Angel had some excema on his wrist which seemed to be growing uncontrollably. So even while we were on vacation, I made an appointment with his pediatrician because I knew we needed prescription strength medicine to deal with it.
My pediatrician is a Filipina who graduated from UST in the 60s. Her practice is housed in the basement of her posh home in a rather upscale community here in my part of New York. When I scanned the doctors who were part of the network of my primary health insurance carrier, my first priority was to find a Filipino doctor, and secondly, I wanted someone with a good roster of patients — so I wanted someone rather older. The fact that her office was in her home in a very good community spoke well of her financial standing to my mind, and so far, I’ve been very happy with the way she has treated Angel.
We purposely arrived an hour earlier than our appointment so that we could hopefully be seen sooner. So we sat in the waiting room as Angel played with the various toys the doctor makes available to her kiddie patients. There was a 40-something Filipino father with his two children, the son was around 16 or 17 and the daughter must have been around 10. They were studying Italian together and having fun on the three-seater sofa. The son was obviously very close to his Dad, kidding around with him and even mocking him in jest for his “antiquated” cellphone, while his children had Razrs.
They were called ahead of us so that was that until we had our turn and the doctor gave us the prescription. On the way out, Alan told me that father and son were obviously close — a tinge of envy in his voice. Then he looked at Angel and told him that he knows they will be like that. I suppose it was his way of seeing what he didn’t have with the 16-year-old son.
We always dream of raising our children as our friends. It is not something we can always succeed at, and there are times when it comes at a much later time when the young ones have a better understanding of where we are coming from as parents. There are moments when we have to make sure the lines are drawn between parent and child, and there are moments when we want it to disappear so we can let them into our hearts and minds and hopefully they will afford us the same.
It’s still a long journey for Alan and Angel. It’s sad, though, that the gap between Alan and his eldest son seems to be widening as he gets older. No matter how hard he tries, it is difficult to reach someone who keeps shirking away. We can only hope he comes back someday.