This father's day was extra special. Number one, it's the first time I got a custom gift from Amanda, a project they created in their first week of school. It's amazing how my 3 year old daughter can trace letters and know the meaning of what they wrote. After her class, as soon as the door of their school opens, the first thing she said to me was "Happy Father's Day Daddy, I love you"
Second, we didn't have a fancy celebration. We just attended a mass in the morning which IMHO was the best way to celebrate the day and a simple gift where Mommy Cali posted a happy dad's day greeting for me. Truly, simple things give us great joy and happiness.
Third, while walking along the aisle of the Singapore School in Magallanes since I had a client at a nearby restaurant, I came across this signage "Children need LOVE especially when they do not deserve it.". Then I remembered my dad. I realized just now how simple he showed his love for us. Loving us, when we're not lovable. When I was young, he's not always around as he was assigned out of town. My mom even told me that at one point, I didn't even know who he was as he scolded me when I was naughty and told him "bakit mo ko pinapagalitan di naman kita ka-anu ano." (why are you scolding me, who are you anyway?). I can't imagine Amanda telling me that but I know it's a boom wasak moment for dad to hear that. And then I remembered, that my dad retired early and during those times from my grade four days even up to well some of my college days, he always took the time to drive me to school. And even with that sacrifice of waking up early, cooking for our breakfast when both me and my brother still go to the same school, I always noticed how slow he drives... how sometimes our food is not so tasty... how everything seem to be not what I wanted. But now I realized, that despite me being not so grateful, he still gave what he could...no drama, no words... just simple everyday acts of care and love from a father who may not be articulate but was very consistent in loving.
Amanda may be too far off from acting like how I did when I was young, but may I always bear in mind how my dad loves me and my siblings and our families and Amanda, that no matter how I became so unloving, he persisted on loving us. So to our "veteran dad" in whom I learned a lot I honor you for showing us how fatherhood should be done. Happy father's day and we love you.
This week was Amanda's first week at the regular school. Hmmmm, it was tough to write something about it as it looked like it was an ordinary day for Amanda.
With the effort we put in her summer school, it was a breeze going through her first day as she's familiar with the teachers, the school and even had two of her summer school classmates in the class as well.
Well, that was what I thought until I remembered how our day started.
Amanda slept too late last Sunday such that she went to bed by almost 12. So the result was, a cranky baby that was difficult to wake up. It took us about an hour before she totally get her senses up and another 15 minutes to broker a deal for her to take a bath. We ended up leaving the house by 7:50 and it's quite impossible to get in by 8 with the normal travel time of 15 minutes.
Good thing we were still able to make it on time... it seems Teacher Euke knows that it's going to be tough for parents to prepare their kids on the first day.
The next day was a bit more difficult... an adjusting body clock plus a rainy bed weather equals to a more challenging morning routine of waking up. Then the haggle for taking a bath continues...
Good thing there was an Independence Day break so we were able to set things straight for now and for the first time this week we were not late. Yey! Bad news, we're going on a weekend break again. Hopefully she could still get the momentum to wake up early on Monday.
"Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise" by Ben Franklin... while researching for a way to resolve our daily waking up issues, I found an article about an advocacy in the US to move the time of their classes no earlier than 8:30am. Studies show that for teens, the biological pattern is to have their body wake up later in the morning so forcing their bodies to wake up earlier will not be beneficial. I'm wondering if this is similar to our pre school toddlers. So for us, it's either I persuade Amanda's school to change their schedule and convince her elementary, high school and college to do the same. Or stick to what Ben said and just adjust our sleeping habit so we can wake up earlier the following morning. Unless I become the DepEd secretary, I think our only choice for now will be the latter :)
One of the gifts we got from our friend from the community is this book "Raising Wise Dads, Moms and Kids" by Grace Shangkuan Koo.
I'm not fond of reading books when I was in school. I would always go for movies or game consoles (family computer :) ) for recreation back then. Maybe when asked, what's my favorite book during that time, I can only say "Noli Me Tangere". Not because I'm into our rich history, but simply because that's the only book I read.
So going back, I wanted to focus more on the idea that in today's modern world, "Do fathers still matter in parenting?" At the start of the book, this was discussed and highlighted. And from what I learned prior to reading this, parenting's formula does not make sense in math. 50% Mom + 50% Dad won't result to 100% parenting. We need both 100% effort from Mom and Dad to make an effective 100% parenting.
"A girl's father is the first man in her life, the first she wants to love and be loved by."
It was easy to relate with Amanda. It made me think more that instead of saving up for a shotgun when her suitors start to come when she grows up, I better be there with her during her formative years and show her what a good man should be. Bad dad equals daughters getting attracted to bad boys. Good and pogi dad :) means daughter gravitating towards _____ (fill in the blank).
Below is a checklist suggested for both dad and moms to determine how involved a dad should be:
I won't discuss my answers to all the questions but one thing that struck me was number 5. When Amanda grows up, what will she remember doing with Dad? Is it the monster and zombies playtime at night? Or is it, Daddy's always busy kind of thing?
They said that time will come when kids grow up, they won't be as sweet as you want them to be. Like when you go home they have their big smile on their faces and hug you as if you were gone for years. And when they're into their tweens and teens already, they won't mind you going home late as they have their school work or just do their own thing already.
So one thing's for sure, that I want my Amanda to remember all the time daddy spent with her. That Daddy's never too busy when it comes to dressing up Elsa with the play dough, being a horse that she rides around the room, being the monster or zombie or the ginger bread man, being a Dibo while she pretends to be Bunny and just being her best friend.
I'm a technology geek, photographer, musician and a rookie dad trying out to speak my mind through writing my daily experiences as a young Pinoy dad.