|Mamu and Ryah|
February 22 to 24, 2012: we went to one of Laguna’s hot spring resorts to spend some R&R with family.
My parents and siblings came home from
visit, and armed with everything we needed for a couple of nights, we were
ready for a lot of fun, laughter and bonding. Australia
It’s the first time my parents would meet my daughter Ryah. They did everything they can for her to warm up. I was amazed by how they let her get to know them at her own pace… talk about child rearing expertise. J
Before they even arrived, there were a series of phone conversations, Skyping and Face time. When they got here, Ryah found it easy to give hugs and kisses as they were already familiar to her. Add to that the many snacks, toys, and clothes they brought for her to enjoy: I had little doubt that she wouldn’t be all cranky and aloof.
When we arrived at the resort, Ryah was already glued to my parents and siblings, especially my mom, who she lovingly calls Mamu. (This, to me and my husband, was great help because I was on my 8th month of pregnancy with Rafa.)
She wasted no time asking if she could already swim in the pool. Mamu told her to wait ‘til we get settled and to ask me and her dad first. Now, to a little girl fused with adrenaline rush and hyperactivity due to so much excitement, this was very hard to do.
Mamu, sat Ryah beside her, waited for her to settle down, and talked to her when she was ready to listen with no candy or juice drink to bribe her to behave as others would probably do. It was a good 15 minutes talk when my daughter finally agreed.
After a long time of putting things in order, lunch and siesta, Ryah asked if she could swim. (I was so proud of her for waiting that extensively!) We said ok and geared her up: swimsuit, sunscreen, life vest, noodle floater and a kickboard. (I know it’s too much but I’m really crazy when it comes to her safety!)
Mamu went in the water with her and, to my surprise, taught my daughter for about forever how to swim: getting rid of all her floating gadgets one by one, giving her ice chips to prevent dehydration (because the water is hot) and never breaking her confidence by being truthful to her during the “lesson”.
Mamu would comfort and assure Ryah that she is holding her while she paddles, and she did – unlike some who say they will but do otherwise. And when the time is right told her that she’s letting go but she will be near, and she was.
Finally letting her go and cheering her up that she can do it alone, Mamu praised Ryah for a great job when she did swim by herself.
That day, I learned the value of patience, integrity and consistency in the language of parental love.