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HONORING MY MOTHER I Taking the time

By Icoy San Pedro

NEVER thought I would hear it said again. It was near evening when I encountered children playing a game of tag on our street. In the middle of all their intense fun and giggles, a little one casually leaned by our parked car and yelled with one wiry hand up, “Taympers!”.  In case, you might have forgotten, that was our childhood slangy for time-out first. Brings you back. I would imagine that each day, in practically all the playgrounds of the land, children would be busy running about with games all their own and at certain times, a few would be yelling out to their playmates that seemingly-universal magic word which could also be likened to modern-day’s pause button.

At another time, I was then reading through some online posts (now sadly a sedentary pastime for this weak-kneed senior) when I happened to pore through a friend’s old posts. On one, she exalted that it was always okay to shout “taympers” once in a while. Thanks Samantha. Definitely, that childhood expression brings me many years back.

In truth, if indeed the brain were a muscle, then without hesitation, deep within its vast muscle memory, it could always push the red button once in a while when pressure slowly builds and cries out that the body or some of its parts needs to take a pause. Also translatable to Park, Neutral, Freeze, Rest or Time-out, it is probably one of the first commands we learn as newbie children in order to survive this complex world. It’s that shrill referee’s whistle blowing inside our head.

Relatively, there are some who say that despite the countless death at the hands of Covid, the world at a standstill might have likewise been the much-needed rest so that the planet could recover. Sick and morbid as that may have seemed, these mad or stoic thinkers out there have added the losses in human lives as primary defacer and destroyer of the environment, may have halted its doom countdown somewhat. In the same way that Mt. Pinatubo’s ash clouds circling the globe many times over in the early 90s arrested global warming and cooled down the earth a bit, many say these significant pauses might have all been for the good. Who knows, we are just so puny to look at it from a universal standpoint. For all we know, we’re just collateral damage. 

So, despite this realization of our insignificance compared to the total scope of creation, taympers is still one necessary ingredient that ensures we at least, delay our departure a bit and make good use of our stay. The hedonistic Eat, Drink and be Merry like the Crash and burn of these days is just so overrated. I remember talking to some golf buddies of my late father one time. They said, “Si Mang Ading, we would often laugh because we hit farther than all his shots, but he’s always dead-on ahead of us to the green every time.” When I shared that story with him. He said “Slowly but surely” as he smiled. Right on Popsie, now rest easy. Taympers.


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