I have always been fascinated with the power of words.
My love for the written word dates back from my early years of reading my first story books, mock spelling bees with my cousins, all the way through my first attempt at writing novels. ‘Written’, mainly because I consider myself more of a reader and writer, than a speaker. Yes, I am the typical the silent type who reads and writes a lot more, but talks less.
So when I gave birth to my Little Lady, it came naturally for me to encourage her to develop not just love, but passion for the same. I bought her books even before she could read, and taught English as her first language. She learned to speak in our native Filipino tongue later on, with a little struggle, attaining decent proficiency nevertheless, before she turned high school.
People ask me time and again why I chose to teach the international language first before our very own, hinting a patriotism issue—a lack of it, to be precise. To which I would retort: I want to give my child the edge and advantage—to boost her confidence in communicating with all kinds of people regardless of social status and educational attainment; to speak impeccably in public without stammering due to a lack of vocabulary or the fear of being grammatically incorrect; and to write meaningfully with purpose, clarity, as well as style. These are just some of the reasons to ensure that my child would be at par with the best of her generation.
But that is just me. As parents, we prioritize what we believe is best for our children. We can mold them to be the future political leaders of the nation, but they can always go towards a different path.
My daughter can be whatever she wants to be—president, beauty queen, linguist, head of a translation company, novelist, fashion designer, or chef, the possibilities are endless. But what matters most in her journey is that she has been prepared well and equipped with everything she needed to pursue her dreams, and the rest is up to her to make it all happen.