Written April 5, 2021:
Whenever somebody comments about Sophia, I usually shrug it off and assume that it’s normal for girls her age. And being my only child, I have no point of reference. “Your daughter is so friendly.” Are not all? “Your daughter is mature for her age.” How can you say that? No, seriously? “Your daughter is so pretty.” Of course, takes after me! (Duh!) Lol
It was only lately when I started the road less traveled, that one of personal development, that I became more mindful of these statements. One such observation was made by her older cousins last week. Sophia could swim and float a little, but no formal education. Just like any child (again, I am generalizing) she wanted to try the slides. I didn’t swim with them that time and I just came back to the pool right before Sophia slipped on her way to the stairs. I asked her if she was hurt and she said no. I asked her cousins how deep the water was on that side of the pool and if my daughter could stand up with her head up the water and they said no. I advised Sophia to take her floatie up.
After she successfully made it, I was laughing and telling her I am so proud of her. It was then that her cousins remarked how brave Sophia is. It suddenly struck me. How Sophia is becoming more and more like me. How many times have I taken risks without fully assessing the situation? How many times have I slid down, taken the plunge without any kind of protection and barely kept my head up above the water? I wonder how this came to be, as I have never really discussed with my seven year old how I reach decisions?
I have always spoken with her like an adult. “Sophia, just because the lady in the elevator didn’t say hi back when you greeted her does not mean she does not like you, maybe she just has got lots on her mind or she was having a not so good day, or maybe she has not even heard you. Believe it or not, the world does not revolve around you, sweetheart, it is not always about you.” But not stuff like “Sophia, do you think we should move to Singapore? I know we would need to adjust and it is not going to be easy, but it is safer there and the quality of life is better. In case it does not work out with your future stepfather however, it would be best if I hold on to some of my investments here in the Philippines.”
Maybe she has inherited the daredevil gene from me. Or her subconscious picks up vibes or something somehow. Or it may be because of my encouragement whenever she wants to try something. “Mommy, can I go say hello to the tall man by the stage and ask if I could sing? Mommy, can I try to climb up the wall, too?” As long as I know it is not dangerous, I would always tell her “go ahead, Anak, be careful! And have fun!”
Bottom line is, good or bad, intentionally or not, chances are high that she would pick up not just my positive virtues but my not so good ones, too. I would teach her (and more importantly, show her by example) how to assess risks and dangers, put safety nets and protective gears (especially how to guard her heart in the future, if she does not beat me to it), and still try to be able to seize the day and enjoy the moment.
To my parent friends, how do you guys do this?