Sunday school

Growing up in a conventional protestant family requires a few things, one of which is extending your classroom thwart before going to the actual church service. There is singing, dancing and a lot of story-telling about talking donkeys and man turning into salt. But coloring images from the bible and playing with fake religious kids are tolerable compared to the stress that comes with your mother dragging you off the bed on a cold weekend morning, nagging to get the best shirt and polished shoes to stand-out in Sunday school.

A hundred miles away from my parent, living alone for six years now and already taking up a second degree, one would expect a peaceful Sunday morning, filled with hot chocolate and sappy romantic songs. Except that my mom has no other kids to bug. My youngest sister who still lives with my parents, unfortunately, does not allow my mom to dictate what she should do when she's busy in front of the computer. Left with no one to bother, she's stuck with the only child who listened to her a long time ago.

The problem with parents is they hold too much on something from the past. Tell them the 80s is golden age for music and they'll pop one whenever they have the chance. Fall down the stairs once while playing as a toddler and expect the parents to remind you to be careful of stairs, reminding you of that memory loudly while inside a crowded shopping mall. And there goes the problem.

A few years into adolescence have changed me a lot, and that involves my religious views. I don't even know who or what to credit for it. I often hear my friends blame the UP culture or that there is no church around my block. My mom actually thought it is my studying of law that may have influenced me, despite the fact that she was the one who pushed me to take post-graduate school. No, I am not agnostic or an atheist, as my mom accuses me of. I believe in a higher being that is more than the imposed morality of the church. But again, you never talk about religious views, so I'll stop here.

My dad is never the church-goer. I could count on my fingers the times he actually went to our church. He believes it's not the dressing up and singing songs every week that count. There is more to faith, he says. As a kid, I thought it was just an excuse for him to spend his Sunday morning watching sports. I seldom agree with my father. But it turned out the apple does not fall far from the tree.

So there goes my mom, on the other end of the line mumbling to herself, reminding me of how I used to love going to the church, singing with the pastor and reciting bible verses every once in a while. She tells me of those good old memories where she hinges her expectations of me on. I never doubted my mom's ability to care for me. Hell, I have even cried in front of her a lot of times. But I guess there is just some things, some moment, some idea, that need letting go.

Sunday morning, she calls to ask how I celebrated my birthday week. Turning 21, I guess, is a big deal for a lot of people. It is the opposite for me. It turns out the freedom at this age I expect is not yet to come.

I admire Sunday school teachers. Preparing for a weekend for a class of kids of different age and childishness is horrible, but my Sunday school teachers, as I remember them, have been very patient with us. I have no memory of them shouting when I broke one of the crayons or when another kid spilled her milk. But I do have a memory of my mom shouting for me to wake up immediately. And I become cognizant of the fact that there are things that needs enduring for the ones we love. Maybe there are thing that are better reserved until the right time comes. The bible tells that love is patient, anyway.

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