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Proud Mama

For the past few months, I’ve been writing or perhaps venting and lamenting about my eldest child’s behavior at home. I mentioned that I’d been proactively seeking strategies and solutions to deal with the stress and tension brought about by our lack of experience and knowledge. I’ve been seeking a way to change the dynamic at home, because we were ill equipped in our quest to guide Kieran through this particularly demanding phase of development. Both Kieran and David as well as I have been seeing therapists to assist us as we traverse our way through the peaks and gullies of tween growth.

Proud mama

PURE JOY Amanda with her firstborn Kieran (Manila Bulletin)

I have to say I’m so happy with our progress so far. We are not perfect by any means, but we are at  least 50 percent better. This percentage I am told is outstanding progress. When you are faced with testing times as a parent, you can’t help but second-guess yourself. After all, aren’t you supposed to intrinsically know what to do, what to say, how to help? The past few months with Kieran have been tricky, as I was prone to slipping into a negative space of feeling like a terrible mom when things would get unpredictable at home. Being a mother is the best thing I’ve ever done, it is also the hardest. This is my mantra. This is why motherhood makes you into a better version of yourself because it’s a continual eye-opening educational journey every day. But sometimes it can be difficult to take in all the lessons when they are presented to you. Sometimes, it just doesn’t sink in.

So here I have been feeling pretty inadequate for the last few months when we get called in for the first annual parent teacher conference. As usual, I’m always a little apprehensive going to meet with Kieran’s teachers because I always think that if I’m having such a tough time with him at home, surely they’re going through something similar with him at school. As soon as we sit down with his first grade teacher, she starts to tell us of Kieran’s achievements, how he’s at the top of his class in all his subjects, how he is a thoughtful and caring member of the classroom and so kind and generous to his friends, how he is excelling in Mandarin, how he has such enthusiasm and zest for learning, and strives to be the best. As she is speaking to us, I feel myself having a physical reaction. My ears and cheeks flushed, tears sprang to my eyes, and my heart swelled with such joy and pride. I was very quiet during the conference because I knew if I said more than a few words I would collapse into a ball of mush and tears. She was talking about my little guy. My first-born. The one I clash with because we are the most alike. Here was the confirmation that he was working so darn hard and so well. It was a testament that our parenting and guidance hadn’t been lost on him. He is soaking everything up and working so tirelessly to make himself and us proud.

After a tough couple of months we have been rewarded with behavior that is reflective of the son that we know we have. This is because all of us (Kieran, David, and I) have been putting in the work. As I always say, being a parent sure isn’t easy, but most worthwhile things in life aren’t. I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels when your children succeed and excel. It’s what you wish for them in life: health, happiness, and success. This mama is so proud of her kid!

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