Thursday, October 28, 2010

Love is Patient, Love is Kind.

My friends and I were approaching the third hour of our talking marathon when our attention was diverted to the next table at this coffee shop. We had been so engrossed in our discussions that we were only vaguely aware of this small family—three cute tots, their mom and an aunt-- until the four-year-old started bawling.

With her mouth stuffed full of food, she was crying: “I want to go to Mommy’s place!” (By now the mother had already left.) Tears were streaming down her already wet cheeks and falling onto the fried egg plopped right on top of her rice. Her sister, just slightly older, wiped her tears with some tissues.

“I want to go to Mommy’s place,” she pleaded with the aunt. She was choking on her food. That was when we intervened and suggested to the aunt to tapau the food and let her eat when she was less upset.

We didn’t know the background story except what the young aunt told us… that the little girl was ‘always like that’. Maybe the mother had a business to run? An office job to go to? Maybe the little girl was having a temper tantrum. Or she was just craving for attention. We would never know. Nonetheless, it was very upsetting to see the child’s distress.

Some people hold their children at arm’s length emotionally, withholding affection. To me this is akin to cutting off the anchor and setting the child adrift and alone in the vast, frightening sea. Sometimes I’d wonder: does the father or mother realize what harm they are inflicting on the child?

Some adults leave the kids out physically. I know of a couple who used to lock their little girl outside the house as punishment. At night. With all the lights switched off. I would hear the sobs and the pleading to be let in and my heart would go out to the toddler.

I heard a story about what a father did when his little boy wouldn’t stop crying. He locked the child in a room after switching off the light so he could continue his slumber in peace. The poor kid, terrified of the dark and alone in the ‘dungeon’, slapped on the door with his tiny palms and cried until he could cry no more.

In the morning all was silent. The father had a good night's sleep and was pleased he had taught his kid a lesson. Then the family opened the door and made a shocking discovery. Suffice to say, the toddler that crawled out was not the same as the one the father had flung into the room. The damage has never been undone. The Almighty could have forgiven the father. But could the father ever, truly, forgive himself?

Someone said, when your kid acts the shittiest, that’s when he needs your love the most. Well, it sounded something like that.

Dear reader, let me end this post with a quote from Mother Teresa: “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”

Photos from Google Images


  1. very touching. I love how you put your thoughts into words. i wonder if Mother Teresa sounds just like you =)

  2. Haha superdez... I'm no Mother Teresa, believe me! Sometimes I enjoy kicking people in the butt.. to direct their attention at something. Now that's one thing the saint wouldn't have done!
    Thanks for liking my words.