“The pig walks to the slaughter because it knows what’s good for the farmer.” That is a line from an old TV episode of $#*! My Dad Says. It sounds like a puzzle, until you see what it means. Here’s what it means for a Filipina abroad. Let’s name her Lenny.
In the first seven years of her life in America, she sent money and boxes to only one son because the other two children did not communicate with her. She heard that one wants nothing less than $5K, which she didn’t have, and the other simply didn’t care one way or another.
After she lost her job and exhausted her savings, the son she sent money and boxes to, started to hate her. Surprisingly, the other two children stepped up to the plate. One supports her now financially and the one who wanted $5K gave her unexpected visits and treats.
Lenny’s three children are estranged from each other for one reason or another. She keeps to herself whatever she hears from one about the other. She doesn’t want to mess up the chance that her children would be fraternal someday, however remote it may seem these days.
All three children are step siblings, each from a different father. Two fathers abandoned them physically. One stayed but abandoned her and his child emotionally. Unlike most abandoned wife or lover, Lenny sang praises to the missing fathers all her life. She would rather be thought of as the bad guy, than spoil whatever memory the children cherish of their fathers.
However, it’s difficult to defend the father who stayed, after twenty three years of seeing his flaws unfold before their eyes. The ‘over staying’ father’s son still suffers from his emotional abuse. When the boy was eight years old, while in his care, he locked the doors and didn’t give his son a key, then came home late at night. The boy, came home from school, waited by the door till dark, without dinner. Lenny still managed to make this guy look good, by keeping to herself, her own emotional abuse she suffered from him ‘behind closed doors’.
Lenny knows she had a hand on her children’s misfortune. She picked those fathers, as the song says “The heart wants what it wants.” She spent her life trying to make it up to her children, in different ways, as far as her arm could reach.
If you still don’t know what “The pig walks to the slaughter because it knows what’s good for the farmer” means. You’ll have to watch $#*! My Dad Says in Netflix.