Two major things happened this past weekend besides the fact that my baby boy turned 7 on Saturday!
For the first time since I've owned either a Facebook or Instagram account, I did NOT post some major event on the same day that it happened on either of those accounts.
I noticed that instead of reprimanding Cedro for not speaking to me in Tagalog when he wanted to say something, I just let him speak to me in English.
Because of these two things, I had some pretty important epiphanies and have made some new resolutions.
I hereby declare a self-imposed 2-week minimum social media fast for myself (after this blog post)!
I confess that I often get lost in the art direction and documentation of the moment rather than living in the moment itself. I admit that I spend more time and energy posting and reading other people's posts rather than resting or DOING something else… anything else! Drawing or sleeping immediately come to mind. Haven't done much of that lately yet I constantly complain about the lack of those two things in my life.
Time to take control of my choices and be more accountable for my health. Instead of buying more and more makeup and fancy skincare products to mask the fact that I don't get enough sleep, I really have to make sleep a priority! As a start, I have deleted my Facebook and Instagram apps from phone for the time being. I still want to document memories for Cedro and Drae and for myself. Instagram has been amazing for that and I just have some posts automatically shared on Facebook, but my motivations have been pretty messed-up. I should just post and then close the app, but NO. It becomes a black hole and then all of a sudden 1 or 2 hours are gone. Poof! All because I can't decide on the right filter or crop or hashtags or that I can't stop scrolling through my newsfeed until there's nothing new to see.
I am in desperate need of a major Social Media Cleanse! I need to recalibrate and remind myself of my priorities and motivations behind future posts. My late mentor, Freda, used to remind me to try create art with the assumption that no one would ever see it. Obviously something else happens in the creative process and the end result when you don't have an audience.
As for the Tagalog… Maybe it was because it was Cedro's birthday and I subconsciously didn't want him to feel frustrated on his special day (Tagalog is his weakest language of the 3 that he knows) or maybe it's because he was clearly excited (we went to Legoland for the first time) and I didn't want to dampen the mood or interrupt his train of thought.
You know what happened? He expressed more to me in the past couple days than ever before. Don't get me wrong. We are super close and we talk all the time, but this was different. The sentences were spilling out almost non-stop.
I know it's common sense to expect that he would communicate more complex thoughts and emotions to me in English – his default language after Japanese. I will always enforce the Tagalog rule when he speaks to me, but I will be more mindful to do it in constructive way going forward.
How can I be upset or frustrated with him or jealous when he seems to have more lengthy in-depth conversations with Brian when (a) I am the only one who speaks to Cedro in Tagalog (Sure there are my parents and extended family, but a weekly video chat and the occasional holiday visits are not going to improve his Tagalog skills); (b) And by the way, my Tagalog sucks and I myself struggle with it; (c) He doesn't go to a Tagalog immersion school; (d) He doesn't have local friends or young cousins who speak Tagalog; (e) Cedro has never been to the Philippines; (f) I can't find any quality, modern children's programming in Tagalog, at least not on YouTube.
So what am I going to do about all that? What are my options other than taking a leave of absence from work and taking Cedro to the Philippines next summer and every summer until he's an adult? Well, since I'm his only Tagalog teacher right now, instead of feeling sorry for myself about how my Tagalog sucks or whine that Cedro doesn't seem to be making an effort, I have to hustle and really learn the language, continue to practice and gain proficiency. If I can stick to my Social Media Fast, then some of that time can be dedicated to reading my Tagalog language books and listening to the accompanying audio recordings and exercises. I can take the initiative to reach out to friends and cousins who are fluent and just keep practicing.
I just have to do it and try to teach by example and not put so much pressure on Cedro.
Bye for now, Social Media friends. I just remembered what my priorities are.