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I never thought the day would actually come when it’s time to talk about “boys” with my daughter. She’s turning 18 in “few” days so technically, she will be a part of society’s young adults.

I always pride myself for raising a kid who is not shy to ask questions even the sensitive topics because in our family, we make it a point to discuss things as rational as possible and as truthful as it can be. We’ve discussed many things already before about infatuation but none prepared me for the moment when we are elevating our discussion to the topic of “courtship.” Yes, the word has been dropped – courtship or in the Philippines, we call this “panliligaw.”

Well, my heart started beating fast and my gut must have been in a knot when my daughter asked if it was ok if someone starts courting her since she is turning 18 in few days. I had to pause for a while and re-read her question over and over for what seems like an eternity. Courtship. That word floated in my head again. I panicked a bit because I remember all the stuff I did when I was barely 18. No, I wasn’t a goody-goody two shoes girl. I had a bit of naughtiness too BUT (in my defence!), I certainly knew my priorities. I knew my studies was at the top of the list of my goals. I knew I couldn’t do any hanky-panky. There was no kissing nor holding hands. It was just plain, young and innocent love. I was aware that if my parents caught me about this “dating thing at 3rd year HS,” I was almost certain that my parents would hang me upside down. Would I want my daughter to hide something from me the way I did with my parents? Of course not.

I have been open to my daughter about the things I had done in the past and those included the mistakes, the wrong decisions, the pain of breaking up, being betrayed and hurt, and the secrets I have kept from my parents only to find out later in life that my parents knew all along that I was lying. It hurt them and I certainly wouldn’t like to feel that way especially from my daughter. So, I asked myself, “is it really okay to let her enter the stage of courtship in her young adult life?” Honestly and as a mother, I hope I won’t be thought as a consenting parent but I can’t be a hypocrite. I had a boyfriend when I was only 17 so who am I to talk? I should be able to talk the talk and walk the walk but I can’t. So, to answer her question, “I leave the decision to you anak.” That’s  what I told her. But I did ask her to tell her Papa too. We wouldn’t want her dad to be left out on this milestone. And looking at how my husband is taking all these, I think he also knew that he couldn’t preach like a preacher. My husband and I were sweethearts when I was 19 and he was 21. So, I guess we just have to pray that our daughter is sensible, knows her values, and will not hide anything from us.

The moment my daughter told me about this young fellow who is courting her enabled my protective maternal instinct on. I asked plenty of questions about the guy, his background, what his parents do, where is he from, etc. etc. I guess that is just normal. I remember my dad asking me the same thing when my husband officially courted and visited me at home. It’s a “parent-thing” to be fussy about this dating thing because we all have been there. We know how it goes. And most certainly, we only want the best for our daughter.

I am happy in a way that my daughter respects us enough to include us in her young adult life. I am glad she opened up about this courtship thing because at least, I know she is blooming into a fine young lady. I just pray that she will be true to herself and never let crazy, young love get in the way of her studies. I think it is fair for us parents to ask her to focus on her studies while being courted. For one, she is very young and the world is her oyster.

So, the inevitable topic of courtship has sprung. I thought I will never have to hear it until she graduates but hey, I gave birth to a lovely kid so, it’s just natural for young guys to fall in “like or love” with her. 🙂

Ah, to be young…

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