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Honoring my Mother: The Zen of Hand-Me-Downs.

A long time ago, in economics class, a question in an exam had asked what the trickle-down effect was, and to provide an example. While it was not the answer I wrote then, the first thing that actually came to my mind was hand-me-downs.

I am reminded of that now, because just recently, I gave my nephew a tiny pair of white leather shoes to pass on to my month-old grandson. It had originally belonged to my late sister's baby (now in his 30s), and she had given it to us when our own baby was born.

Call it frugality all you want, but passing the boots is where it's at in my family. That was the normal thing to do I guess, when after a boy and girl startup drive for a family by my parents, what followed was a string five straight boys, and a girl, with all growing faster than the clothes that could fit them.

During my high school in the 70s, when it became the teen trend to wear bigger shirts, Wednesdays (no uniform day) bore witness what seemed like a sea of midgets on campus, with dangling 'amboys' (them shirts were called) almost up to our knees. Of course, it was my kind of day, as I had lots of those Van Heusens which I inherited from my older brother, uncle or my dad.

I do not know if the passing on of 'pre-loved' (millennial term for 'used') clothes or items to the next in line within the family, is still widely-practiced today. The reason for this query is, aside from being economical, being able to maximize on the usage of something, is also a bonding of sorts. Consider this: your newly-acquired, pre-loved Nikes may have a tale to tell haha, being previously owned by an obsessive- compulsive uncle. Seriously, the people of yore, as their tradition, had passed down belongings down to the next generation, they be swords, spears, armors, and even land, and regarded these as important heirloom or inheritance. This practice meant many things to our hardy ancestors; symbols of heritage, responsibility, even honor. Of course now, a worn pair of jeans, shoes, or an old shirt would not qualify under these lofty categories, but you catch the drift. At the very least, the family concept lives on, and you stretch your peso.

With this in mind, I fervently hope that my brothers, sister, and all relatives have things stashed in safe storages for our other grandchildren, and their children. New toys, as well as other new clothes may be necessary, yet they also can be boring sometimes, having no history attached to them. I have already cleaned some old Tonkas, saved from the destructive curiousity of its previous owner, another grandson. For that, I am certain, my month-old cherub will love it. As my son had outgrown them, it will be his turn at them wheels, when he is old enough.

Please pass the toy.

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Publication:Mindanao Times (Mindanao, Philippines)
Date:Jan 24, 2019
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