Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fortune Friday: 6.11.10

Before anything else, I would like to apologize for a really late Fortune Friday entry.  I have not had internet connection from where I am so I hope you can excuse me....Anyway, here it goes....

“You will make a good lawyer.”


First of all, I hate arguing.  Actually, let me clarify that.  I like arguing and debating, but only if I end up winning…all the time.  Second of all, I just know that I would fail miserably and just embarrass myself as I could get too intense and emotional.  If I ever became a litigation lawyer, I just know that I would either end up in jail for killing opposing counsel or end up dead myself due to a heart attack. 

Speaking of arguing, I’m going to go off-tangent here.  It’s just that I’ve noticed that Noah has learnt to argue and reason with us.  He now defies us (or at least tries to, but with not much success of course) and definitely tries to express himself more with increased intensity.  You can often hear him say things like, “I told you!”, or “I don’t want to”. 

Other than this relatively new-found ability to argue and reason, I’ve also noticed a certain change in his speech.  Just this past week, I realized how American my son is really sounding.  He now has, what Filipinos call ‘the American twang’.  He pronounces ‘pants’ as ‘pents’; or ‘Daddy’ as ‘Deddy; or ‘snack’ as ‘sneck’…you get my drift. 

Admittedly, these are things I hadn’t expected to arrive this early.  I was thinking all these changes, (the arguing, defying and the pronounced American accent) would more or less come once he starts school.  Well, lo and behold, they are here and I can only hope they don’t get any worse. 

These small but inevitable changes truly challenge my sense of identity as a Filipino parent.  I have always been scared of not being able to preserve some of the traditional Filipino values, and especially the language, in my parenting style.  I have always dreaded the day when I will realize that there is no hint of being Filipino in Noah as he grows older.  In the back burners of my mind, I am always anxious of his peer group being a more powerful and effective agent of socialization than our family and our home life. 

I pray that day never comes and I vow to do everything in my power to keep that day from ever being realized.  I don’t expect him to not get assimilated, don’t get me wrong.  I appreciate the value of assimilation in making one a successful and effective member of any society.  However, assimilation for me does not mean a total turning back from one’s roots.  Embracing a certain way of life does not automatically imply forgetting your lineage.  In my heart I know that I want Noah to always respect his being Filipino and have the desire to be as Filipino as he can be despite his Western world.  I wish for him to keep seeing the beauty in the Philippines and its people and keep having the highest hopes for the nation even though he considers himself a citizen of a much developed society.

I do realize that much, if not all of this, depends upon how we parent Noah.  I am clear about my wishes.  I just need to have a clearer plan of execution.  Let me start working on this project now.  

Court is adjourned!                     

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