"... Mommy, I defeated my giant!" These were the words that Riel uttered yesterday (3.4.2010) after their 'life dojo' class in wushu. I was surprised and asked him what he meant. He said that last week their teacher asked them to name their "giants", things that are difficult for them to defeat and he said, for him, it was disobedience because it was not always easy to obey. Riel said he has defeated that already.
Reflecting on what Riel said, I can say that obedience has never been a major issue with him. Ofcourse, there would be times when they would disobey by 'not obeying immediately' (delayed obedience is disobedience) but generally our two boys are obedient. You seldom hear them complain and grumble. They would joyfully and excitedly help out in chores like washing dishes, cleaning the room, washing clothes and sometimes they would go the extra mile and do things for me and their dad without waiting for us to tell them.
Going back to what Riel said about his giant... I paused and realized that what their teacher did is one skill in mentoring that sometimes we, parents forget to apply. 'Handles' are things we can grab on to and it is given when we summarize truth and principle in a user-friendly manner (GLC-Making Disciples 3). Riel was able to understand and remember that his 'struggles' are really 'giants' that he need to face and overcome.
Alvin and I also noticed that at this stage, Riel and Aethan (6 and 5 years old respectively) are already capable of expressing what they feel and we, as parents, should listen closely and be sensitive because what they feel now would have a great impact on how they view life and God.
Once when Riel was having difficulty answering a Math problem, he said, 'Mommy, you know what I'm thinking when I can't answer something? I tell myself that I'm a sore loser'. I thanked the Lord for this opportunity to see what is going on "inside" my child. This is one privilege given to homeschoolers. I took the chance to make it a teaching moment for us. I told Riel and Aethan what makes a man a loser. I told them that someday they would fail at something that they do, they may make mistakes along the way, they may lose but it doesn't mean that they are failures or losers. And because Riel said he wants to be a scientist someday, I reminded him about scientists who failed thousands of times before they were able to succeed. I told him it is more important to learn a lesson or two every time he fails. I also took this chance to tell them of my own failures. I gave them my assurance of the unconditional love that their dad and I have for them. When parents give their children unconditional love, it wouldn't be hard for them to understand that we have a loving Father above who loves us unconditionally.
Here's another round of quotable quotes from our kids ....
(I can hear my Riel saying, "memories, mommy, memories..." as he reads this. :-)
Aethan: Mommy, can I eat a snack with my dinner?
Aethan: Mommy, I want to be a tricycle driver!
Mommy: Why do you want to be a tricycle driver? Why not a scientist or a pilot or a doctor or a...?
Aethan: Okay mommy! I want to be a scientist who drives a tricycle!
Mommy: You know what babies, when we're already in heaven, we will always sing praise and worship songs there to Jesus
Riel: Mommy, can i bring our computer there?
Daddy: why would you want to bring the computer there?
Riel: Because I don't know all the lyrics to the songs yet...
(Alvin and I love to make music videos with lyrics of P&W songs and we sing it together with our kids.)
Riel: Mommy, I want to be an engineer, scientist and pastor
I want to be an engineer so I can build a church...
I will name it DCF. It means Disciples of Christ Fellowship
Riel: Mommy, why do you know everything about me?
Mommy:(I explained why and then I said)... and because I also have a mother's instinct
Riel: Is there a son's instinct mommy?
Mommy: Ahh...I dont think so...hahaha
Riel: There is mommy! Son's instinct is to obey and to respect
As we studied Solomon in our Bible reading
Riel: Mommy, Why is solomon the wisest king but he sinned and worshipped idols?
After talking about Jesus' baptism,
Aethan said, "mommy, can you baptize us using the pail in our bathroom?"
Daddy has the stomach flu. Aethan prayed for him and said "Lord Let daddy's poop be hard"
Dad said, "but not so hard aethan, okay"
One morning while Riel was reading his children's Bible,
he said : "Mommy, when I grow up, can I name my son Jesus, and my other son Moses?"
Mommy: ofcourse Riel
Riel: Will I forget that when I grow old, mommy?
Mommy: You might, that's why I'm gonna write it down.
You write it down too - so you'll remember when you grow up.
Riel and Aethan: MOmmy, you're now Rogue (from XMen) because we can see your white hair already.
Mommy: It's story time! I'll read a short story before you sleep.
Get the book you want mommy to read.
Riel: (getting the book he prefers) Mommy, I want you to read my encyclopedia
While watching the episode of Tsuanamis in National Geographic,
Riel was listening to a couple relate how their son was saved.
Riel remarked, "MOmmy, I think Jesus saved that boy, because,
remember mommy, Jesus loves little children?"
(due to the extreme heat experienced recently)
Aethan: Mommy, if we get a pail as big as the sun,
fill it with water and pour the water on the sun, will it remove the heat?
Heinrich (my nephew): No, No, don't tell mama, she'll spank me!!! di na tayo friends.
Aethan: Heinrich, I don't want to lie because I'm going to heaven!
There was an earthquake this afternoon. When we felt the tremor, Aethan stood up and said, "Mommy, Let's pray." Riel said, "Mommy, I'll be the one to pray."
I praised God when I heard the words that Riel spoke. He said, "Lord, let there be no earthquake anymore but if it is your will for the earthquake not to stop, I pray that it will be your will for us to go to heaven now. Amen"
That's from the mouth of babes! :-)