Big School

Congratulations to my girlfriend Pam for doing a good job in raising her 5 year old son Liam. Liam is set to graduate this end of the month, and because of this, Pam is the happiest person on Earth. I am posting here Pam’s beautiful and touching article on her son’s graduation.
I Love You Pam, mas madami din sa germs!


My son’s graduation would be by far the most accomplished day of my life.

After countless days and nights of doubting whether we could make it, here he is marching, wearing his toga proudly, again proving that he won’t fail me.

To be very accurate, it is me doubting myself more than half of the time, always wondering if I could tide this through. Working overtime to pay for tuition, books, school uniform, and school allowance. But not even for a single second have I doubted if he can manage all the pressures of this whole stressful, tedious process called education.

Drama Queen Alert. Alert. Alert. Yes I am being Drama Queen again. My son is indeed graduating soon. From, my dearest friends, Kindergarten. And this is so big for me. I hope you would all forgive me.

I mean I do not consider myself as one accomplished person. I could not boast of anything except that I could cook, do the laundry and clean the house all at the same time. I was not given the chance to harness my talent in singing and dancing, was never on the dean’s list, never the campus crush. I’m so this close to mediocrity. Until my son Liam came.

A sudden realization hit me. Hey, I must not be that bad myself if someone as wonderful as he is came out from me.

Helping him conquer school, I conquered my fears and insecurities.

It’s not easy to let your most precious to be away from home for 3 solid hours. Who knows what’s going to happen. Will his classmates laugh at how I part his hair, or will he trade his sandwich to his seatmate’s toy car? I could hear my knuckles cracking by the mere thought of my son being bullied. And I was wishing to be transported back to the glorious moments when all he needs is me that one day he told me I don’t have to walk him to school.

I always thought the only difference between a tortoise and a turtle is the spelling. Liam told me that they do not only differ in size but also in habitat. Whatever. I’ll still call a tortoise a turtle. I wracked my brains out trying to figure out what creature is it whose name starts with the letter Y  that looks like a cow and a carabao. Who knows? When I was his age, letter Y is always represented by a yoyo, never by a yak.

I know I have done a pretty good job when he got one mistake in social studies. The question: Sino ang dapat na nasusunod sa pamilya? The supposedly correct answer: Tatay. His answer: Nanay. It’s a no-brainer! He truly is his mother’s son! With all due respect to my son’s favorite Teacher Wilma, and whoever is the author of that book, do not give my child any of that crap.

For all my shortcomings he only paid me back with unconditional love.

He asked me if it is true that we are surrounded by germs. I said, “Yes, that is the reason why we should frequently wash our hands”. (Just to prevent him from asking another question that I know would follow and that I do not know the answer to.) Then came the dreaded question, “how many germs are there in the universe”. I answered “madaming madami, too many to mention, lots, gazillions. Go wash your hands now”. Sensing that I want to end the conversation about salmonella and e coli, he said “okay”. As he was walking away he told me, “alam mo mama, lab na lab kita mas madami pa sa germs”.

I must say, I have learned more than he did. I have learned to be more patient, trusting, brave and confident. Liam was able to get through it, why wouldn’t I. I have a long way to go. I am preparing him for Big School now but he taught me how to be big in this equally big and nasty world. And I know that he will always be with me to guide me and tell me everything is worth it. And for the first time in my life, I might be enjoying school after all.



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