Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fatherhood...the best job in the world!

The past couple of days have been the best! Not because I was able to clear my schedule with the Holy Week as an excuse. Ever since I became a public official, I was that--- the public's official. For the past seven years, I have shared my life with the people I have sworn to serve. And for the past seven years, my family has shared me with the rest of my constituents.

The past couple of days have been great because I was able to spend my free time with my sons, the best things that have ever happened to me aside from having Trina as my lifetime partner.

Since last weekend, I've been hugging and smothering my sons (each of the four of them) and just enjoying them. Ranging from one and half years old to seventeen, each one has his own peculiarity and the different stages they are in make each unique from the other. It is difficult to have a favorite when each one has his qualities which endear him to me. My wife would contradict that, saying that she observes that one of my sons is the apple of my eye. Well, one is an apple, one is a mango, the other is an orange and another is a banana. It doesn't matter what fruit they are..I love them all!

The other day I spent time with the kids just hanging out at home, doing various things from goofing around to playing network games in our home LAN. One thing with having boys is that it is not difficult for me to get into activities that they like. After all, I'm still a boy deep inside.

The youngest, Enzo, has been melting my heart by pointing to me and saying, "Papa". Then he would wave and say "bye bye"! Sooo cute!

The second and the third, Anton and Ino, are the dynamic duo among our boys. They're the ones who often play together, and have a cycle of love-hate relationship. But no matter how many times they get into a fight, they more often show how brothers ought to love one another.

OF course, there's Carlo the eldest. he's growing up into an independent-minded and interesting young man. Reminds me of me when I was his age....then again, I hope he's not like me! He he! Anyway, he makes me proud, and I'm sure he has his own identity that he would like to carve out from his young life.

As I said, fatherhood is the best job in the world. What inspired me to write about this? Well, yesterday, I had a day out with Carlo. We went to Mall of Asia, went around a bit, bought some stuff and had lunch. It was time well spent and we had a very intimate time together. It is quite rare for teenagers to feel comfortable with their parents, and they would rather be with their friends. But yesterday was the best, and I had my first-born all to myself. Maybe to him, it was just a few hours to endure just so he could buy the shirt he wanted, but to me, it was heaven!

Today, it was the dynamic duo's turn. We went out on a threesome, to have their bicycle repaired. Then we passed by the bargain center to buy videos. After that, off to S&R to buy some groceries and a snack.

What really made my day was what we did when we got home. They were excited with their bicycles and wanted to ride them outside. I had a choice between lying down in bed and popping in a video and joining them outside while they played.

Thankfully, I decided on the latter. I went outside with the three boys--Enzo, Ino and Anton---and spent the late afternoon until early evening with them playing in the street. I placed Enzo on the red Radio FLyer wagon and pulled him on a joy ride around the cul de sac where our house is located. Anton and Enzo darted around like flies on their bikes.

After a while, Anton was asking how he could learn to ride a bike without training wheels.I said I could teach him if he wanted to. He said yes, most likely challenged upon seeing another kid biking on two wheels.

So just as I had done with Carlo, I took time patiently teaching and guiding Anton how to balance and ride his bike on two wheels. At first, we adjusted the training wheels little by little until he could do it without the training wheels touching the ground. Eventually, he decided to have it removed.

Within less than an hour, he was able to learn how to ride a bike without training wheels. I was so elated and proud of my son! I would never have traded this moment even for an opportunity to deliver an earth-shaking privilege speech in Congress!

The sense of accomplishment that a father has when he is able to teach his child something is one that can never be replaced by any material success in any career. Fatherhood is THE career that all men should excel in.

As I watched my son neervously but successfully balance his bike, I looked back to the day when I taught my eldest son how to ride a bike. At that moment, I made a silent commitment to myself and to my other two sons that I will do the same for them when the time comes. No matter what, I will make sure to set aside time for them to teach them. That's a legacy that a father can leave for his sons.

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