Mothersmother ep.10: The Unsmothering

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By Regina May Cajucom

Serendipity Couch

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


IT'S been five months since my eldest turned fifteen. Five months.

Despite that lapse of considerable time I still find myself lost and dazed whenever I realize that I am actually the mother of a teenager – of a fifteen-year-old young lady. It is an understatement to say that it’s actually unnerving, because really, I don’t have the exact words to describe how it is to be a mom to a teenager – not when you feel like you’re still a teenager yourself. Hahaha. Judge me all you want, but I really get my fix from those YA (young adult) novels, giddy chick flicks and still execute my weekend Inday-mode chores with Lorde, Imagine Dragons and Katy Perry albums in the background. And yes I do marathons, not of the 42-km kind, but of The Vampire Diaries, Beauty and the Beast, The Originals and (catching up on) Once Upon a Time – all teenybopper ‘trash’. Not only do I simply watch them, but I get really affected when something good (giddy, squeal, gasp, aww moments) or bad (scream, squeal, cry) happens to my favorite characters. In fact, when Damon Salvatore died in the fifth season finale of TVD (spoiler alert!), I did not just cry, I was wailing – waterworks, clutching on my blanket (which then doubled as my cry hanky). Oh well, you get the drift.

When my eldest qualified for the YES-C (Youth Empowerment for Stronger Communities) program organized by the Child and Family Services Philippines Inc. (CSFPI) sponsored by the US Embassy, we had no idea how big it actually is, and how meaningful it would be for our young lady.

We realized the “seriousness” of the deal when the parents of Baguio City qualifiers were called in for an orientation, where it seems “commitment to the program” was stressed not just once. For one weekend in a span of seven months (December 2013 to May 2014), Kayla joined the series of trainings aimed at youth empowerment and community service.

There were times when she almost gave up considering her hectic activities and projects in school, or when we had to cancel our family weekend plans because of her YES-C schedule, but through that we all held on to the virtue of commitment. Kayla met new friends, learned a lot of new concepts and understood the value of teamwork and cooperation better. It was a sacrifice not having her on weekends to join us as we waste away watching tv/ movies or simply bum around at home, but we know it’s for a much greater cause.

During the culminating activity held in Manila, she was chosen to deliver a Thank-you speech at the US Embassy. It was an experience she claims she will never forget (she received a standing ovation from the Embassy people). It was her first time to travel that far without us, and although the mothersmother in me was anxious, I had to let go. Sure there were endless texts she was not able to reply to because of their hectic sched there, and millions of tiny reminders in each SMS, but I just prayed hard that she would be ok (and that we would be, too). At times like these parents simply have to keep the faith in the Lord, and in the fact that we are raising them well.

So yes, I am doing the “un-smothering” mother thing slowly. Well, that is the plan. (serendipity.couch@gmail.com/www.serendipitycouch.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 05, 2014.

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