My husband and I have lived for decades abroad, where our three kids were all born, bred and educated in good universities. We made sure that they were never alienated from our home country.
When one of our boys visited after his college graduation a few years ago, he was so enamored with our country that he asked if he could stay and find some temporary work for a few months. We couldn’t have been more delighted. Those few months stretched into an indefinite stay after he got an offer for a permanent job.
We were then shocked when we heard that in a matter of months, my son met a woman in a bar and they started living together after he got her pregnant. We knew he was of age and could do whatever he wanted, but word reached us that this girl was a full-fledged “escort,” not someone I’d be proud to have as a daughter-in-law!
When we came home for a visit after their baby was born, my son introduced the girl to us, and she came dressed in a way more suited to streetwalking. Her pants were so tight I was afraid they’d come apart, her breasts were spilling out of her tight blouse, and her face looked like it would need a scraper to remove her thick makeup.
My husband and I wanted to draw the girl into our conversation, but since my family spoke in English, I talked to her in Tagalog to make her more comfortable. Rather than answering me in Tagalog, she tried to impress us by ignoring the language she was spoken to, and answered instead in fractured and truly horrible English.
Five years into their relationship, they separated because she found somebody else. She left their son with my son.
My son apparently never learned his lesson. Recently, we were told that he was again seeing another woman much like his first wife, and that he had become the primary breadwinner of this girl’s family.
I am asking what in the world my quiet, intelligent, beautiful and generous son did in his past life to deserve this fate. My husband and I have remained quiet despite everything. As a very concerned mother, my heart tells me to talk to him and guide his wayward mind back to the right path. But my mind tells me it’s none of my business.
—Mother in Shock
Your concerns as a mother are justifiable. You only want the best for your son. But as one writer said, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.”
So, what is his point of view?
That your son had all the trappings of wealth from birth—a comfortable home, good education, friends from privileged families, travel, leisure, and just about every conceivable perk a young impressionable youth could have been immersed in growing up—but he apparently took these for granted.
Coming home, he was suddenly plunged into an exotic world—the newness, the unusualness of this culture he had only heard about from hand-me-down stories. Now, he’s experiencing them in an actual Philippine setting, with no protective mommy around or classy friends to fall back on for guidance—only his adrenaline flowing and an adventure in sight.
Suddenly, he is soaking in the uniqueness of the place that has snared him, like fish on a hook. It is the excitement that made him lose his inhibitions and find his other self—clearly a world away, an obvious departure from his old life. He had the freedom to pick a girl as pure as driven snow—or as dirty as the slosh it becomes afterward.
Take solace in the fact that if your son can get a girl of ill repute pregnant, and fall for another of the same kind, he clearly knows the rights and the wrongs and everything else he’s doing in his life now. No need to help him steer his ship.
Allow him to be his own man, know life from experience, no matter if it’s fraught with pain and frustration. You can only pray for him.
Remain the one friend who will never judge him when he needs one. It’s his life, after all.