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Last Saturday was our youngest daughter’s graduation from pre-school.  It felt weird, because back in June she was accelerated to first grade after passing the qualifying exams, and in view of the K+12 program started by DepEd this year.  In “Mothersmother ep. 03: Diva’s Heartbreak” (SunStar Baguio, June 28, 2013), I referred to my baby’s heart as a K+12 “victim”.  Nadine was accepted in Grade 1, certified as mentally prepared and academically at par with her new classmates.  Unfortunately she was not that prepared emotionally.  Despite the pride we felt and our high hopes for her, we realized it was time to step back and really “listen” to what she was not divulging.  Back then she could not answer the question “What’s wrong?” while she was crying her heart out and just shaking her head.  All the while we had the answer right in front of our faces but were just in denial.

It was a very long and painful three weeks, watching as she went to school in tears every morning, not wanting to go back to class after breaks, and not being excited to talk about school at home.  It was a really stressful time for our family, but I think it was most traumatic for her.  When we approached Sir Al, Berkeley School’s apt and very kind principal, with the obvious problem on the third week of June, he suggested we try it out till the end of the month to decide if we want Nadine back in pre-school, despite being considered qualified to skip Prep.  I could not wait for a week more, my fear then was that if we force her one more day, she might find even just the thought of school repulsive.

As soon as she joined her former classmates and friends back in Prep class, it was as if she did not go through weeks of misery.  She immediately went back to her fun-loving, talkative and active self.  Notwithstanding the extra year which translates to more expenses in tuition, fees and school incidentals, having our “old’’ jolly Nadine back was priceless.

Fast forward nine months later, she was in stage performing her graduation song, singing a tribute to us, handing me a long-stemmed rose.  Emo mother that I am, tears started streaming down my cheeks (thank heavens for the bright sunlight, ergo huge dark sunglasses) as I recall our earlier heartaches and realize – with a grateful heart – that we have made the right decision to let her complete Prep level first before moving up to Grade 1.  Nadine was further recognized with multiple intelligences: logical-mathematical, visual-spatial and bodily-kinesthetic, with no trace at all of her earlier distress.

Indeed, everything falls into place in God’s good time.  Sometimes we are in a rush to get somewhere, without taking a moment to appreciate that we already are where we should be.  At times we wrack our brains too hard thinking about so many questions, and are worn down by life’s many crossroads, when in fact the answers are just there before us, needing only to be recognized.

After much ado, my diva is now ready for Grade 1, and we are so proud of her.


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