Sunday, June 15, 2008

On my pride and joy

Last night my daughter and I were getting ready for a family dinner out. As I was wearing my jewelry, I noticed the bracelet that I have kept for a couple of years now in my jewelry box. It was a smaller version of my favorite piece of jewelry which is the gold bangle from my mom that I wear as often as I can. Now the small version of the bangle came from my aunt whom we all fondly call Mommy Mining. I have been waiting for Tara to be responsible enough to wear the bracelet. Last night I felt like she was ready.

"Tara, I am going to give you something important. This is the bracelet that Mommy Mining gave you. I will let you wear it tonight but you have to care for it and you promise not to remove it." I brought out the bracelet from the box, I was so thrilled about it. I was expecting Tara to be excited too, but instead she just said "Oh, okay."

"It is so pretty Tara, don't you think? And it looks just like mine. We're the same!" I love it when we dress up with the same clothes, and when people say that she looks exactly like me.

She studied the bracelet on her arm and said nothing.

A few minutes later, as I was putting on make up, she came up to me. "Mom, I decided not to wear the bracelet anymore"

"But why? It's so pretty and it's exactly like mine. We're the same diba?'

"But I don't want to be just like you Mom."

"What? But you said that I'm beautiful and gorgeous?!'

"Yes you are beautiful and gorgeous. But I want to be myself". She handed the gold bracelet back to me and left the room.

My mouth fell open..I was literally speechless! My husband who witnessed what happened was laughing.

"Narinig mo yon?!" I said to him in disbelief. "She's four! I did not even know that I wanted to be myself until I was 28!"

Bittersweet. When Tara was three she often said "I want to be just like you Mom". That was just last year! Oh how time little pumpkin wants to be herself!

Of course I feel proud more than anything else. It will be our greatest happiness for Tara to grow up knowing and loving herself, being true to who she really is. I will never want her to be just like me. I would always want her to be her own person. To explore her talents and strengths, to learn about her weaknesses and strive to overcome them. To discover her own passions and happiness. I would love for her to be herself. I just did not think I would hear those words from her this early.

That night she wore her flower printed blouse that we both love. Inspite of my repeated instruction that she wears her beaded sandals, she still wore her red crocs. I guess she's on her way to discovering herself. My husband and I cannot be more proud.