Whether I admit it or not, I like driving my kids.
Yes, it can get rowdy at the backseat sometimes. The bickering gets irritating. But driving them also gives me the chance to catch up with their lives, talk to them about various things, listen to their stories of the day.
On this day, the conversation kinda took a deep turn.
Scene: In the car, on the way home from school. Past 5 PM.
We drive by a public elementary school. It was dismissal time. Some kids were already on their way home, aboard tricycles. In front of our car was a slow-moving tricycle over-loaded with kids. The “back-load” (the seat space behind the driver) had 3 small kids around 7 years old seemingly piled on top of each other. In the sidecar – who knows how many are crammed in there.
I could only shake my head.
iMom: tsk, tsk tsk, tsk. Tingnan niyo yang mga bata. Kawawa naman. Pag na-aksidente sila, ano kaya mangyayari sa kanila? Grabe…
My two girls peek in front, but are silent for a while. Then VGood pops a question-
Ma, bakit madaming pulubi sa Pilipinas?
Hmmm. Kinda not connected to the topic, but it was interesting enough.
iMom: Hindi pulubi yang mga batang yan ha. Buti nga sila nakakapag-aral. Kahit nahihirapan silang pumunta at umuwi from school, pumapasok pa rin sila. Mas madami pang mahihirap na bata ang hindi nakakapag-aral sa school…
(turns attention to VGood, who has not been taking school seriously lately… Story later in this post.)
Kaya ikaw, V, huwag kang tatamarin mag-aral. Maswerte ka nga at may car tayong pang hatid-sundo sa inyo. May maganda kayong school… blah, blah, blah, blah…
And I went on to answer her question – as best that I could, in a way that her simple mind would understand:
Madaming pulubi sa Pilipinas kasi wala silang trabaho. Kaya ang ginagawa nila, sa daan humihingi ng pera. Bakit kaya wala silang trabaho?
Patch: Kasi di sila nakapag-aral?
iMom: Corek! Pwedeng dahil di sila nakapag-aral, kaya di sila makahanap ng magandang trabaho. Kaya palagi ko kayong sinasabihan – mag-aral ng mabuti! Kung gusto nyo makahanap ng magandang work paglaki nyo, dapat masipag kayong mag-aral ngayon. Do you undestand, V?
She nodded slowly, though it seemed she was in deep thought.
Lately, V has been playing around in school. When I say playing around, I don’t just mean playing in the real sense, as in playing with her classmates.
She has been playing with her tests! For goodness’ sake! Every time I got the results – 15/25 in Science, 12/20 in Sibika, 14/20 in Math ( Math! She is friggin’ good in Math!) – I wanted to go ballistic. But of course I had to wait until we got home.
Her teachers confirmed that she’s been playing around, not taking the tests seriously. When we’re studying together at home, she knows all the answers. But during the actual tests, she’d just guess, write “true” or “false” randomly. Aaack.
I’ve long given up my honor-roll expectations for V. If she doesn’t want it, I won’t force it. But it’s a different issue altogether when she does not want to take her studies seriously.
Could she be in the wrong school? Is it just a stage she is passing through? Are the books and lessons too much? Or does she find them too easy? I really do not know.
Haaay… When it comes to V and her schooling issues, it seems like a long, heavy haul. But I’m sure we will get there. Someday, somehow, we will. Patience, patience.