August 9, 2012
Happy birthday, Ada!
Last year, when I came to live with my Manong and the rest of the gang, I totally thought that I would not get attached to the kids. I was not close with Ada, Téa and Gusto. Sure, when we would meet up I would play and chat with the kids. But that was all. I was totally freaked out when Mom told me that I had to live with them because my relationship with the kids was based on, well we did not have a relationship. Yet when I saw the smiles of the kids when they found out I was gonna live with them, I knew that we were off to a good start! The kids not only make me laugh, but they actually have made me become aware of tons of things I missed out on life.
Here are a number of things Ada taught me in my seven months of living with her and the rest of the gang.
You cannot not care about children no matter how naughty they are. On the second day of my stay with them, I was in the TV room watching some dumb show when I heard Ada run to the kitchen. I thought she was getting some food from the refrigerator, but when when I looked she was trying to climb the cabinets to get some snacks. I almost had a heart attack from fright! I ran to her and she said, 'Tita Anna, you know I need your help. So thanks for coming to my rescue.'
According to Ada, Lord Voldemort's heart is black. She says that it is black because love does not live in it. And although love does not really come from our heart, Ada reminds everyone to let love live in it. When Téa and Gusto fight, she says in her singsong voice, 'Fighting means you have a black heart and love does not live in it!' And when Ada cries herself into a fit because of this and that, we remind her that for love to live in her heart she must not be angry at so and so. She stops crying after that.
Ada just loves Les Misérables! She knows all the songs and can sing all of them well. She can go on and on about Cosette and Fantine and all those other confusing French names. One song talks about dreams being put to death. I have known that song for a long time already, but I never really thought about the words.'Have your dreams ever been put to death?' Ada asked me one day. Without waiting for my response, she said, 'Don't ever let anyone put your dreams to death Tita Anna!'
You have got to read, read, read and read some more! It does not matter if you are brushing your teeth, eating lunch, pretending to watch TV, walking in the mall, taking a bath, doing your school requirements or playing in the park. You have just got to read! And do not just read those fiction books. Read those books with tons of facts! Like an almanac or an encyclopedia. Do research about new animals, new technology, concepts of science you do not understand and anything else you can think of. Read a book to younger children. They love it. Recommend good books to your friends. Spend your recess and lunch breaks in the library. Borrow books. Get your Greek, Roman and Norse mythology straight! Ada does all these things.
I think the last and the most important thing Ada made me realize was that I really had to smile more. That was a wake up call to me to find joy in everything that I did, to find reasons to be happy when the situation was tough and to share smiles even with people who were mean to me. What shocked me was that she was so honest and so sincere when she told me that I had to smile more. She really meant it. And yet she did not and still does not realize how her simple words made an impact in my life.