I was in Manila for an official travel when my daughter Anawim (or Shida) who just graduated from college last March asked me to buy her a book. She texted me while I was at SM North. After receiving her text message I went straight ahead to National Bookstore’s customer service booth and inquired about “The Lover’s Dictionary” written by David Levithan. The clerk who was sitting in front of the computer looked at me and threw me an intriguing smile. At the corner of my eye, I saw the cashier standing nearby giggling at us. The one facing the computer monitor then called somebody through the intercom and said, still smiling, “So may stock pa. Dadalhin mo ba dito o siya ang pupunta diyan sa puwesto mo?” The one at the end of the line probably asked how s/he could identify me so the woman at the customer service retorted, “Lalake. Hindiii…. May edad na!” I did not hear what the response was over the intercom but there’s a sudden burst of laughter which I hear from point-blank range. Sensing that the ladies see “The Lover’s Dictionary” as material for young-adult readers and not for a middle-aged man like me, I told the customer care woman with an explaining smile, “Hindi po sa akin ‘yan. Sa anak ko. Pinabili lang.” Without a word and the smile in her face now gone, she entertained another client next to me. To cut the long story short, I got my book and said my thank you. She smiled again but it’s different this time. It has, as I can feel it, being daughter of her father herself, a drop of admiration.
Here’s another story: While in a passenger’s van on my way to Sablayan for work last Monday, I noticed the lady sitting beside me, aged 25 or so, looked at the rubber accessory at my right wrist then turned her eyes to mine and again, just like the women at the National Book Store at SM North, she threw me very a silent but intriguing smile. Probably she thinks that I am either crazy or already experiencing second childhood. Wearing loom band is a fad today among children and teenagers that’s why some of my friends keep teasing me about the bracelet I am wearing for almost a week now. But I am not giving a heck and I will wear my loom band as long as I like. Sophia (or Pipay) my youngest, 10 years of age, crafted it herself and gave it to me as a gift the day I was celebrating my 22nd year of marrying her mother. Tellingly, I even stumbled upon Philippine News Central a picture of Pope Francis wearing loom band bracelets, reportedly given by poor neighborhood kids during an audience at the Vatican. Ako pa kaya!
This latest craze was invented by a father named Cheong Choon Ng in 2011 reportedly to impress his kids. So, loom band’s origin can be rooted in a relationship among family members, so to speak.
Lover’s dictionary and loom band. Parenting for me, is sort of a dictionary that gives meaning to little things, book or bracelet, banding them together in a loom called Love….
(Photo; Squido Craft)