1. Alvin and I love to dream about the future. One night while we were watching the different family videos we recorded and while browsing the pictures we have, we felt a little sad knowing that a few years from now, our babies will become teens, then adults, then they would have families of their own. Time will come when they would prefer to be with their friends than spend time with us.
Riel heard us talking about this and asked about adult life. We told him that someday he will marry, too, like mommy and daddy. We told him to find a wife who loves Jesus. We told him that someday, He will leave mommy and daddy because he would have his own family and children. His reaction was something we did not expect. He cried and cried. We cannot pacify him. We hugged him and asked why. And He said, "Mommy, Daddy, I don't want to leave you." We were touched with what he said. We know he still cannot fully understand what we are talking about but our next conversations were lighter. Riel said, when we grow old, he wants to be the one to carry mommy and daddy like the way we carry him. He proudly said, "I will carry you on my shoulders!" He said he will fetch us all the time alluding to the times we wait for him and fetch him from school. And he started reciting all the things we do for him that he wants to do for us. Alvin and I cried and hugged him.
2. One afternoon as we were watching basketball on tv with our babies, Alvin remarked, "grabe, blah, blah, blah...". Aethan asked, "Mommy, what is 'grabe'?. And I said, It is something that expresses something 'weighty' or may mean 'too much'. Upon hearing that, Aethan sweetly said, "Mommy, I love you, grabe!".
Aethan is so sweet. He says 'I love you' all the time. He would often stop at what he is doing and say 'Mommy, I want to hug you." There was an instance that he ran after daddy (Alvin was on his way to school to fetch Riel) just to say, "Daddy, I forgot to kiss you!".
3. Upon arriving home one evening, yaya told us that Riel cried when Aethan ate the Fita biscuit he left for me. The next day, mama bought Riel a pack of Fita biscuit and Riel immediately went to me and said, 'Mommy, I want to give this to you.".
Riel loves to share everything he has with mommy and daddy, even it means giving up the last piece of his favorite chocolate.
One Sunday, during their Sunday School class, the children (all 4 year olds) were told that they can eat their marshmallow if and only if they are finished with their puzzles. Teacher Twinkle said it was only Riel who successfully completed the marshmallow test. We have noticed that Riel's emotional quotient is high. He can control his 'wants' and 'desires' to focus on something he feels is more important. Harold Sala said "Kids who have the strength to wait develop self discipline that makes a difference in life."
4. After telling our kids the story of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, Riel retreated to one corner of the room and cried. We were amazed at how a child, as young as Riel can feel the sacrifice that Jesus did.
Riel's school is just a couple of blocks away from home so most of the time, we just walk to school. While on our way, we play a 'name game' and we call it, "thank you, Jesus'. We take turns in singing a 'thank you song' to God for all the things we see while walking. This is how it goes, "Thank you Lord for the (fill in the blank)". We sing it anyway we want. Riel enjoys this game very much. Not only does it help in improving his vocabulary but it also makes him appreciate everything that God made.
It is never too late or too early to teach our kids about Jesus. The Bible says, "You shall teach them (God's word) to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up". (Deuteronomy 11:19)
5. In the grocery one afternoon, Alvin and I heard Riel and Aethan talking.
Riel: Aethan, we will buy this when Daddy finds a better job, okay?
Aethan: yes, kuya, when daddy has a better job!
At an early age, our kids have learned the value of money and saving. They have learned that they cannot always get what they want. They have learned to accept our 'NO' and 'Next time..." without tantrums.
6. Alvin and I try to capture everything in pictures and videos, One night, When we were watching the videos we recorded, Aethan said, 'MOmmy, can we play like that again?". The times we spend with them will always be remembered. They will never forget the joy they experience when they are loved. Charles Spurgeon said "The voice of childhood echo throughout life. The first learned is generally the last forgotten ...". How true.
We build memories with our babies everyday so that someday - even when they are married - they may look back and remember what fun they had during their childhood and what joy it brings to come 'home' to us. These are the moments that we will remember and look back to because someday we know, we would have to let them go.