2AM Thoughts | October 30, 2020
Last night was extra tough. My almost 2-year old son was throwing his worst tantrums to date, it was almost midnight, our clothes needed folding, and I had deadlines to catch.
He was inconsolable and I did not know what to do anymore. He didn’t want me, and it is all my fault, I tell myself. I was half an inch close to throwing my own tantrums.
He eventually calmed down, and as he was dream-feeding, I tell myself, “This is about to get tougher.” Parenting in this age and economy is daunting and overwhelming, but I still hold on to the belief that this is also a chance for us to raise better people.
As I put my son to sleep last night, I read about Irix Romero, an 18-year old activist from Bulacan State who was being forced by her parents to undergo “counseling” with the military against her will.
Amid recent series of red-tagging and relentless killings by state forces, I could not imagine what kind of parents trust these people more than their own children, especially if they are not children anymore. Their offsprings are young adults capable of critical judgement. If we keep forcing our children to think and act like the way we do, then we defeat the entire purpose of parenting. I mean, really. What makes us think we know better just because we’re older than them?
I count the seconds between my son’s inhales and exhales as I think to myself, no matter how hard things get, I could never imagine myself asking him for anything in return. I know that sounds ideal, but I am fully sincere when I tell him, “I do not own you, my love, and you don’t owe me anything.” I have never loved anyone as much as I love this tiny human, and I finally realize that maybe, this is what unconditional love means.
I am reminded of Alicia Lucena, as she sat on a press conference to respond to allegations regarding “missing minors” last year. She did not seem brainwashed at all, she had decided for herself, like how a young adult should. Earlier this month, the cases filed by her own parents (backed by state forces) against progressive individuals and groups were dismissed. She can be Alicia, and she can lead a life of her own discerning.
I can keep going about how the family can be a structure to enforce ideologies, how as society progresses, our perception of family will also change. But shouldn’t it be much simpler for us parents? If we love our children the way we say we do, why can’t we accept the fact that we’re done? And if we expect some kind of return of investment from our children, don’t we realize how horrible that sounds?
My son has finally slept. He rests in my arms for the night. I hold on to my little boy tight, for someday he won’t be needing me too much anymore. He’ll move on to his own bed, own room, own house, own life. His future belongs to him, and I should support and respect his choices, his space, and his life.
And when he’s older and he chooses a life that is well-thought of, and especially if he chooses a path to liberate others and himself, I will stand proud and tell everyone that I have raised him well.