I keep thinking about this recent New York Times article about raising teenagers. It says that parental authority relies a great deal on parents' control of the family narrative, having their children play character roles they've been assigned to play. The trouble begins when the children become teenagers and want to tell their own version of the family story, which, by nature of its being different, discredits the parents' version. I've never thought of it this way. I've only ever referred to Kahlil Gibran's words on the matter (as a reminder to myself as a mother, and for some sense of vindication as a daughter), without realizing until now that it's not so much the ownership of one's children that is the issue, but the ownership of the story.
It's Fire Prevention Month again. We've become desensitized to the sound of sirens and alarms that sear the air around Ortigas. Summer has arrived. We no longer like going out for lunch. We stay in the office and brood. In our old office, on the floor below our office now, we had to step out to take a call or whisper to each other when we talked. Every sound was an intrusion in that small room. Now there is a bit of privacy for everyone. And we have a better view. Once in a while, out of habit, we will step out into the hall for a quick pow-wow. But most of the time we stay inside and listen to dim music playing from someone's computer, the photocopier, and now, because it is March, the howling trucks.