Monday, March 22, 2010

Teach Us to Be Humble





When I was young, my parents seemed invincible. They were my heroes.

My dad was the smartest man in the world who knew the arcane crafts of science and geology and physics. He taught me why the sky turns black during a solar eclipse, how to battle Bowser and save the princess in Super Mario Bros., how to look for Beijing, New York, and Paris on the map. My mom taught me to how to scrub the floor until it turns sparkling white, how to prepare for a history exam so I get a 100, how to cross the street so you don't get killed.

As I grew up, I became more and more independent. I relied less on my parents as I learned new skills and knowledge on my own. I saw the world, studied new languages, went to a business school. I traveled to cities my parents have never even dreamt of going, and I didn't realize I had truly outgrown them until …

My mom and I were talking on the phone, catching up after weeks of not being able to call each other. She was telling me a story about her 70 year old patient who couldn't remember her name when I said:

Kane: Mommy, wala ka na bang ibang kuwento? Pare-pareho na lang lagi ang kwento mo tungkol sa mga pasyente niyo, sa mga students mo. Ibahin mo naman topic mo.
Mom: Aah. Wala na eh.

Days later, my ninang Monette called me. After a while, she mentioned a conversation she and my mom had.

Ninang: Ta, alam mo ba, she felt so bad the other day when you told her bakit wala na siyang ibang kinukwento. Na laging pare-pareho na lang.
Kane: Ha? Talaga?
Ninang: Oo. Sabi niya, "Ano pa man ikukuwento ko kay Kane Monette. Hindi naman ako tulad niya na matalino, na nagbabasa ng mga libro o diyaryo. Hindi man ako mahilig manood ng TV. Yun man lang ang mundo ko."

I felt like someone just punched me in the gut. Nasaktan ko mommy ko. I had carelessly said something which had hurt her. It was not my intention and I asked the question innocently, but without meaning to, what I said forced her to confront her limitations as a person and made her feel small.

It was then that I learned there comes a time when children realize they have outgrown their parents. Sometimes the realization comes in the most unexpected, and oftentimes, painful ways.

I learned my lesson.

So to this day, even if sometimes, I had heard the same story or a variation of it before, I put on my happiest perkiest voice when talking to my mom, and say "Talaga mommy? Tapos? Ang galing talaga ng mommy ko."

19 comments:

dabo said...

wow! nothing to say again.

this strikes home.

you are a sweet kid and your mom raise you well. quite an achievement. =)

Lance said...

"Son, when you add it up, the cost of my love is: No Charge."
Author Unknown, a quote from A Mother's Love

I can relate to this. I sometimes take my mom for granted too but the truth is - I love her to bits.

This post made me teary eyed, Kane. I wish you both more love and happiness. :-)

iurico said...

Aw shoot!

This is beautiful.

Galen said...

beautiful indeed.

Tristan Tan said...

Aw. I love you na talaga. Tsup.

engel said...

awwww.

i can relate. *hugs*

Guyrony said...

I like it. I can totally relate to this one.

Mom's boy. Hehe. :)

i'm a narnian said...

kane, this pulled a heartstring. a welcome break from your signature posts. LOL

but really, sometimes i treat my mom that way too.

kiel estrella said...

hurray to all momma's boys!

Yj said...

i never really understood how, my mom's eyes would well up everytime i'd give her an impulsive hug and kiss.... but that was when i was still a kid...

and now my mom is probably trying to understand why i don't do that anymore...

napadaan lang... yaiy

ʎonqʎʇıɔ said...

i miss my mommy. :c

i never really realized how much we can outgrow them. this made me feel sad. great post tho!

E said...

ALL MOM RULEZ!!! (except for Trixie Angeles and her mother)...I love this story Kane, because it involves family :-)

Hunie said...

Napaluha ako ahia. I felt like I was listening as a 3rd party here. I see both sides kasi. Great story to make us all stop and realize our "mother's worth".

rudeboy said...

Ah, Kane, what a poignant post. One that hits close to home.

In my case, it's my father whose stories seem to play on a loop. Like you, I've sometimes cut him off with a short "Yes, you told me that story last time, dad."

As your blog name says, we are human. All too human.

Perhaps it's not quite humility we need, as we deal with our aging parents and the subtle shifts in our relationships with them. Maybe it's a little more kindness, or patience, or both.

Thank you for the reminder.

♥nova-san said...

Wow, hearing that must have been really painful. It really puts things into perspective though. A tough lesson, indeed. Thanks for sharing that. I am often so guilty of being annoyed whenever I hear my parents talk of their boring neighbors or I hear the same, tired old story of their friends. I know now what to do.

victor gregor said...

This is nice. I wonder if parents have an idea that we kids, uh, love them. Despite evidences to the contrary. :D

Anonymous said...

awww K. this is nice.. you always hit our heart..

people will always love you K! naiyak ako dear..you take care

bad boy said...

I cry.

Nice and poignant story.

"as of now, a friend of mine ay nagsusumigaw na sana mag-away uli sila ng mama niya... na sana kulitin uli siya na umuwi ng bahay, na sana sigawan uli siya at marinig ang nakakarinding boses ng mama niya. Dahil ngayon may sakit ang mama niya, tahimik ngayon sa ospital. Ngayon sobrang miss na miss na niya ang nanay niya. Kaya sana gumaling ang mama niya."


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Elias Jayson said...

bull's eye. i miss my mum. :(