One Fine Sunday
One fine Sunday after lunch, we were all still at the table eating our fruits and watching basketball on the small TV in the kitchen. Yes, we do have a TV in the kitchen and we usually watch TV while having our meal. I know some parents will smirk at that but it works for us. It’s sort of multi-tasking in these very busy lives of ours. We get to watch our favourite shows while having our meal. Besides, the shows can be a great source of topics for us parents and these kids who won’t usually open up anymore when you ask them how’s school or what did you do at school today.
Okay, so back to the game. The Houston Rockets were playing against the San Antonio Spurs. This guy Finley made a long shot from the side.
“That’s only two points? ” I asked my middle son, who’s the basketball fanatic.
“Yeah,” he said.
“I thought that would be a three-pointer. ”
“No, because you see that arc? He’s still inside it.”
“Oh, okay. Now I get it.”
Then this other guy came on. “Manu Ginobili,” I read from the TV.
“That’s not how you say his name, mommy. It’s Gi-no-bli.”
“It sounds like Italian. But I don’t think it’s Spanish. What country is he from? “
“I’m not telling. “
“Well, I’m gonna google it.”
And then the husband chimed in, “Argentina,” he said.
“Yes, finally,” said my middle guy.
And then I saw Tony Parker. I said, “I know that guy. He’s married to Eva Longoria, one of the Desperate Housewives.”
“I know mommy, you already told me that. ” That’s my middle son again.
“And did you know that he speaks French? “
“Yes, because he’s from France. Oh my gosh!”
“Oh, yeah, now I remember him saying that in an interview.”
And then he threw his head at the back of the chair, as if in frustration. And my eyes grew wide at what I discovered.
“Oh Ryan, you already have an Adam’s apple. I saw a bump there on your neck. Let me see it again.”
“No. . . . . So that’s what it’s called?”
“Yes, men get to have it. Kuya Reggie has one too.”
And he flashed this smile that looks like he was proud to be a man now. And I think I felt a sense of relief there. He must have been wondering why he got that bump on his neck.
“I can’t remember now when I first noticed your kuya’s Adam’s apple,” I continued. “But I still remember when his voice changed. I thought he had a cold. When I asked him, he answered me in this big deep voice.”
“How old was he?”
“I think he was 13 or 14.”
And he flashed another smile. He’s at that age now.
Now my youngest son joined in the conversation:
“You know that team we were watching last night, mommy, was it Xavier (Sa-vier)? ”
We were watching the college basketball the previous night.
“I know a boy at school with that name.”
“You know, in the Philippines we would say that name as Javier (Ha-vier). That’s also how you would say it in Spanish.”
“Mommy, why are there a lot of Spanish names in the Philippines?”
“Because Spain colonized the Philippines for many years.”
“What does that mean?”
“That means Spanish people lived in the Philippines and they even ruled the country. ”
And then my 13-year old interrupted.
“They’re called Spaniards, mommy, not Spanish.”
“Well, I know that. But I’m trying to explain it to your brother and I want to use words that he can understand.”
And then my youngest son said, “I know they’re called Spaniards mommy. He he he. ”
So there you go.
And then the youngest one asked me who discovered the Philippines.
“His name was Ferdinand Magellan. I think he was a Spaniard and he was sent by the king of Spain.”
“So who discovered Canada? ” I asked him back. “Tell me. Because I didn’t learn about Canada when I was still in school.”
And the two boys interrupted each other in telling me.
“Oh, I know,” started the 10-year old. “We learned that in Social Studies. I can’t remember his name. But I think he was named after a river.”
“A river was named after him,” corrected the 13-year old.
“He was trying to find spices in China,” continued the 10-year old.
“They discovered that the world is round,” interrupted the 13-year old.
“But then he wanted to do a shortcut.” That’s the youngest one.
“And instead of going east, he went west.” That’s my middle guy.
“And then he discovered Canada,” finished the youngest one.
“Oh, now I think that Magellan was also looking for spices.” That’s me.
So now you see how a game of basketball started this conversation. And before any of you history buffs give me a hard time, I googled Magellan the next day and found out that he was Portuguese and I told the kids of my mistake.
And it doesn’t end there. Here’s more. When it was just the two of us at the table that fine afternoon, I caught my 10-year old son touching his neck. I couldn’t help but smile.
“Mommy, do I have an Adam’s apple?”
“Not yet, Ryland. When you get a little older.”
“When I’m a teen-ager?”
“When I am at puberty?”
I was surprised that he already knows that word. “Yes,” I said.