My parents have been my life’s inspiration. They were both different yet the same. My mom was always a workaholic who used to come home with color-coordinated binders and worked until almost midnight. On the other hand, my dad was a househusband who loved organizing and loathed dirty dishes in the sink. My dad specifically was a handyman, and I learned how to do some minor home repairs because of him. These two showed me the essence of work, not just for my job but also at home.
I grew up in a Catholic household, so we go to church every Sunday and every Catholic holiday. My mom was the prayerful one who always had a bunch of rosaries and prayer books in her purse. My dad was not quite religious as my mom, but he served in a choir in a church organization. Even when they separated, my dad continued to serve. Both of them have inspired my faith as a Catholic. Although I am not as pious as my mom was, my faith in God is intact.
As with all other Filipino households, Sunday is always family day. We would stroll the mall after church and eat dinner at our favorite restaurant (looking at you, Harbour City). We would sometimes go to the beach or hang out with relatives at home, cooking all kinds of food. How I miss those days! Today, even if it is just my son and me, well, sometimes with my brother, we go out and bond with a plate of Jollibee burger steak and palabok.
Photo by James Besser on Unsplash
Growing up, my parents were never strict except regarding education. They prioritized education over anything else. “After you graduate college, you can do whatever you like,” was my mom’s constant reminder. I learned how to be responsible because of that and learned how to prioritize the important things. My goal was to finish school, get a job, and be independent. I did just that; my mom kept her word and never nagged me again.
There are a lot of other things, big and small, that I have learned from them. But the bottom line is that I am what I am right now because of them. It’s true what they say: you will never understand your parents until you become your own parent. I try my best to emulate their parenting ways as much as possible, but I know I have to be my own parent to my child. I have learned a lot from my parents that I am sharing with my son. They were not perfect, but they were the right parents for us, and now, as a parent, I am not striving to be perfect but to be the right one for my son.
Thank you, mama and papa. I miss you guys so much.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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Photo credit: Ricardo Moura on Unsplash