Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Art and Science (or lack of it) of Parenting, haha!

It was Children’s Day at the Bank about two weeks ago and we were supposed to bring our kids to work for them to see what we do at the office. I was surprised to realize I no longer have a “kid” to bring. “Kids” is up to 14 and Ovid is already 19, going 20 in September. Besides, he was not eager to see where I work. He is busy.

Maybe it’s a typical attitude among parents to assume that kids stay as our “baby” forever. But each day we feel their efforts to assert themselves, to show us that they have started to live their own lives (except when they need money, haha!). I could sense Ovid doing that: he always has his own schedule, his own views about anything, his own perspective, his own preferences, his own things to do.We share the love for books and reading, for hanging out at bookstores, for discussions and debates, for chatting about everything.

We share the passion for history, especially military history. We spend time. We bond regularly. But in all of these, I could always feel his ways and views about things in the universe are getting away from my orbit, especially on things political. He seems to stand on the Right in contrast to my essentially centrist views. But I couldn’t really complain because he always has something from the mists of history to back his own conclusions. I mean, he knows the Greek and Roman civilization more than I do!

And boy does he hate boxing, mixed martial arts and contact sports—things that I really am crazy about!“But you always wanted me to be an independent person, to be my own man,” he stressed. “You always told me to think critically, to assess things and decide for myself. That’s what I’m doing and you should be happy about that.”

That’s so true. It’s not because I’m a liberal who wish my child to create his own destiny, to reach his potentials in his own way. Well, that too. But the other reason is that I got married so young and clueless how it is to be a parent the “right way.” So I didn’t really know how to “guide” Ovid except to tell him to consult with us all the time so we could figure out together the answers to life’s day-to-day questions. And it seems like the arrangement is working just fine. So far.

I mean, the boy is no rotten teenager. Like most teenagers, he is crazy about computer games, Japanese anime, and social networking. But overall, he is a nice fellow, sweet to his mom, unspoiled, sensitive, responsible, and sensible. No complaints really, except that he doesn’t have a girlfriend yet.“Well, if you have to wrestle with advanced calculus and physics, you may not want to complicate your life much further,” he said.

The boy has a point there, I must concede.