Thursday, December 3, 2015

My Not So Li'l Man

"Why do you always think of me as a rabbit being chased by a zebra? 
You should think of me as a jaguar being chased by a turtle."
-words of wisdom from my newly minted 11 year old 

He prefers to be likened to a jaguar... not a rabbit! Teehee!

My son expressed his frustration as I expressed my concern that I don't see him studying enough. He insists he's on top of everything daw. Sometimes I keep on forgetting that my youngest son is already a pre-teen whose parental leash needs to be loosened... a bit!

But I can't help it, I think because he is the youngest I'm having such a difficult time letting go... Parang feeling ko I always have to micro-manage his life... Hahaha!

You see, he is in the school varsity for swimming, and all varsity parents know how crazy the training schedule can get. He gives about two hours each day for swim training. After training, he eats a quick dinner and he only has about an hour to finish all his homework and study for the next day's quizzes before turning in at 9pm.

The subject that takes up a huge chunk of his study time is Chinese. He gives in a decent grade for Chinese, enough to meet the qualifying mark for academic merit, but studying for Chinese takes up a lot of his already limited time. I couldn't read, write or speak Mandarin to save my life, so for the very first time in my more than a decade as a tutor-mom, I decided to ask help from a professional tutor last September just to speed things up a bit for him.

We both decided he would skip swim training the day this convo took place so he could allot more time to studying for the Chinese assessment the next day. This exchange was brought about because he asked to be picked up one hour after I dropped him off.  Obviously, this mom found the study time too short! Eh, parang kakauwi ko lang, nagpapasundo na agad.

Ang kulit ba ng micro-manager mommy? hahaha!

I don't think I'll ever tire from this view

There was a time in July 2015 when he qualified for his first national championship. It meant 2 days of missed classes and the whole weekend for competing, about 4 days total. I wanted him to do his homework and study for his exams for the coming week the night before his meet para di sayang ang oras di ba?

My insistence was met with, "Chill, Mom! Relax. I got this! Everything is under control. I already finished my homework in school. You have to learn to trust me, mom. I'm a man already."

What? Paki-ulit! What did you just say???  

Son, just slow down a bit. I just gave birth to you... yesterday? Didn't I just help you take your first steps... just about 20 minutes ago? 

Someone please press the pause button here!!! Life is obviously in fast forward mode here.

In February 2014, I posted about how he struggled with his competition anxiety, and how he was able to overcome it. You can read more about it here.
He used to doubt himself a lot. We had to work together to help him act in spite of his fear
 I wanted him to learn that courage is not the ABSENCE of fear, it is ACTING in spite of the fear.

I look back fondly to 2 years ago because it was a long process of building him up. On 2014, right after the excitement of winning his very first gold medal, he tried out for the swimming varsity. Of course you can only imagine how anxious he was on the day of the try-outs. He got in, thankfully; and it seemed like he was on a roll since then. He was in grade 5 when he first made varsity, he surprised everyone when he also got first honors for the very first time. I remember I was driving him to swim training when he told me he got first honors, and I wouldn't believe him until he showed me his card. I literally had to pull-over to the side of the road to have a look at his card myself. Teehee!

He has come a long way since. I still continuously pray for him that God provides for his confidence, because a confidence that is sourced from no one else other than God has unlimited possibility.

Swimming one of his favorite events, the 200-m breast stroke.

He still has spells of self-doubt whenever he is faced with something new, but I always encourage him to do his best in everything, and to allow God to work in his life.

I am slooowly giving him more independence and control over his own decisions. I sometimes worry about how my li'l man is doing, and I am tempted to step in every so often. My husband always reassures me with Proverbs 16:33:  We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall.  In other words, God's got this! He's got everything under His control.

Pero sorry na lang, anak. You might see yourself as a jaguar, but in my eyes YOU ARE STILL A BABY JAGUAR! Sorry na talaga!