Wednesday, July 20, 2011

gold, God, goons

Let's face it--- kids are not impressed by their parents gold or accomplishments. They don't care that they're driven in a brand new car or their butts are seated on leather seats of your Mercedes on their way to the day care. What they care about is that you're running around with them playing hide and seek or standing in the kitchen baking cookies while they're giddily cleaning the bowl of the chocolate mix with their tongue. That, they can understand and will brag about. And remember.

When Chat arrived the US, I was not working yet, so when she came home from school, she'd see me standing over the kitchen counter. Then soon I started working. I was proud and bragged to myself that "I am doing this all for you." But what does Chat remember? That she arrives from school to an empty house. Then longingly she would recall that day she opened the door and saw me in the kitchen baking cookies for her snack.

By no means I am telling mothers to stop working (if they have to) so they can stay at home with their kids. But you know what? Most mothers don't really have to work outside of the home. I've learned my lesson and I try to impart what I've learned to new parents and I try to make it up to these street kids. I also tell my church friends who has a "feeding ministry" that kids will not understand love from a God who they don't see, if the people who feeds them doesn't know how to love them. I have not arrived, because as I've always said, I don't do kids, but this I say, children and adults don't care what we know, unless they know that we care. We can tell these kids God loves them and recite bible verses and make them memorize it in exchange for food. But the question is: Is that love?

After I left the boys last Saturday, the police raided them because one of the boys was accused of stabbing the jeepney dispatcher across the bridge. So when I came back Sunday, the boys were nowhere to be found, but one was left to look out for me. When they knew it was safe, they came out and I fed them and we talked and they told me they could not stay there anymore.

Yesterday, I stopped by there and could not find any of them. But when I was crossing the skywalk, I found Mark Anthony. I call him my "favorite goon".

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