It’s just a summer ago when we enrolled Amanda in summer school so she can experience being with other kids. Last Thursday, Amanda made another milestone. It was her moving up day and she had the privilege of giving an introductory remark to present the advance casa candidates for graduation.
On her first moving up day milestone, some realizations crossed my mind
Awards and Social Media – During my parent’s time, the only way that they can highlight their child’s achievements is through their chat time with their circle of friends. With the advent of Facebook and other social media channels, the whole world sees a child’s awards. I see it as both a good and bad tool in boosting a kid’s confidence. Good, when he/she sees her mom or dad’s post of her medal or trophy. Bad, if suddenly, a child under performs and didn’t bag any awards during recognition day and that his/her parents became ultra inactive in posting anything related to his/her graduation. I think as parents we should be mindful in always appreciating our child no matter what the outcome is. It’s like what God has been doing to all of us, despite our imperfections, He never stops to be our greatest fan.
Leadership and Responsibility – At home, when Amanda tends to not follow our directions on packing away her toys properly or trying to remind her to not do things because it’s unsafe or to always share her food and toys, we thought that she’s not listening. When observing her in some of the school activities during this school year, I was able to see her reminding some of her classmates to always share their toys, pack their materials, and during their field trip, I even heard her commanding her classmate to sit down while the bus is running because it’s not safe. Character formation really starts at home, then enhanced greatly in school.
Aptitude and Attitude – I think this is a cliche already – Give me a choice between talent (aptitude) and character (attitude), which would I choose? Character of course. But oftentimes, when the world praises kids who get multiple awards, parents tend to think that going up the stage is the only reward they deserve when sending their child to school. And that failure of their child to achieve this means he/she’s not good enough. Right now it would be easy for me to say and not pressure Amanda because she’s just in preschool, but when she grows older, I need to stop myself from pressuring her on doing the same but rather be conscious about the joy in the learning process. That making mistakes is all part of the growing up process. That losing wouldn’t matter as long as she always do her best.
We’re just so blessed to have Amanda finish the school year despite all the things that happened in the family. So to Amanda, our Ate Honey Booboo, congratulations and good job for moving up to Senior Casa. We love you so much.
Last night, I dreamt of Mommy Ludy again. She was smiling and waving her hands saying hi. Seems to me that she’s trying to cheer me up after a long week topped by a jump packed weekend activity. But before giving in to sadness, I prayed and came across this song:
Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.
Last Saturday, I gave a talk entitled the Character of Humility. One bullet point that was mentioned there was recognizing God’s grace and talents He has given you so you’ll stay confident (doing self-pity is not humility). But a more interesting idea was realizing your weaknesses. Knowing a person’s limit is real humility which allows him to depend on God (this is the main reason why it was the first talk for the character series). And what a great timing this weekend, that God showed me my limitations on my strength and happy disposition, by reminding me of the void that our mom left when she passed away. I am humbled that I greatly needed God to inspire and cheer me up so that I could serve my family and enjoy the rest of the weekend happily.
This week, Cassandra made two milestones before she turned five months on Sunday.
First, she was able to finally flip over by herself. Hmmm… I’m not sure if flip over or turn over is the correct translation but in Filipino, we called it “dapa”. I never thought how hard it is to do this stuff but if you’re a 4-month old baby with chubby cheeks, chubby arms and a big tummy full of curls it really is a great challenge. Can you imagine Winnie the Pooh lying flat on his stomach?
Some people say that if your baby is trying to flip over on her own, you should refrain from helping her as this might develop over dependence on you until she grows up. I realized that there might be some psychological truth in that. I just observed that the generation of parents today (like me) have the tendency to over help our kids. Maybe subconsciously, we can’t stand seeing our kids crying and always thought that if they are in pain, removing the source is always the best solution. This we know, isn’t true as there are times, we need to grow stronger to get past a difficulty.
Second milestone was her ear piercing. When Ate Champee went to her Ninang Rica to cure her cough, she also offered Cassandra a free ear piercing to make her look girly because her Lola Dayang called her pogi.
It was extra hard for me to hear her scream and cry in pain. I wonder how it will feel like when she faces challenges in her adult life and everything I could do was just to stand by her and share the pain? This realization made me admire my parents, my tenured household mates and all parents who were able to raise their kids as responsible adults. I guess it takes a lot of balancing act on helping, inspiring, being hands on or off depending on the situation and the leading of the Holy Spirit to properly make our kids stronger. Come to think of it, these maybe the same skills I’m applying in my corporate life when mentoring.