Gretel Bon: Eager to Flap Her Wings
by Mary Ann
When our youngest child, Sam, turned three years old, we decided to engage a working student. We believed that a working student could be better than a plain, full-time helper. The idea was to have a better house companion who has a future to look forward to, aside from being receptive of instructions.
From our hometown came two female teens who finished high school and were interested to be working students. By then, our children were ages 3, 5, and 7 years old. For a year, while getting accustomed with the new environment and tending to the kids, they reviewed for the collegiate entrance exams. After taking the tests, Mei decided to go back home to be working in a city instead. The other girl, Gigi, decided to stay and pursue college education. She recommended a niece of her neighbor, Ellen, to replace Mei. And so came Ellen from the province of Surigao.
Then came the enrollment period. When Gigi was about to enroll at MSU-IIT, she backed out and decided to go back home to work as a salesgirl at a local town store. Only Ellen was left who enrolled at St. Lawrence Institute of Technology (SLIT) under the 2-year HRM program. One semester passed and Ellen’s grades were good. But, her mother called and told us that the family will send Ellen to school this time, in a 4-year course. We learned, lately, that Gigi already has a love child. We do not have updates of Mei and Ellen.
Thanks to St. Michael’s Feast, at the Plando’s residence, we came across a teen girl from Bukidnon province who wanted to pursue college education, even as a working student. We agreed that she enroll at SLIT since classes can be arranged on weekends and she can tend to the kids during weekdays. She chose the 2-year Management program. She followed our suggestion that a part of her monthly allowances be saved at a cooperative bank. With her savings, she was able to buy Christmas gifts for her nephews and other family members every time she went home for a New Year vacation.
Her grades were good. She graduated with honors. She wanted to pursue a 5-year course, BS Accountancy. While preparing for the entrance tests, she worked at BJs Steam and Grill. Her responsibilities with the kids were reduced to sending them off to school in the morning. Then she goes to work.
Just this morning, she informed me that she preferred to work as a secretary at a shop along Tibanga hiway. She will also stay at a boarding house. Bon has decided to start “flying” her life with “her wings.” Isn’t this what we envisioned for our working students to be? Yes, it is. We feel good that we were able to assist her in a way to enable her “wings.”
Anyhow our kids are now 7, 9, and 11 years old. Last summer, we started training them how to wash their clothes using the Samsung Wobble 3D Technology washing machine. Then they hang the washed clothes, fold them when already dry and put inside their individual clothes cabinets and drawers. They also learned how to wash the dishes. The 11-yo knows how to cook rice in a rice cooker. Even the 9yo knows how to make pancakes, with supervision. Well, the kids are now ready. But are we? One of our friends have to wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning to be able to prepare everything for her 3 school children and herself. Well, we are about to join her in that set-up. So, welcome us to the 4 o’clock waking up parents’ club!