Froot Loops

Picture

Picture courtesy of genius.com

“Daddy you have a fruit loop on your face”

 

It was one morning where I’m bringing Champee to school and she noticed a big pimple on my face.  Well, that was I thought of… or wanting to be it a pimple at that time.  So after her school I brought her first at home and I went directly to the doctor to check what this fruit loop is.  I also felt having a flu like symptom so it must have been something about the rash or hopefully not pneumonia.

 

When the doctor saw it, she immediately say, chickenpox!  And I said, “are you sure?”  She called another doctor and asked about rashes now in my arms and body.  And she said “this looks like chickenpox”

 

If I were single, my initial reaction would be… oh no, I would need Belo for my beautiful face :).

 

But as a dad, I backtracked the events that happened that morning.  Did I kiss Cassandra? Amanda? Cali?  So good thing, Cali already had it when she was young. So I’m down to my two girls.  Looking at Champee’s vaccine records, she got one for chickenpox.  But for Cassandra, hmmm she’s so young, how can she be protected?  Looking at some medical articles, they said that infants have immunity until three months of age if their mom has the antibodies for chickenpox.  I haven’t verified it yet with a doctor.  But as a first action when I went home, I isolated myself from them and sanitized everything I touched that morning just to be safe.

 

That night, with the help of my in laws, they allowed us to stayed in their place so I could really isolate myself in a single room and make sure the kids are safe.  This started my journey of hopefully just a week of battle with chickenpox.

 

I’m now on my third day, and these are the things I realized so far.

 

  1. Going through life at a warp speed phase won’t get you anywhere – so our schedule was changed when Cassandra came out; do all the school preps in the morning; office at mid shift; if unlucky which is quite usual, OT until the mornings; get 3 to 4 hours of interrupted sleep then repeat… There’s a reason why God invented sleep and it is for our bodies to recharge and recover.  And since I didn’t get enough decent sleep the chances of me getting chickenpox got higher since my immune system is weak.
  2. God surprises you with your requests – days ago, I was really feeling tired even on a weekend.  And in one of my prayer times I asked God if He can give me a break so I could think well and plan a better schedule.  So here it is… you want a break, I give you a break.  So here I am, sleeping, eating… and if my body aches seem to go away I try to go online and write.
  3. “Hello best friend!” – this is Champee’s way of saying that she misses me.  When I’m usually at the office, she calls me up just to say “how are you doing best friend?” And now that even though we can see each other we can’t play or do things together because she might get sick.  This is one of the worse reasons for having chickenpox… not being able to play with your kids.
  4. It’s thanksgiving weekend but I don’t have a turkey, just chicken 🙂 – alright it’s a lame joke 🙂 seriously, I have lots of things to be thankful for.  Thank you for my wife and my two angels for being my personal nurse.  Thank you for my in laws for allowing us to make their house a hospital. Thank you for my family as they were really affected and thinking how they can help us during this time. 

 

I’m not entirely sure if there are still spaces in my face where the rashes don’t appear but I do hope that it’ll subside tomorrow.  One last thing I wanted to share with this experience is that I know this is just temporary.  Or maybe there will be some scars that will be permanent (like emotional wounds that we got from our past)… but one thing’s for sure: that God has given me the grace to become better in my work life balance and my family life.

Peace!

The UN Celebration.  One of the highlights in a preschooler’s experience is showcasing their talents and costumes for this event.  Above is a short video of Amanda’s dance moves in her Japanese costume to the tune of What a Wonderful World.  My favorite choreo was the handshake and the high five.  How I wish that all government leaders retained their child-like (not childish) attitudes in dealing conflict with other nations.  Sixty nine years after UN’s inception, we still have armed-conflicts, only to find out that the root cause is selfishness.  

Toning it down a bit, if UN fights for world peace, as parents we’re the one responsible for maintaining peace at home.  It was very timely that two days ago I was listening to one of the Feast’s talk about finding happiness through peace and I was left with this quote from St. Augustine:

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

I know that as Amanda and Cassandra grows up, our conflicts would be more than taking a bath every mornings or even managing their tablet or PC time.  As they go through their teens, I might find myself dealing with boys (shotguns not required), late night clubbing or cutting classes.

Essentials mean standing by our Christian principles… basic word to remember is LOVE.  Above all other principles, if I can’t impart love to my kids, they would have a hard time thinking what the basic principles they need to follow.  One example could be on integrity.  They won’t understand that lying is bad no matter what the color is if they don’t see that it hurts the person they are talking to. Chances are, all actions not showing love breaks down peace, thus resulting to conflicts.

Non-essentials are preferences.  Sometimes I tend to forget that all of us are created differently.  These uniqueness make our lives happier if we learn to accept them, which is what St. Augustine meant by liberty.  This applies not only to my daughters but more importantly, to my wife as well.  In relationships, most conflicts arise because of differences in preferences.  For example, when dressing up Amanda with her Japanese costume, I’m already super happy that she’s able to wear it happily.  For my wife, she needed to fix the knot on how I tied it, make sure that the pillow on her belt is well centered and ensure no wrinkles on her dress can be seen under a microscope 🙂  Well, most of the time, I felt like what I did was wrong.  But considering the differences between men and women, I could understand now why Cali naturally sees what I’m not able to notice.  Biologically women are more detail-oriented than men.  Her preferences dictated by her instinct is something I should be willing to forego so as to make our relationship more peaceful.  Come to think of it, about 90% of any decisions made in relationships are preferences.  If our temper will be ticked off if our preferences are not followed, we would be in a fight 90% of the time.

I’m far away from being good at dying from my preferences, but St. Augustine’s words can guide me to make a peaceful and loving relationship with my kids, wife and anybody I’m working with.