Photo by Little People Photography
The past few weeks have been a bit of a blur with my Lola Inday’s passing last Feb 24. I have been going through the motions of my everyday life since then but then there would be some pockets of time where I’m either just staring blankly into space or just crying desperately hoping that I could somehow bring her back. But in the midst of our grief, we are also at peace knowing that she indeed lived a full life and was very LOVED by many—and that she is now rejoicing in Heaven with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The day my Lola passed, I was still a bit stunned. I didn’t even cry immediately when I received the call. We had guests at the time that I heard the news and I managed to keep things together. It was only the following morning that it hit me like a wave. And I just cried and cried and cried to Patrick. While crying in the sofa, Theo looked at me, dropped his toys and rested his head gently on my knee. I just knew instantly that HE understood. He knew I was in pain. He knew I was sad. He understood that I was not happy at the time. And best of all, he showed empathy. It was such a proud moment for me, knowing that he feels for other people and is capable of putting himself in the shoes of others to understand where they are at and meeting them there. Just 1 year and 7 months and with a heart so sweet!
So as I was contemplating the many milestones of Theo last February—from adding more words to his vocabulary, to stringing nouns and verbs to make short sentences, naming a few numbers and letters, etc—I realized that all these things, though very important, pale in comparison to his character formation. Day by day, he is showing me more of his own personality, his character, his values. And February was such a good month for him to display all this to me and Patrick.
Yes, Theo is clever, sharp, and quick. But he is also gifted with a heart for others. The three traits that stand out about Theo that make this momma so proud:
1) He’s an includer. He likes socializing with others but more than just playing with others, he actually makes an effort to make the other person feel welcome and part of the group. If you’re a first time guest in our home, trust me, he will take you by the hand and bring you to his toys. He will welcome new friends and introduce them to his other playmates. One afternoon we had some friends over (with their kids too) and he asked his yaya to call his BFF Neighbor Lucas to come over so he could introduce him to the other kids. It was the cutest thing. He was hugging Lucas (who is also a one year old) and telling him “Lucas! Lets go! Friends!”. It was so adorable! Para silang teenagers at a party!
2) He thinks of others’ well being and happiness before his. This happens almost at every meal time. When we are eating, he will motion towards me “Mama, Cookies! Eat! Mama!” and at first I thought he was merely asking for more.. but I soon realized that it was actually his way of asking me if I too would like some cookies. So now it has become his common spiel to ask everyone in our home if they’ve eaten while he’s eating—including our driver and helpers too. “Kuya Nante! Rice! Sabaw! Eat, Eat!” And our driver would reply “Oo Theo, thank you! Tapos na ako kumain!” Theo is understandably a toddler and since he loves food so much, there are times when we have to still teach him to share his snacks—especially if talagang favorite na favorite nya! Hahaha! Like most kids his age, he would say “No, Only Theo” if nagdadamot siya. Hehehe! Ang takaw! But the concept of sharing freely for everything and anything you have is something we’ve been easing him into and he’s learning 🙂 Phase 2 nalang! Hahaha!
3) He is thoughtful (with such a sharp memory!). So this actually shocks me both in an “awwwww, so sweet” and “Damn Boy, you’re smart!!!” at the same time. He seems to understands all my conversations with others and can form concepts by piecing things together! One incident last month perfectly displayed this. As I was getting off the car while carrying Theo, I turned to Maimai (his yaya) and said “Mai! Malapit na birthday ng Mommy ko!”. A few hours later, after playing in Gymboree, going around the mall, doing groceries. I entered Zara to browse through the clothes. He kept pointing to specific button down polos and saying “gift!gift!” and I said “Oh not now, I won’t buy Theo. I’m just looking” then he said “Mama! Get Gift Gift! For Lala! Mama, you buy!” then it hit me! He remembered I said “birthday”—so he connected the idea of buying a gift for Lala and he knew specifically which types of tops to choose pa! How funny! It’s hard to imagine how this one year old can string multiple concepts like that!
Oh the joys of motherhood! It’s never easy and days are tougher than tough. But the Lord works in our children each second of each day and they surprise us all the time. Kakatuwa diba. All children are inherently good, all children are wonderfully made by God—and so these traits come naturally to ALL kids! It’s up to us as parents to actually give them the venue to showcase these great traits, to celebrate the goodness in them and to give them opportunities to express it, to feel it, to share it with others. 🙂 I hope this sappy post encourages you to think about the wonderful personality traits that your children possess and to be grateful for it!