Last week, my husband bought me some of my favorite food for lunch, yummy sushi – no California rolls, just the usual slices of raw fish and cooked eel on rice. Half of it disappeared into our kids’ tummies, with our 2-yr old especially loving the salmon. Needless to say, I was still hungry after that meal. But I was happy. It was the first time we had witnessed all of our kids not only eat sushi, but ask for seconds and thirds as well.
A couple of years after first arriving here in the U.S., I felt something was missing. Work had become less hectic, and I had settled into my new surroundings, friends and way of life with – I was sure – all kinds of exciting opportunities awaiting me. I was happy, but not as much as I could be. There was something missing.
Living a distance away from large Filipino communities, it’s a challenge sharing my Philippine heritage fully with our children. And though many have encouraged my efforts to do so, none have been able to provide achievable and easily accessible means to this end . It was only after our children came home from a Spanish camp without learning anything (having already learned the same Spanish-derived words in Tagalog) that I realized I could and should provide something more useful and infinitely more meaningful at home – and essentially for free.
The words conjure up cozy memories of leisurely school-free mornings spent in pajamas, watching the snowflakes drift down and the snowbanks go up, perhaps with a mug of hot chocolate in hand, eventually venturing outside dressed like astronauts to romp in the snow.