselves and the iPad, not exerting effort to really engage them in conversations or activities that could tap their potential. But we are not in an alternate universe. We are in this present universe. What we have is right here, right now. But if we were, then I wish to God I would still be the same kind of parent I am striving to be right now, perhaps even better-- more grateful, more conscious and aware of the needs of my boys. Better. To be better each day than yesterday.

Garret is 9 years old. Morgan is 6. Garret loves music. Morgan loves running. And even as it may seem hard for Garret to follow the music teacher, he is making progress slowly but surely. As for Morgan, our daily afternoon walks and run may well be a starting point for him to develop his abilities. Think track and field. Our road will not at all be straight. It will full of jagged paths and blind corners. But I know in my heart it will be worth it.

For now, we continue to celebrate the miracles that come to us every single day. Garret has come so far. Morgan has come so far. We all have come so far. To have reached this point entailed the help of numerous teachers and therapists. To have come this far, we had to strip away all our bravado, our sense of control, old beliefs and expectations. We had to open our minds and hearts to new and often difficult things while still holding on to what is precious. Love with Discipline. Patience with Urgency. Perseverance with Letting Go. Faith with Explicit Action. Courage with Discernment. For the miracles to arrive, we had to realize that we had to find that balance. Every single day.

For those of you who have chosen to read this post until this point, thanks for taking the time to. And I hope you find your balance too whether you have kids or not. Because in the end, trust me. It will all be worth it.

Friday, June 6, 2014


they say 
are when
and where
angels converge. 

Like This

To give thanks. To end the day. Like this.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Garret and Morgan

         Not many people understand the choices I have made. Nor do I need to explain myself to them. But there ARE two people who I owe an explanation to. Everyday. Because they did not ask to be born into this life. I asked to bear them and the Universe so generously gave them to me. And because they teach me how to live my life-- no holds barred, to always be brave especially when I am most afraid, to always be awed at life and to always be grateful. And this is where they belong beautifully, permanently engraved on the flesh of my ribcage. Thank you Ralph San Ramon of Needlepoint Cebu. How all the more beautiful my boys' names are with your deft skill and artistry. 

For Dear Life

January 2013

           How do I deal with autism and various hells? I remember what is real and I hang on to it like well, hell. What is real, you ask? THIS, this is real: When I hear my boy's classmates call out his name asking him to come play on the slide with them, unprompted, spontaneous. The realization that they just want to play with my little boy. And the smile on my little boy's face. And when I ask him if he's happy and he responds "a-pee." This is real. And I hang on to this moment. For dear life.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

To New Adventures. To Second Chances. To Life.

November 11, 2013. Three days after Yolanda, we evacuated to Cebu as our house was ripped apart and the living conditions in our city proved to be impossible for our two boys. In the days that followed, our lives changed dramatically, abruptly, tremendously.

The overwhelming weight of the reality of it all was too much to bear. But we bore it. With the love and kindness of family and friends, with the humanity of strangers from foreign lands, we were able to bear it. One day at a time. We began to rebuild our lives, our house, everything that nature took its wrath upon.

Rebuild. To build again. To pick up the pieces and put them back together. To discard useless shards of whatever. To carry only what matters.

How does one start rebuilding? How does one begin the mending? The healing? I have no answers. All I know is that six months have passed and we are here now.

And all I know is that we survived Yolanda, Haiyan, a rose by any other name. And the days that followed.

If there is one singular lesson I have learned from everything we have been through, it is this: To remember what is important.

What is important? What is my greatest truth? My boys. Garret and Morgan.

To survive the typhoon is to realize that I have been given a second chance at being the mother my boys deserve. To know I have been given the opportunity to do what I have been procrastinating to do for so long-- to make life an adventure, to make life a work of art, to live my life as a work of art. To be art. To be alive.

So yes, I've been attempting to work on my physical strength and stamina. Call it staying fit. Building strength. Recreating, reinventing my body. Crossfit. Something that is way out of my league, out of my comfort zone. I am not athletic by any means. But I have an able body. And muscles. Somewhere. (Haha.) And I have two boys who depend on me. Who will grow up to be bigger than me. Who will need me to be very much alive and, forgive the cliche, kicking. So I'll take any pain thrown at me to be the mama my boys deserve. And when the pain gets too be too much that it'll make me want to give up, I'll remind myself that today I am stronger than yesterday. And today was the yesterday I was afraid of, I was uncertain of. But today I am alive. And the kicking will come real soon.

So to the pathetic 22-pound kettle bell, to the sore muscles I did not know existed, to the joints and ligaments lying dormant for so long now awakened and stretched like hell, I will see you again tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and the next and the next. And I will work my butt off to do another 3 reps of ten lifts of you, darn you, with 3 reps of ten air squats and lunges, pull-ups and box jumps, even if it takes three shirts soaking wet and my breath going in and out hard and fast like I have never breathed before.

How does the rebuilding begin? How does one start the mending? The healing?

Could it be in the sweet delicious ache in every part of my body? That pain and that moment where my body is screaming "no more, no more!" Perhaps, this is where the healing begins.

So here's to new adventures. To second chances.

Here's to life.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Que Sera Sera

"What are we doing, Garret?" I asked him. He was quiet. I cued him, "We are wa--", to which he replied, "Wau-king" (walking).

