The original play station-A A +A
Sunny Side Up
Friday, September 20, 2013
WE WERE seated in one corner of Chowking-Divisoria, waiting for our order. Rather tired from going around the Night Café area and ended up buying bags for both of us, we thought we drop by the fast food for something to eat and drink.
I fanned my gaze at the number of customers, seated opposite Thezza, my 18-year-old and youngest daughter, who was also observing the other people around.
“Mama…,” she interrupted my wandering thoughts.
“Yes, Baby,” I quickly responded, turning my attention to her. She loves it when I address her Baby, but hates it when her friends and classmates are around.
“You know, Mama, I feel sad today.”
I closely looked at her, trying to figure out why she was sad, but all I saw was a happy countenance.
With an intent, curious look, I touched her arm and asked, “Why are you sad?”
Smiling, she replied, “Mama, nothing is wrong… promise…”
Then she continued. “You see, Mama, it has been my practice that when I go to school on a Saturday, I would find time to drift by at the Gaston Park.”
A gush of worry struck my being and was about to blurt out my concern.
Gaston Park. Of all places! And what is my daughter doing in that place—dating?
But an inner voice whispered and I let her continue, and all I said was, “Okay, and?”
“Mama, I just love sitting in one of those benches at the Gaston Park. I enjoy looking at people, observing them, wondering who they are…and their life stories. I love watching couples pass by, holding hands, so happy. I seem to have an idea if one couple is only ‘mag-siyota,’ or they are newly-married, or are just friends. I also get an impression that they have had a lover’s quarrel. And most of all, I love watching children, playing, using the slides or the swing. They remind me of my happy childhood, those days when Tate (her Ate), and Kuyas and I play in those same slides and swings. But today, rarely do I see children playing there, and I feel so sad.”
Listening to her, I could only smile and give her a sympathetic, reassuring look.
“Mama, I pity some children of today. They seem to be deprived of things and enjoyment which are necessary for their balanced adult life. Perhaps they are too occupied with online games, glued on TV or computer screens, instead of going and play. They lack the physical interaction. They are not put in situations where their self-control is tested. No wonder, some children of today are too quick to use guns when faced with difficult situation, or commit suicide. I really pity them.”
“Ma, I promise to myself, when it is my turn to become a parent, I will see to it that my kids would be enjoying what I had—I will let them play in parks, play Chinese garter, patintero, balay-balay (play house), luto-luto (kiddie cooking).”
I hugged Thezza, happy that somehow I gave her the right upbringing and values. And I look forward to that day she becomes a parent herself, and me, a grandparent.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 20, 2013.