They say that children are always watching and learning from their parents.
One memory I have of Ma that has made a lasting impression is from when I was a teenager and Ma came home and told us she was unemployed.
For context, my parents lived in the Philippines where I was born and spent the first eight years of my life at.
We were a working class family. My parents had school administration jobs they loved and were respected in their circles.
Although Ma was the principal of the school that I attended, she made sure her kids worked hard and were not given special treatment by her staff.
In hindsight, I now realize how stressful and difficult that following year must’ve been for Ma when she didn’t have her job. My family scraped by with Ma’s tutoring job – she tutored the children of her grown up students from the Philippines. Pa was already retired.
My parents sacrificed a good life to come to Canada in their middle age, so their kids could have a better life here.
Then a year later, Ma got a job as a bank teller. It was not a glamorous job, but she got up every day and went to work to support her family.
It was the job that allowed her to accumulate savings to buy a house. It was the job she worked until her retirement and I am thankful she can now enjoy the fruits of her hard work.
I am blessed to have a comfortable life, thanks to the foundation my parents built for their kids.
As a parent, I am facing a different set of challenges that my parents did not have: raising a wonderful boy with great potential but who has challenging special needs.
When I think of my Ma, I think about what I learned from her growing up, the three key lessons I take forward as T’s Papa are:
- Be resilient
- Be tenacious
- Have a work ethic
These are the life lessons I also hope to instill into T, through leading by example, as he grows up to be the wonderful young man that I know he will become one day.
To all the moms, moms to be and caregivers near and far, wishing you all a Happy Mother’s Day!