I know of this boy, whom parents divorced when he was only four. Now, at that age, he was confused. When he went to school, when he tagged along for grocery shopping, when he visited his cousins, their mommies and daddies were always together. He could not understand why his own mommy and daddy lived separately – first in different rooms, then in different houses, later in different families.
In his puzzlement, he tried to look for answers. He asked his dad a few times why couldn’t mommy and daddy live together, and young as he was, he can see that even his father did not know the answer. Matters only got worse when his grandparents and uncles and aunties intervened, enrolling him as an agent to patch up his parent’s broken relationship. At four, the boy couldn’t understand beyond the changing of cartoon channels and where the next Lego piece should go.
Sometimes he would look out of the balcony, and remembering not so long ago, he had a grandma who although was very sickly, was always there to satisfy some of his curiosity. Grandma had been a teacher, and patience was her virtue, and she just had ways to explain things he can easily understand.
But grandma has gone away. And one of his great teachers was lost.
As the boy tried to move on, so did his dad. Recognizing his dad as one who would pursue rather than wait, in time he has found a girlfriend, who happens to be a single mom too. Before long, the boy has a new, cute, younger sister he can play with on weekends, and he has an aunt that plays with him at the back of the car when the ride was long and the days were dark. He has found a kind of new happiness, one that is different, and yet, his days still seemed abnormal.
He could sometimes feel his teachers questioning with their eyes, and whispered gossip. His teachers loved him still, but like him, they were just curious. He longed for days when daddy picks him up from school as he’s usually early, and that means he’s not the last to be left behind waiting on the bench. A quiet dinner with dad, who he could play Lego with, and share a tale or two, was a norm for him. Dad, often quiet in the presence of his mom, would sometimes seem impatient. The boy somehow knew his dad was going through the changes too, and with his young, innocent heart, he forgave easily.
Sometimes the young boy looked out the balcony, the same his grandma loved to look out of, and wondered about his future, about being different. Amidst the confusion and uncertainty, there are a few assurance he deep down knew. One, mommy and daddy, though not together, loved him still, and even more than before. He knew that from the hugs and kisses he got, and the safety he felt before he slept at night. Two, in time, the answers will come. Just like how he anticipated the new set of Lego he’s getting come his birthday, one day, perhaps on one of his birthdays, he will finally understand why his family is not like others. Three, he is capable of making his own destiny. One day, he will too have a family, and he will learn from the mistake of the past, and create a future that is bright, sure and pleasant.
The road ahead seemed uncertain for the boy, yet, a light of hope shines bright from the horizon, and that put a big smile on his face.
I know of this boy, because he’s my son, Will. And I look forward to seeing his smile when I pick him up from school tomorrow, and the new set of Lego models we will be building together.
Sometimes it happens. You can see the world through the eyes of another. Tonight, I feel through the heart of my son.