Saturday, June 16, 2007

My Southdale Separation Blues

In Southdale, children are loved. We parents did not have to worry about sweaty backs or messed up hairs - their teachers would take care of those concerns for us. And they do not leave the school until all the children have been picked up! I wholeheartedly miss all that!

I equally miss the friendship and camaraderie that formed among us parents and between us and school personnel. I miss seeing my friends Teacher Maru and Tita Chedette everyday!

So why did we transfer Abby to another school?

As with any other organization or thing or endeavor or in everything else in life, we experience dissatisfaction and we complain - we had these in Southdale, too - but these, by themselves, would not have caused us to decide to transfer elsewhere.

Rather, let me state the most important ones, ones that have become our foremost reasons for making our painful move.

- Firstly, we wanted Abby brought up with Catholic principles and values under the guidance of the nuns;

- secondly, we wanted her educated under the discipline and structure that Catholic schools provide;

- and finally, we want to toughen her up by allowing her to continue growing in an environment where she is not so pampered or cuddled; where she has to learn to swim or sink - in other words, get her used to living in the real world, where one does not always find warmth and care; where more often than not, there is indifference and one has to fend off for one's self alone - no more loving angels to watch over one's back; and where one has to move, not at one's own pace, but at the pace that the majority is moving, or be left behind!

In a nutshell, we believe that Abby will be more likely to develop strength of character in a tougher environment, where there is competition and where she gets to meet and learn to deal with people and fellow children from all walks of life;

- and in a place where things are not being taken cared of for her any longer, we hope that she will learn to get by under her own efforts and initiative;

- in a place where one has to assert one's self to get noticed or heard, we hope that she will develop competiveness and assertiveness, a toughness in spirit, and a steely determination to get whatever she is aiming for - for in the harsh world that awaits her when she grows up, one gets ahead only with these qualities.

After all, we parents have been through all those as we were growing up, and those were what made us who and what we are now. If we have risen from humble beginnings, we did so because we had the drive and the character to do so. We particularly did not want Abby to grow up soft and without any motivation whatsoever to reach up for something better, specifically because everything has been laid out for her.

Of course, we want these tempered with the right values that we, her parents, and with the help of her school, hope would be instilled in her - love and compassion for others.

I know that that's a tall order - but hey! if we have to dream for our children, we might as well aim for the best!

But I still do miss, sincerely and with all my heart, the loving and caring my baby would have received in Southdale.

In her old school, Abby developed into a beautiful, smart, confident, and caring individual. Academically, she can hold her ground with the best there is! Under Southdale's tutelage, English became her first language and Abby can't be cowered into silence when faced by foreigners! She will take them on as easily as she would any other person she would meet, Filipino or not!

I will always be grateful for that and I will acknowledge that everywhere and at all times!

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