A mother’s motherhood statements | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

As I went to bed Sunday, Mother’s Day and the eve of elections, I remembered the questions my sons asked me over Mother’s Day dinner. Like: “Ma, what was life like under martial law?”; “How did you meet xxx (political names)?” “What are they really like?”

It would take more than a dinner to share a lifetime of stories, but at least that dinner was a start—come to think of it, that must have been the first time my boys, now young adults, asked me anything that smacked of politics. Usually, millennials don’t ask questions beyond their comfortable peripheries, until and unless there’s something in it for them.

That night, we went to bed knowing that in a day or two, we would wake up to a new president, a new administration, if not a regime.

And as parents, we realized that tomorrow, we would have more to answer for to our children and our children’s children.

But then—we could control only so much. This has been a most vicious electoral exercise, where confusion, more than information, reigned (“This election could be won just on lies,” said one senior citizen over merienda), where people, even families, have been divided and sectors fragmented, just precisely as the dubious beneficiaries of such a messy political landscape would wish.

Sound bites dominated the talk—not facts, not informed opinions, not probing questions.

But—while parents cannot always be in control, we can remain in focus—in focus of the values that, you are certain, will pass the test of time.

Core values

At the end of the day, it’s about core values. Not GNP, not sound bites, not political connections or contracts, not social media, not superheroes.

These values are intangible wealth (“What is important is invisible to the eye”—“The Little Prince”) that a parent can pass on to his/her child:

Integrity: Don’t cheat, don’t steal. Simple. Be honest to yourself and what you believe in. Authenticity makes for good sleep.

Hard work: Day in, day out. You earn your keep. You can’t buy that iPhone or designer bag overnight. The lotto allows for only one winner, or two. You don’t get rich overnight, unless you deal in drugs or transact politics.

Respect: Your family. Your elders. The past. Know and protect your heritage. Read up beyond Google.

Give back: Not only to your family, but also to the community. You lift your community, you thrive with it; you mess it up, you find yourself in a cesspool. Help give the disadvantaged a fighting chance.

Take school seriously. Education is your right. Good, not-cheap education, which your parents slave away to pay for, is your privilege. Develop critical thinking, so you don’t get fooled by demagogues when you grow up.

Know and love your country. It’s the only one you’ve got. Internalize its freedoms. Remember how your lolos and lolas lived through a world war. Remember how your lolo would pry your mom out of street rallies, and would bribe her with shopping (and how that worked sometimes).

Keep your social media just that—social. At the end of the day, it’s your parents who will “like” you, no matter what.

Don’t over-believe in superheroes. Enjoy the movie; that’s it. In the end, superheroes don’t make the difference. You do.

Have spiritual faith. When somebody breaks your heart, mom can do only so much. Prayer can do a much better job.

Last Monday, as they left for the voting precincts, one son turned to me—“Ma, text me your list,” referring to my candidates. Mother’s list. Yes!

I love giving motherhood statements.

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