Wednesday, November 30, 2011

When Do Bloomers Bloom?

Ada: 'When do bloomers bloom?'
Manang Rina: 'Huh? Bloomers are old fashion shorts.'
Ada: 'No, mom! Like the one is Leo the Late Bloomer.'
Me: 'Oh! The book!'

You were asking about bloomers. We were in the car on the way to do the grocery for the week. I'm guessing you read the book before we left for the mall. Or maybe you just remembered it. Am guessing that you really like the book because you were talking about it for a long time. It was nice how we got to have an awesome conversation out of that little story about a late bloomer. It's interesting how you think of things that other humans would just forget about.

Bloomers are some kind of old shorts. No, they aren't a type of flower. It's just a term they use for people who amaze the world with their talents at an early age, at a late age and sometimes never at all. If I remember correctly, Leo the Late Bloomer is about a boy who couldn't do anything right. And then one day, Leo was able to do everything right. He finally bloomed

Ada: 'I am an early bloomer.'
Me: 'How about Tea?'
Ada: 'Almost bloomer.'
Me: 'And Gusto?'
Ada: 'Late bloomer!'

Right now, you think that you are an early bloomer. You think this because you get perfect or almost perfect grades in all your subjects. You think this because you've got a voice that can sustain so many notes. You think this because you talk a mile a minute. Yeah, you sometimes talk in your sleep, too. You think this because you started dancing ballet and because you do well in Kumon. 

But, how do you know if someone has actually bloomed already? Can you say that a person has bloomed because he knows how to write at an early age? Or maybe because he can sing perfectly? I don't think you can tell if a person has bloomed or not until the person has undergone some sort of thing I'd like to call growing-up-pains-and-joys. So are you an early bloomer? I dunno. I think you are constantly blooming.

Ada: 'Is there such a thing as a never bloomer?'
Me: 'Uhm. Yeah. Maybe.'
Ada: 'Like who?'
Me: 'Maybe like the criminals?'

I had this friend. His name was Tonton. He used to live in the States. I think he got into fights and got in conflict with the law. He got sent back here to the Philippines. Tonton had a chance to clean up his act and start over. Instead, he got into drugs, he got into drinking and got into the wrong company. Eventually, he got sent to a mental institute. I think he was fine for a few months so the people let him go. He was free again! He was free again to go back to his drugs. He dd that. One day, he came to the house to ask for help. And I remember him looking so destitute. A few days later, he killed himself.

Maybe I lied a little. Maybe there is no such thing as a never bloomer. Maybe there are just bloomers who bloom for good and bloomers who bloom for bad. I think that my friend Tonton actually bloomed. Yet he bloomed in a way that was not acceptable to society. He bloomed and was good at taking drugs, drinking alcohol, sleeping with girls and stealing. So no, there is no such thing as a never bloomer. Just a person who blooms for the wrong reasons.

Ada: 'I don't want to be a late bloomer!'
Me: 'Why not?'
Ada: ''Cause it'll take too long.'
Me: 'Sometimes being a late bloomer is good.'

It won't kill you to be a late bloomer. Sure, you'll think that you're such a lose and people may tell you that you are one. But sometimes it does the person good. Another we-used-to-be-friends-when-we-were-kids-but-now-it's-just-awkward just bloomed recently.  All his life he failed. He would fail school. He would fail exams. He would fail at relationships. His mom would call my mom and spend hours on the phone crying 'cause she wasn't sure if her son, my we're-kinda-friends, was gonna be able to graduate high school. He got into college and flunked. He got into another college. Changed his course. And now, he's doing great as some kind of musician.

Thing is, what if he bloomed so early that he wouldn't know what to do with his gift? What if he bloomed but he was in the wrong course? What if he bloomed but his parents wouldn't be able to accept him? What if he bloomed but he wasn't ready to deal with his talents? Things happen at the right time, but we think that it's always the wrong time to bloom. Late bloomers aren't late bloomers at all. Early bloomers? No such thing as that. There are only bloomers. We all bloom.

Ada: 'I just don't want to be a late bloomer!'
Me: 'You know what, doesn't matter if you're an early bloomer, an on-time bloomer or a late bloomer.'
Ada: 'It does!'
Me: 'No, as long as you bloom, you'll be fine.'

Little girl, as long as you bloom, you're gonna be fine. 

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