The moment a man becomes a Father, he knows intuitively that his life is never the same again. He knows he is growing into something new, scary, exhilarating, confusing, but powerful.
I am a father of four. Three wild boys and one little princess. Together, they are both a challenge and a delight to me. And the longer I interact with them, the clearer I see that no one could ever replace my role. This is one profession where I become indispensable.
My presence with them is reaping fruits. I get to experience moments that melt my heart and teach me priceless lessons.
A few days ago, my 3-year-old girl excitedly clung to me and said, “Daddy, naa biya Daddy nag cry, kita ko.” I replied, “Oh really? What happened? Where?” “Kita ko sa phone ni Sophia. Kay nag married siya, iya daughter.”
Acting like crying, I said to her, “Oh, Daddy will also cry when you get married someday, Anak.” Hugging me tightly, she said lovingly, “Oh, don’t cry Daddy. I will not get married!”
I know she will someday, and I will cry, but hopefully it will be tears of joy. Lesson: Enjoy as much time with your daughter today while she is not yet married.
A couple of days ago also, Kisig, my 11-year-old son got out from the bathroom and asked for a towel. His mother told him, “Why are you not bringing towel, Kisig?” Confidently, as if he really knew what he was doing replied, “Even Daddy does this!” Mom, trying to be more imposing said, “Why are you following Daddy? “Because he is a role model!”
Lesson: Talk is cheap. We should not be worried much that our children are not listening to us. We should be worried that they are always looking at us, their role models.
During dinner time, on the first day of school, we asked our children how their day went. Kisig, the eldest, with much bravado said, “I was elected PIO.” Gabe, my 9-year-old, exclaimed, “Oh me, I am secretary.” Oido, our Grade 2 student calmly pronounced, “I am Mayor. I did not even campaign.”
My wife and I looked at Oido in disbelief. He is such a shy boy. And so, we validated his claim. Indeed, he was Mayor of the class! Lesson: Never underestimate your genes to become mayor, and be cool about it.
One last story. Gabe, our second son, was chosen to lead the Kid’s Praise of the Kids for Family and Life World Kid’s Congress held in Cebu. The day before the event, he fell from the monkey bar. He dislocated his arm and bruised badly his nose and face.
In the hospital, we asked him if he wanted to cancel his role so that we can inform the organizers. But we also told him that perhaps God allowed the accident to happen so that he can have a story to tell about God’s goodness. After contemplating for a while, Gabe said he will still lead the Kid’s Praise.
Looking at my son on stage, proclaiming how God saved him from serious injury, and declaring that he be a soldier for Him despite the pain, made me see again that my greatest role as a father is to make sure that my children love and serve the Lord, and enter the glory of heaven, more than anything else. And this I pray constantly.
Happy Father’s Day!
President, Bohol Child Head Start Inc.