Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cathee: Stage Mother 2008 and Jarred Andrei: BFCS A1 Child 2008

July is Nutrition Month in the Philippines. In celebration of this important event, BFCS, my son's school, held a presentation yesterday - The Search for A1 Child 2008. A month ago, I was informed that Jarred Andrei was chosen as the male representative of Kinder I for the Search for A1 Child (Preschool Level). Together with his female counterpart, Jarred Andrei would compete with 4 other preschoolers (from Nursery and Kinder II) for the title. The competition would include a Talent Competition and a Question & Answer portion.

The moment I was told about this, I felt privileged and honored that my son was chosen but I also experienced anxiety I never quite felt before. Ha ha ha! My "stage mother" cells are a-brewing! Thinking of what talent my son would most likely perform was a puzzle to me. I knew singing or dancing wouldn't be something he'd willingly do in front of a crowd. Upon consultation with his class adviser, she said that she'd be happy to see Jarred do a declamation piece or a poem.

You see, hubby and I take pride in having trained our son to speak in English, with American accent to boot. English is the very first language he learned and until recently, is the only language he knows. We thought of training our children in English at a very young age in order for it to become their foundation language since we knew they'd learn Tagalog or Visayan in school eventually. We wanted them to be natural English speakers regardless of what other dialect they may learn in the future. Making this a rule wasn't easy as we had to follow a strict language policy at home to make this effective. Even our househelp/yaya had to converse in English with our children. That is one important requirement we have. Anyone who would hear my son speak would always wonder if he grew up in the U.S. and they'd always utter surprise to find out he was born and bred in General Santos City.

Maybe the teacher thought it would be good to showcase my son's wonderful ability in the English language. As I was pondering on what piece he could do, I knew declamation would be out of the question as it might be too long and complicated for him to learn within a month. A short poem would be ideal but since it was for nutrition month, I tried looking for poems about nutrition. My search online wasn't so successful as I couldn't find any piece appropriate for a preschooler. At my wits end, I had no other choice but to compose an original poem for my son. Driven by pure adrenalin and anxiety, I was able to write a poem within an hour.

The original date of the competition was July 25 but due to some other activities in line at the school, it was moved one week early, July 18. With barely two weeks left to learn and rehearse the poem, I moved to another level of nervousness. Gosh! Would my son be able to learn the piece in time? Would he be able to memorize it well enough to perform it in front of a large audience? I was in a terrible nail biting frenzy at this time. Everyday, my son and I would find different opportunities to practice the poem - after reviewing daily school lessons, while taking a bath, in the car on the way to school and back and right before bedtime.

Surprisingly, Jarred managed to memorize the piece without much effort at all. Of course, he'd need some clue or body language to remember the next line but he could manage to recite the whole poem so beautifully. It made me remember that children at this age are so like sponges, they absorb things and lessons so well.

Yesterday, July 18, I woke up in such a jitter, you'd think I'd be the one performing on stage. Ha ha ha...ang stage mother nga naman. Seeing my son so cool and calm is a wonder to see. When it was time for him to parade onstage and do his introduction, I felt something pierce at my heart...and tears started to well at the corner of my eye. Wow! The feeling is indescribable and I'm sure the other parents could understand why I had tears in my eyes. My son, so confident and sure of himself, I wonder where he got it from...hubby and I weren't as brave when we were his age. Watch and listen as Jarred Andrei recites the original poem I wrote for him and aces the question & answer portion...

As I was busily packing up my son's props and stuff backstage, one parent commented that these school performances were more nerve-wracking for the parents than their children. As I thought about it, indeed it was true...I had butterflies in my stomach all throughout the event. And I couldn't be more proud when the emcee announced that my son was Male A1 Child 2008 - Preschool Level. My heart was bursting with happiness and glee as I walked up the stage to pin his sash. It is during these times that hubby and I realize how rewarding parenting can be despite all the hardships and difficulties it entails.

So excuse the length of this was my first experience as a stage mother.


Jenny said...

Sis Cathee, ang galing ni Jared! D mo makita na preschooler pa lang. And may accent nga! :)

vhiel said...

whoho.. congrats!

by the way don sa image that is not showing, did you try to put the photo and the widget together and saving it as one file before adding it to the sidebar.. if not, let me send you the file that you can use with the pictures of your kiddos...

theworkingmom said...

Congrats to Jared! BTW, I voted for him for the cutie child contest!


CATHEE said...

@jenny - thanks for the kind words!
@vhiel - thanks for the drop in and also for helping me with the widget
@joey - thanks a lot for your comment and vote