HHWDPosted: 9 June 2014
Driving home from Sharjah airport where we just dropped off our family to go back home to the Philippines, my eldest was extremely sad. He wanted to go with them and play with them some more. He was so upset that instead of his normal reaction of kicking and screaming he had his head bowed down (chin to chest) and was silently crying. I asked him if he wanted to sit in front with me and he nodded his head sadly. I know it’s not safe for a child to sit at the passenger’s seat – I already got a lecture from the husband so please spare me.
I wanted him upfront because I wanted to try to explain to him why we cannot go home with them today and I wanted to do it being able to look into his eyes.
At first he had all sorts of arguments and excuses and I was trying my best to stay calm and not lose my temper and ask him to “shut up!”. Then I won via a technicality, I said we forgot our passports back home and would have to go back to the airport next time. This appeased him a little but he was still very sad. Winning the argument was bittersweet, on one side I was happy, I got him to stop arguing with me but on the other, I know he was still feeling very upset with the situation.
As a mother, I felt for my child I wanted to protect him from the pain he was feeling but what can I do? This was the reality of our situation living abroad – people visit to come and play with them but they have to go back home eventually. Maybe a bit more visitors and he’ll get used to the routine (ahem ahem).
I tried to console him by saying his cousins will be waiting back home in the Philippines when we come over and that we can always call them up via FaceTime. He accepted these reasons but still kept his head down. Then uncharacteristically, he asked if he can hold my hand. I was surprised by his request but obliged reluctantly because I was driving the stick shift. We drove in silence for a bit and he eventually fell asleep and I got my hand back just in time to shift gears.
I shed a tear for my boy that afternoon and prayed to God to give me strength and the wisdom to help him deal with this pain.
I know Holding Hands While Driving was very irresponsible of me but at that moment knowing that by just holding my hand was easing my son’s pain, I felt like I was doing a great job as his mother.