Monday, December 13, 2010

Princess Boy (Ang Kabaliktaran ng Tomboy)


I will be looking for a copy of "My Princess Boy" this weekend. The book is about a 4-year old boy who likes sparkly dresses (and other things that are traditionally for girls) and his family's support for his behavior notwithstanding the criticism from the people around them. The book has sparked a debate between those that support acceptance and unconditional love vs. those that maintain that parents need to steer a child along the norms of society.

As a child, I didn't feel I was different, until I was told to change. My father told me to behave more manly. My grandmother also said that I should practice speaking with a voice that's an octave lower. Sadly, these sparked feelings of confusion and paranoia. I gradually saw more clearly how my father loved me less, as my mom and aunts tried to cover for the shortfall.

That said, my dad was a responsible father. He tried his best, given that he was an orphan who did not have the benefit of experiencing a loving family. His main goal was for each one of us to have a good future. And maybe that was in his mind when he told me to change.

I tried to conform to the norms of society, and it did make my teen and college years easier. I gained a wider set of friends and became more popular. But I never felt that any of these brought me closer to my father. Maybe because I was still the most effeminate of us siblings, the only one who couldn't say no to my parents.

My dad passed away around this time of the year. Just before he died, he told me that he was very grateful that I was their son. That among his children, I was the most selfless and the only one who was fearless in demonstrating my love for him and my mom. And that he loved me. It might have taken my dad a lifetime, but it was then that I finally felt I was my father's princess.


photo credit: maximooliveros.tripod.com

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very nice post.

I feel what you felt towards your dad. I just hope that my own dad has more years to spend with us, his family, so that I can show to him how I appreciate his silent, (yet, I know, loving) affection and dedication.

Quite a cheesy comment, but just a li'l reminder that PLUs have to bridge that gap between our dads' generation (and mindset) and ours.

Thanks for a life-affirming post.

Nimmy said...

:')

i love this post!!!!!!

orally said...

I became a fan of your blog when you posted Sabit.
Loving this entry too. thanks

Guyrony said...

And just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, your Dad made the opposite and told you you made his world the best.

Marhk said...

like ko toh!

Marhk said...

like ko toh!

Arvel Soian GB. said...

:'( cheers for princesses...
we all are. :)

I love this post.

glentot said...

Awwwwwwwww... gusto ko itong post mo na ito, it just demonstrates how our dads, kahit gaano ka-quiet at ka-indifferent minsan, mahal na mahal nila tayo.

hard2getxxx said...

very touching ang sinulat mo sorry about your dad im sure nasa heaven na siya

Sean said...

@ anonymous : thank you :) I wish your dad and your family good health and the grace of love. I agree that the gap that needs to be bridged can be quite wide but is not impossible to overcome.

@ nimmy : hello nimmy! thanks much :)

@ orally : awwww, i appreciate the kind words. thank you - made my day :)

@ guyrony : yeah i was not expecting it at all. made the goodbyes even harder.

@ marhk : thank you, thank you :)

@ arvel : thanks :) for us princesses, may we all have our happy endings (not what you're thinking hehe)

@ glentot : korek ka diyan. thanks again :)

@ hard : hello and salamat :) i always pray for his eternal rest.

Yj said...

and when I asked my Dad kung bakit nila ako hinayaang maging isang diwata:

"we didn't tolerate you... we understood..."

yan lang ang sinagot niya... at umiyak ako ng bonggang bongga ala Hilda Koronel....

Sean said...

@ Yj : naluha naman ako sa shinare mo.

the geek said...

now, i have to find that book... :)

Anonymous said...

Muntik na akong malunod sa luha. My Tatay passed away few months ago, though I am manly but he knows who I am,always been supportive of my victories and always have nice words when I am on my valleys.I went home from Manila after law school and left my work there to support him, before I was able to prove my self that I am a worthy son, and for him to see my efforts worked, stroke made him bid goodbye.kaya po Sean thank you for saying the words that I can not say some times. I will always love this blog...

Mikhail

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