It was time for our daily afternoon walking exercise around the neighborhood. The sudden downpour an hour before cooled the air, a comfort to our senses. We were quiet while we walked. Garret, taking in the surroundings, the bluest sky, the birds flying all over, the sight of a mound of sand gathered on the corner of a house, and scrunching sound under his shoes as he intentionally walked on it, an occasional swinging of a neighbor's gate, the sound of a gardener's cellphone braying out a song from the radio, several kids playing basketball, the sound of our own footsteps and everything else. I was taking it all in too. The ambient noise, the afternoon light, the quiet. My own breath going in and out of my body relishing every movement of my muscles, clearing out cluttered thoughts and worries for the future.

The future. It used to terrify me. It still does sometimes. The uncertainty overwhelms my heart. But I try not to think about it too much. No use dwelling on what hasn't arrived yet. If there's one thing my boys have taught me, it is to be fully present in the moment. To capture and relish each day. To appreciate today. Every thing good and bad. To be grateful to the Universe for what my boys achieve. To take pride in what I have achieved today, what I have become as a woman, a mother, a life partner, a friend, a human being as of this very moment.

I look at my dear boy walking happily beside me. An airplane looms overhead. I tell him, "Look, Garret, airplane!" It takes two or three seconds for him to look up and say, "eh-plane!" Oh how my heart expanded! Walking, airplane. Two words. Two purposeful words.

Today was my future a few years ago when I did not even think my son would ever speak. Today was the future I was terrified of before. I'll keep reminding myself of this fact especially on days when uncertainty grips me. Today was beautiful. Fear of the future, my boys' future should have no room in my heart any longer.

We finished our walking and sat on the front steps of our house watching the sun go down and the skies transforming into night. And I remembered a song my mom used to sing to me as a kid and sang it to my little boy, "Que sera, sera, whatever will be will be, the future's not ours to see, que sera, sera."

Sunday, May 18, 2014


The skies were majestic as we drove to OSPA-Farmers' Medical Center grounds, the hospital overlooking our city to do an afternoon walk with the boys . I held Garret's hand lightly as we walked the third of our six rounds of walking around the grounds. Morgan just right behind us with his caregiver. As we approached the cemented rectangular steps, Garret dutifully stepped on each one until he stepped on one particular step that lay dislodged from the root of a tree that burst forth from the ground, catching him off-guard. Instinctively I tightened my grip on his hand so he would recover his balance easily. What happened next astonished me. He turned to look at the unstable step and right there I saw in his face an unasked question "What happened right there?" A recognition of the cause of his misstep. After that brief moment, he proceeded to walk on.

It was just a few seconds. A simple turning of the head to look at the cemented step. But it was a milestone achieved.

A few years ago Garret wouldn't even respond to his own name, engrossed in his own little world. And now this-- Paying attention to his environment, being aware of his own actions, recognizing the simple facets of cause and effect. Miracles by the day, I always say. As always I am grateful for these blessings that come wrapped in the most mundane of packages because not only are these extraordinary gifts to my two boys as they discover and appreciate the world in their own way and pace, but also, I learn numerous insights with every milestone they achieve. As if I am also achieving my own personal milestone.

To encounter various missteps is only natural. We are all human after all. But to pause, acknowledge mistakes, the wrong choices we have made and ask the question, "Wait, what happened right there?" , takes a certain amount of grace, humility and courage. To be able to ask this question is necessary. Because only then can we face the skeletons in our closet,  acknowledge the shallowness of our bravado. Only then can we truly face who we are and in the process discover that we can be better than who we already are.

As we finished off the last rounds of our walking, approaching the culprit of a step, I guided my son around it. He followed my cue and walked around it. The last two rounds, however, he chose to still step on it. Of course he almost fell again. And I thought, that's alright, sometimes he has to learn on his own many many times before he can get the lesson right.

So it is with me. As bull-headed and stubborn as I am, I repeat missteps, mistakes, wrong decisions time and again, choosing to wear the cape instead of taking it off and donning on regular person clothes. And that's okay. Because now I am learning. I am choosing grace. I am praying for humility and I am constantly working on my courage to ask the necessary question, "Wait, what happened right there?" I am recognizing and accepting the fact that I am human. Most importantly, that I can be better. Because my boys deserve more than who and what I already am to them right now.

”The world improves when we admit that we are all fundamentally human." - Lisbeth Darsh

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day

An acquaintance greeted me Sunday, "Happy Mother's Day to one of the greatest mothers."

"Wow" was my silent reaction. I was clearly taken aback. Because not only did this person not know me on a personal level, but the word "great" was too shocking for my sensibilities.

I am far from great. I am flawed, imperfect and a whole lot of other things. Except great.

And I don't mean this in a self-deprecating manner to fish for more validation. I say this to affirm and remind myself that I am still too far from my goal of being the mother my two boys deserve.

What my two boys face everyday with courage and grace is unimaginable. Their courage and grace is unimaginable. What their body and mind struggle to absorb, process and translate into responses is challenging to say the least.

And me? I am a mere "strive(r)" compared to what they achieve every single day. Cebuanos have a more apt term-- "Naningkamot". To strive. To do one's best. To struggle.

So never mind "great". Eventually, I'll get there. That place where I can humbly accept the "great" part. But for now, "striving" suits me better.

But to the acquaintance who greeted me, I still thank you for considering me to be a "great mother". Your short albeit crisp message just propelled me to get back on the keyboard after who knows how long and get back to doing what I love best.