March meditations for mothers

FIGHTING WORDS - Kay Malilong-Isberto - The Freeman

Today marks my eldest son's second to the last school day before summer vacation starts. I'm a little surprised that the school year could be over this quickly. I guess I always feel that way when I realize what a writer meant when she wrote that "the days are long but the years are short." My son's junior year in high school flew even as I remember how long the hours felt like when I waited for him to get home late at night from a party.

This year, he and his batch mates were reminded that this school year is a crucial year in their lives as the grades they get now will determine their chances of gaining admission in the schools of their choice for college. They will be taking the entrance exams in a few months. Some parents have already enrolled their children in summer review classes in study centers near the school. I am wary of these establishments' claims that enrolling in their programs will improve a student's chances of making it to his or her preferred school. I am also balking at the amounts that they are charging.

 Throughout the school year, his school and the parents' organization cooperated to create events to help the students and parents learn about the career options available for our sons, the different schools and the courses they offered, the interpretation of tests that the guidance office gave them to determine their interests and aptitude. Around December, my son complained that he had enough talk about colleges and careers and did not want to hear any more. I thought I did, too.

I am lucky that my son knows where he wants to study and what course he wants to take. I did not feel that way when I was his age. Since he has chosen, I will leave it at that and not bother learning about other schools and their programs.

Some parents worry that their sons will not make it to their first choice and want a back-up school. I do not believe in having a Plan B. Growing up, I always believed in putting all my energy towards one goal. I did not make space for failing. When I was twelve, I only took the entrance exam for one high school. I figured that picking another school would be an issue only if I knew for certain that I did not make it to my first choice. My plan worked out. I'm hoping that my son inherited my determination (or stubbornness). My husband does not agree with my approach.

I watch him as he hangs out with his friends at our house after their exam in Chemistry. There's a part of me that wants to nag them and tell them to study for the last two exams tomorrow. I realize that they are exhausted and want to rest. I keep quiet and feel grateful that I have a meeting and need to leave the house. I continue to worry while I am in the cab.

 Their prom will be held in a couple of weeks. They are probably more excited about that than anything else happening in their lives. I feel wistful and remember them as freshmen who were only interested in video games. By this time next year, they will be getting ready for college. They grow up too fast.


Email me at [email protected].

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