I FEEL sad every time I see my 19-year-old daughter Bea. She was in front of the mirror fixing her long hair, wearing lipstick, and ready to leave to go to Comelec to register as a voter. Earlier, I thought she would ask either me or her father to accompany and guide her in the registration processing. But she said she can handle it and she will be with her best friend, Alexandra.
Why am I feeling this? Is it not joyful to see when our children are growing and becoming independent? Should we be thankful when our children can perfectly do tasks without our assistance? Then, why is my heart breaking?
Before, our kids could not manage to eat alone, now they can eat in a new restaurant in town with their friends. Sometimes, they may fail to share about it and you will only know from their posts in social media that they have already visited the place. It will frustrate you because you have planned a surprise birthday in that same restaurant for her.
Before, it was very difficult to leave the house for work because your children would cry to death because they would want to be with you. Now, parents would try so hard to invite or request their children to join malling. It's sometimes heartbreaking when they reject you with, "Dito nalang ako mama, I want to take a rest."
Before, your kids would love you to stay in their rooms because your presence makes them feel safe. Now, they want you off and sometimes say "Mama, excuse me, I am going to study or I will sleep early now." I was used to hearing "Mama, please dito ka lang sleep."
Before, parents after work need to find time to play with their kids. Now, even with all the free time, the grown-up children would prefer to do their own thing like playing online games or maybe are busy with social media. Their attention is always on their gadgets.
I felt sad looking at my 19-year-old as she prepared to leave the house. I asked her "Dito ka ba kakain ng hapunan? Kasi magluluto kami ng paborito mo."
When she was a kid, she would be very excited to hear this. And so, I expected a positive answer. The two words "thank you" were like heaven to me but the three words that followed, "I will see" were just heartbreaking.
For the first time in my life, I wished that my kids do not grow. I missed the days when everything is about us. I begged for those days to come back. But I guess, this is real life.
Although changes, growth, and transformation of our children can bring positive effects, it may also hurt us because we feel that we are starting to lose them. Maybe, we must gain more wisdom, kindness, and compassion to accept that things change. Friends leave and children grow because life does not stop. And no matter how we try to halt the time, we cannot possibly do that.
I have learned that children, as they grow and move out into a wider world, they no longer would need the same level of care similar to when they were little kids, as they will mature and have an improved judgment. I realized that to loosen our grip with our children is indeed to die a little and to hold our breaths temporarily.