By Ruth Manimtim-Floresca
All of us go through a lot of firsts in our lives. I remember being patiently taught by my grandmother how to iron my school uniforms when I started my freshman year in high school. It took a few weeks before I got the task down pat but, finally, I did! And from then on, I would iron all my uniforms on Sunday nights and fold them neatly in my large bag the next day before I leave for my boarding house in Los Banos where I stay during weekdays.
When our kids were old enough to do chores, my husband and I also painstakingly instructed and demonstrated to them how to do things so they could help around the house. In the process, we’ve had days when the rice was either soggy or crunchy; red hotdogs have turned black; the pot of boiled eggs had emitted clouds of smoke because the water had dried up while the flames underneath continued their merry dance; an expensive pair of pants was burned by a too-hot iron; plates and glasses flew from soapy hands to land as tiny pieces on the floor; and many other disasters.
Sometimes, our patience would be stretched to its limits but we knew we can’t give up helping the boys “get it right.” How else could they learn if they are not allowed to make mistakes?
Nowadays, whenever I’m up to my neck in deadlines, I could continue working on my laptop or leave the house to attend a media event while a teen or pre-teen would take over washing the dishes, sweeping the yard, feeding the dog or, even, cooking menudo!
For us, having no maid to rely on for years now is more of an advantage than a setback. We’re grateful for the opportunity to watch and wait for our kids to grow up as responsible human beings who don’t expect other people to do what they could already accomplish on their own. We also often remind the boys that we need to help each other out because, really, that’s what being family is all about.