this happened just yesterday. let me share it with all of you.
it was the usual routine. i went to pick up abang from school at noon that day. it has been a busy week with tests almost everyday for him on every subject at school. so in the car, on the way back home, my conversation with abang was around that subject.
i asked abang if he had any of his tests back that day. he then told me that he got one back. i asked him how he did. what he got on the test that he got back. he gave me the paper and i saw a big 7.7 on the front page.
“why did you only get 7.7, abang?”
“i know my friends (and started naming people) who only got 7, ibu. but …(and he named some more)… got 9…”
it seemed that he did not get my point. i wanted to know why he didn’t get a 10 or at least a 9 on his test. it was a pretty simple test, i thought the subject that was on the test was pretty much logic and he should have been able to get better grade.
“so why did you not get a 9? or even a 10?”
“i don’t know…,” he gave me an easy answer.
but i didn’t let it go there.
“we studied for that test, didn’t we, abang? you could’ve gotten something better that a 7.7. why?”
“i dont know some of the answers, ibu.”
he is the one who goes to school, he is the who take tests, and he is the one who gets grades and report cards at the end of every semester. but yesterday, i felt like i was the one living his life. i couldn’t take his answers. not those kinds of answers that he gave me. i was the one who got very disappointed with the grade he got for his test.
i wanted to let him know that i was disappointed. i wanted to let him know that i didn’t like the grade he got. i wanted to let him know that i was upset. but when i turned to look at him, all the disappointment and anger in me disappeared. he was looked like he already forgot what we were talking about. he was already playing with his toy car and he seemed carefree as usual.
i could only take a very deep breath and let it go.
and at that very moment i remembered my father. when i was little and still in school, my father also expected so much of me. i used to get very upset when i couldn’t get good grades at school because i knew that i was disappointing my father. i used to be so afraid to bring home anything less that an 8. i knew that my father expected nothing less that a 9 of me.
i still remember something my father said to me once, “i don’t want you to be a good student. i want you to be the best.”
that, put so much on my shoulder. i felt like good was just not good enough for my father. i always had to be more and more and more. at that time (and even now) i thought that he must have known more about my ability and my limit than myself. that was what kept me on. i believed in what he believed in me.
and without knowing it, i am doing the same thing to my son. i hope i am not doing the wrong thing. i feel that i know what all he can do. more than himself.070209