Another tricky problem arrived at my doorstep. The bearer was innocent enough to be shooed away.

By mid morning, I had recovered my bearings, not that I lost it. I was in the process of turning the introspective event back to the natural rhythm of things.

“Ninong, can you help me with my assignment?”

I was accustomed to such requests that I made it a point to squeeze them through in my schedule. I always believed education should be given to anyone, especially to children.

“Perhaps, your mother can teach you. How about your father?” I teased him, trying to remove the frown from his face.

“Mother asked my father to teach me. When I showed it to him, he told me to come here instead.”

“Yeah, he’ll do that,” I agreed without reservation.

My kumpare was allergic to school which he claimed so himself. He related that he was the most notorious absentee during his days.

“I brought my book. There are pictures. But there are things I could not understand.”

“Well, you come to right place. I am the best teacher around.” Bragging was free after all.

I was still feeling proud of the contents of my brain while he looked for the particular page in the book. Surely, there’s Google as backup if my answers did not satisfy him.

“Here it is,” he offered it to me. “Read it first before I ask my question.”

What was on the page gave me a sudden shudder. My palms got sweaty, my mouth dried up as if the saliva evaporated in the air.

“Are you sure this is your lesson? You seem so young studying about this.”

I could talk about almost anything under the sun except what he wished me to discuss.

“Yes. Is there a problem, Ninong?”

“It is difficult for me to explain to you the male and female reproductive system without discussing sexuality.” I said in a calm voice. I was grateful I managed to say that with a straight face.

“Sex?” he blurted out like it was just the homonym of text. “That’s how our parents do it to make babies.”

“Who told you that?” I was too surprised he already knew that fact.

“Ninong, this is the modern age. We know a lot of stuff you didn’t know back then.”

The teacher in me felt like a student of child psychology. Where was I when this was happening?

“I guess I am mentally torturing myself for no reason at all.”



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