Really not easy for anybody, as I accounted for my experiences until my 18th birthday, I realized I have lived in five houses—ours and not. The relatives we had with us were not at all in the same wavelength. One would be permissive; one conservative; one simply too cautious, among others. They may be from my father’s or my mother’s side. I liked some, and disliked some of them (and about this, I used to talk about in the phone with my parents).
In the midst of this, I went on with my early grade school years well: I got good grades and still had time for play.
You may be getting the impression that my parents did not come home at all since they left me, as relatives might have appeared to be going weary of having me, and later my sister, with them. But, my parents actually return after some time, and at times, lived with us for long, before they leave again.
At one time, both of them would be here for three months, and then they both leave. There was also a time when my father and mother got here, then my mother left after three months, and my father after year. There was also an instance when my father arrived, and stayed here for three years straight, with my mother the one visiting us every year, for a month to three. In between this interchange of my parents’ base, my sister seems to have taken all the advantages. For most of her early school years, my father was here in the country looking after the two of us. Of course that would mean I was also with my father, but I was in my last grade school years and early high school.
Today, they are again both abroad. While I have grown and am now attending university in Manila, my sister stays at home in Batangas with somebody to be with her (not really a relative) as she goes to high school. I can say we have become fit to deserve only the least guidance and control (for some of them) of our relatives there.
Growing with It
One learns to simply live with it: that one day, I have my parents beside me, and in another, I don’t. The trick is in making those days of parting appear short-lived while consciously making the most out of them.
Almost daily calls from our parents overseas keep us together while being actually distant from each other. As my mother would reason, euros for our conversations on anything under the sun at any one time do not gain any weight against that our misunderstanding of each other or knowledge of one’s circumstances would cost. As we literally get to talk about anything, no one is too far from us, and everyday is shared. Thanks to modern means of communication, we get in touch more often today than we did ten years ago, and make months seem like days.
Surely, constant communication is not enough, but this does not equate to much loss. Each day my parents are not around becomes an opportunity for us, for me especially, to go on learning about the world more on my own. Spending my younger years with differing relatives already gave a sense of how to deal with a variety of people, and adjust to situations.
Today, as they are still abroad, I make mistakes and correct them, make others, and do not make these same mistakes again, as I learn right and wrong in the process.
...to be continued