Empty promises and broken dreams

By Tin Bartolome

Posted at Dec 26 2014 01:54 AM | Updated as of Dec 26 2014 09:54 AM

My two youngest children, 24 and 18 years old, were talking and I overheard one of them say, “Yes, empty promises and broken dreams!” Alarmed, I strained to hear what they were referring to. Guilt from not having given up life outside the home came rushing back.

No Exemptions

I knew that whenever I could not keep my promise—whether postponed or cancelled, I would let them know and explain why. I tried my best to honor my word, keep my promises, respect my children and practice what I preached or lead by example. As much as possible, I did not exempt myself from the rules I made.

Then I thought of the times when I had to be out on shoots and I missed their performances at school or other important events like investitures, recognitions—even PTA meetings! I felt about the times when I did not understand what was going on in their lives or why they made certain choices.

Rights of the Child

Before my daughter turned 2, I had a job that allowed me to work home most days. One time, I was sent to Mindanao to do interviews and help facilitate a workshop on the rights of the child. I had been amused by what a friend said: Climbing trees should be considered a right of each child! Later, during sessions, I heard a baby cry outside the window! By then, my letdowns came quickly, often triggered by such cries. Luckily, I had a printed blouse on and the stain from my own milk was not very obvious. How ironic, I thought, that I should act as facilitator for this seminar when my own nursling was left home!

I once joined a crew on a shoot outside the country for a mere 11 days. The work was exhausting as we had to be up really early and make the most of available daylight. Having been the only female member of the crew, I got the best rooms but I had to get up early to prepare coffee for the daily production meetings at 5:30 am! It was the tail end of winter and it got really cold even without snow. I was not used to weather like that and it began to affect me. By the fifth day, I was in tears as I watched the Tele Tubbies because I missed my youngest who was barely 4 years old at that time.

Failed Expectations

I tried to remember recent promises that I may have broken when my daughter said, “There were mornings when I woke up to the smell of bacon, thinking I was having it for breakfast only to find out that the aroma came from the restaurant behind us!” We live so close to what has now become restaurant row, behind a breakfast place that is always full. “Lies! Empty promises and broken dreams!” she continued.

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