Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Chicken or Hotdog

One time during our usual Sunday family lunch, I witnessed one sceneinvolving my brother and his first-born, four-year old son named Luigi. Myadorable nephew is in that stage of refusing to eat unless he's absolutelyfamished, as he wants to spend every millisecond of the day playing,drawing, and generally just doing everything that a little boy takes delightin. It is thus common occurrence to see him ignore his father's voicetelling him that it's time to eat and for him to further furrow his brows inconcentration as he erects buildings from his toys and draws cars on everysheet of paper he can get his hands on. During this particular meal, mybrother succeeded in planting Luigi firmly on his throw-pillow-cushionedseat at the dining table. Doting grandma prepared fried chicken and hotdogto encourage him to eat. Luigi had been on a mainly-hotdog diet for overtwo years now, and if he could get away with it, he probably would eathotdog twice a day for the rest of his childhood. Concerned that his sonwould grow up on preservatives and not on nutrients, my Kuya told Luigi thathe could not eat hotdog unless he finished the chicken leg that was on hisplate.

This triggered an argument that I could not bear to watch. The childrefused to open his mouth to welcome the nutritious fowl being offered tohim. He insisted on having that attractive, red, tender and juicy hotdog.The father was firm in his decision and did not budge amidst the tantrumevidently brewing within the son. I wanted to do something to break thetension but I knew that my kuya was right and despite my love for Luigi, Ihad to watch him suffer so he would learn his lesson. I concentrated on mydelicious fried chicken instead. Naturally, Luigi started to cry for hecould not imagine why he was being deprived of his favorite food in theworld by his Dad. The cries grew louder but my Kuya did not give in. Myheart went out to poor Luigi and I wanted to give him his TJ so badly. Irealized then that if I, a mere Tita, could love Luigi so much and want onlythe best for him even if it was beyond his understanding, what more mybrother who would not hesitate to give Luigi the world if it meant abrighter future for his son.

It probably pains my Heavenly Father to watch me wallow in misery,depression and self-pity everytime things don't turn out the way I imaginethey should. He reminded me through brothers and sisters this morning thatHe wants me to be happy, that He is a loving God, and that He does notdelight in giving me sorrow. So this sorrow that I have been imprisoned infor the longest time is most likely brought about by my inability tocomprehend the chemical and biological differences between a chicken and ahotdog. My depression is probably the result of my vision that is limitedto black and white, as compared to the prism of colors that my Father canactually send me by piercing clouds of doubt after a heavy rainfall. I havebeen in this dilemma about work for far too long and yet all I have beendoing is to swing back and forth like an imprisoned pendulum.

I lack hope, faith, understanding, wisdom and strength. I am a pilgrimwithout a theme. A skeptic that cannot see anything more beyond what eyescan see. A warrior that wins battles for others but loses out on her ownstruggles. A dancer that drags the shackles on her feet. A spirit thatwants to run free around her corner of the sky. In all respects, a childwho does not know what's best for her.

I don't know where to go, what to do, and when to decide.