the last weekend of winter with Ganda & Bunso

not only did Ganda, Mahal and Bunso have fun, they also managed to look awesome and cool 🙂

I’M NOT one to indulge in psychobabble or armchair psychology, but I can’t resist self-diagnosing : if you’re anywhere being a half-decent Pinoy (or otherwise) parent (notice I didn’t say good parent, that’s presumptuous), you can relate to my saying that your kids are the only persons on this planet before whom you never need to put on appearances; by nature and/or whether you like it or not, you are simply yourself, nothing more and nothing less.  Among the many reasons for this : It is good for their mental health and yours; they already know (or are on the verge of knowing) you very well from head to foot; you can’t deny your true self to the people of whom you are a part and will always be a part of you, long after you have left this life.

Having said that, I once again had a chance to affirm the above law of the universe after spending a tiring but fulfilling weekend with Ganda and Bunso still intoxicated with the afterglow of permanent resident status ; a window of sunlight, showerless rest days, and snow on Mt Ruapehu certainly a confluence of pleasant events to greet recent happy events in our family.

The unintended sidelight of all these was that despite all my attempts to sound sage and ready to dispense with wisdom of the ages, my daughter and younger son saw me for what I am : an excited father just as thrilled to see his kids enjoy life, irrepressible youth, and the rare milestones of successful migration.

their first-ever sightings of snow as young adults, the sled rides and ski lifts over snowed over hillsides were all highlights symbolic of their new lives as NZ permanent residents : in just a few weeks their daily routine of waiting and idleness had turned into frantic paperwork and countless details that needed to be furnished, added and confirmed.  The wintry respite was a much needed break not only for the budding New Zealanders, but also for their parents, who had not shared a day off together in over two weeks.

In between, the much needed interaction surfaced not just between generations but also between would-be travellers in different stages of the migrant journey.  Ironically, Ganda and Bunso were far ahead of me, a guest worker, in our common quest to become NZ citizens, though I would unconditionally be happy for them in every goal they attained.

And on the ride home from the winter wonderland,  if ever I thought that I remained the ageless dad from whom they would owe their looks, Bunso hit me with the joke-of-the-day : natatakot ako tumanda Papa, kasi nakikita ko sa yo magiging hitsura ko.  The punch line was brutal, but at least the smile was disarming.

Whether or not his joke penetrated any vital organs, such frankness from Bunso would serve him well as NZ resident for years to come.

Thanks for reading !