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MAMBA

During breakfast last weekend, my eldest son JM, who is 9-years-old, was scanning the newspaper and out of the blue asked me, “What kind of credit card do you use, Mom?” “Visa”, I replied. He said, “Do you use it often?” I answered, “No, I usually use it for groceries.” He retorted, “That’s good because if you use it a lot, you will have a lot of debt. If you lose your job, you won’t be able to pay and you will get arrested.”

I don’t know when he started to become a financial advisor but he certainly made sense.

When JM was 3, my husband Manny had a coughing fit. He asked his dad, “Why are you coughing, Dad?” Manny said, “Asthma.” JM then turned to me, “Why is he coughing, Mom?” I asked, “Why are you asking me?” JM replied, “Dad said Ask Ma.”

I couldn’t stop laughing that I started to have my own coughing fit.

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Last Saturday, I asked JM if he could accompany me to Sen. Bam Aquino’s thanksgiving party because Manny was in Cagayan for the weekend to administer the oaths of office of Mayor Darwin Tobias of Sta. Ana, Mayor Jun Bolante of Claveria and Mayor Kiko Mamba, Jr. of Tuao in Cagayan, and Mayor Joseph Tan of Santiago City, Isabela. I believe he said something to his 4-year old brother Noel because of the following exchange:

Noel: Mom, Kuya JM said he will die if you bring him to your party.

Mom: Huh? What?

Noel: Kuya said he will die but if you bring me, Mom, I will not die. Can I go to the party with you?

When JM and I arrived:

Noel: Where did you go, Mom?

Mom: I went to the Thanksgiving Party with Kuya.

Noel: Did he die?

Of course, he didn’t. He fell asleep though on the way home.

My brothers and I enjoyed having conversations with our parents when we were young but I don’t remember being witty, much less funny. I also didn’t realize my kids were funny until I started posting our conversations on my Facebook (FB) wall and have been getting good reviews, with several requests to compile it into a small book.

Quezon Vice Governor Sam Nantes (the youngest in the current crop of Vice Governors in the Philippines) even told me how he looks forward to reading about JM and Noel. The same goes with a good friend, Mars Macalla, who is based abroad, said that my FB posts about my kids make her day.

I am really flattered, and sometimes pressured to listen intently to what my kids say so I will have something to share on Facebook Although Facebook or no Facebook, Manny and I make it a point to engage our children in conversations—we ask them how their day went, what they did in school, why they like particular books or television shows, etc. it becomes challenging when both JM and Noel talk at the same time, demanding attention at the same time and requiring answers at the same time.

More importantly, I learn a lot from my children, and from other children, too. At their age, they are free from biases; speak only the truth; have no preconceived notions.

While their vocabulary may still be limited, what they actually mean doesn’t get lost in translation. We immediately know if they like or don’t like something.

While watching “Man of Steel”, Noel had a quarterly commentary of how the movie was going:

First Quarter: “Where is Superman?”

Second Quarter: “Why isn’t he wearing a costume?”

Third Quarter: “He doesn’t know how to fly?”

Fourth Quarter: “It’s not done yet?”

I had the same sense and thought twice or thrice about it but decided not to say anything, until Noel gave his final verdict.

I have to admit as we grow older, certain rules have to be followed: diplomacy, tactfulness, sensitivity. As such, what needs to be said is left unsaid, problems are ignored and more attention is given to trivialities.

I am also a stickler for etiquette and give a lot of weight on respectful language and behavior. However, whoever said honesty is the best policy knew what he was talking about. There is no need to second-guess. We immediately know the truth and move from there.

I look forward to my next conversation with JM and Noel. I am excited to learn.

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