The US celebrated Thanksgiving this week. Canadians had theirs last September, I think. I wonder why we don't celebrate Thanksgiving Day. We do have a lot fo be thankful for, don't we? It cannot be the cooking for we can also cook turkey as the bird can be homegrown. Brusselsprouts? Well we do have cabbages, and they're even bigger!
Well, for all it's worth, my family has a lot to be thankful for. No not, material gains, but emotional ones. The feel so good type of things. I believe we maintain a stable, happy family, so far.
First, I have to congratulate myself for it is now officially a whole week since I stopped smoking!!! I am smoke free, my friends! And this is not yet known to my family. Kim, my youngest daughter would be ecstatic if she finds out I have not been smoking for a week! Oh, I almost did.. You see, Angie, Nitz' youngest sister, just arrived from Saipan. So too, did the family of the nitz's sister's hubby. So part of the celebrations is a dinner at Dad's last Thursday and a big Filipino dinner last night! I almost broke my promise not to smoke. The strongest urge came to me this morning when Angie gave me a pack of Marlboro lights! I let it lay in front of me while I bloghopped! Then, decided I couldn't take it anymore. I took it out and gave it to a neighbor. See, i do have a strong will power if I wanted to. For that i have to be thankful!
See, my children can have titles if they wanted to and enjoy the privileges, if there are any, of each title. Kraiganne is the eldest, which says a lot! Mickey is the oldest son! Kim is the youngest daughter, and Coby is, well, the youngest! O walang inggitan, di ba? (No jealousy among the siblings, right? :-)
OF course, the school where I teach and where all of my kids go to, celebrates its Foundation week this week. And yes, my wife belongs to the same university system so this school is very much a part of us. I have been working here for twenty years, my wife, even longer. As part of the festivities yesterday was a concert given by the Music Department, (we do have a strong Music Department) where my eldest son, Mickey, played solo violin and i have the whole performance on video! That was a natural high. When he was called tp the stage, I was a bit nervous. Let me backtrack a bit. This was a bit of a masterplan, you see. When Nitz and i got married, I told her we will have a child who will play the violin. Funny but it was the violin, not the guitar which I can play. When Kraiganne was about 4 years old, my wife took her to St. Scholastica for piano lessons. I thought, so okay, I may be wrong with my foresight. Anyway, since we didn't have a piano, Kraiganne practiced on a make shift, drawn piano my wife borrowed from a friend. Picture this, you have a board of piano keys, not producing a single note, and all you do is rely on memory as to which key to press or what finger to use rather than how each of the key would have sounded. That's how my Kraiganne learned how to play her first piece. So, when recital came, i was really a mess. Jittery and frightened. When Kraiganne stepped on the stage, all smiles and confident, I was ready to be crushed! But lo and behold!!! She played the piece without a single error! Well, after that, she probably realized singing was easier and so stopped taking piano lessons.
Her siblings came and still no sign of my own Itzhak Perlman.
Then, one day, during one of my breaks inside the faculty room, Mickey (who was in Grade three then, about 9 years old) approached asking me to sign a paper that says I was willing to let him take violin lessons as his activity. You see, our students are given one elective subject starting at this age. I said sure. Then, after several months, he comes to me again asking me to buy him a violin. I had to tell him "No. First you have to show me you are really that interested. I don't want to waste big bucks on something you might lose interest in after several months." That really got him frustrated. But good son that he is, he obeyed and we would go home with a borrowed violin from school. After several months, I realized he was really interested. He never let the borrowed violin stay away from his sight anywhere he went. It was easier to look for him when we were about to go home from school because all I had to do was follow that nursery tune he was trying to master. At night, you would hear Kraiganne complaining, "Papa, I want to go to sleep but Mickey won't stop his eng-eng!" Smilingly, I would tell her to just learn how to sleep with the noise. After all, i have this belief that "the world will not stop just because you will be sleeping,my child!" :-) Now, Kraiganne, although she wouldn't admit is, is his biggest fan! Well, okay , second. First being his mother of course.
One last thing, Mickey seem to have had a fondness for the guitar. One day, he tried tinkering with my guitar. Asked me to show him where the notes were. To my surprise, he learned Earl Klugh's "If you should know by now" alone! Well, I knew he could read notes but i didn't know he could transfer the information so easily.
Another thing we have to be thankful for is the gift of friendship. We keep a very close knit group of friends with whom we celebrate every occasion imaginable . This started with two of my best friends who I used to work with in the audiovisual center of the university library. While we have separated ways, ( while Redjie Jimenez is now the head of the unit where we worked in, Ollie Marcelo, now manages hiis own thriving printing press business.) This friendship grew and we are now composed of seven families who celebrate Christmas eve together, birthdays, go out on trips (we've practically covered the whole of Luzon, except for the Bicol region) using a common trust fund. Since its going to be a long weekend, we are all going to Subic tomorrow and staying there till Monday!
Lastly, I am thankful for having started out this blog! Not only did I have a venue to practice writing, I have earned a good amount of friends whose ideas i respect so much and help me shape the man i am today. You see, inspite of my 40+ age, i am still developing into something. As the cliche goes, life begins at 40, and i believe it. So, even though we don't celebrate Thanksgiving day, THANK YOU WORLD, THANK YOU LIFE!