I walked up to the lying-in clinic in our condominium in Makati and asked my grandmother how’s the labor going. She said I have to wait a little more. I waited, then after a few hours, she called me and I raced inside. I saw the most beautiful thing in the world. The doctor wrapped her in a clean white cotton sheet and handed over to me. I held her in my arms for the first time while her eyes were tightly closed. I named her Fiona, and she was born on June 3, 2003.
It was March 13, 2008, when my second child was born. His sister was around five years old at that time. We were in Makati Medical Hospital, and I got there mid-afternoon after skipping a business meeting. After a few minutes, the nurse told us that the baby’s ready for viewing. Fiona and I walked holding hands to the nursery. The nurse opened the curtain, while Fiona was jumping up and down with her head tilted upwards to glance her brother. And there we saw the cutest thing lying on his stomach with powdered-white skin and dimples he got from me. I named him Charles.
About six years after that, I was in another hospital, in Lipa, Batangas. The labor took so long. We got into the hospital around lunchtime, and it was already 10:00 pm and still no news. I had to go outside to get some beer and feel relaxed. I ended up napping on the stairwell of the hospital past midnight. It was June 7, 2014, at 3 am when the doctor came out of the operating room. I scrambled onto my feet and looked at her. She’s the sweetest baby girl I’ve seen. I knew right away that her long cute fingers were from me. I named her Isabela.
Above were the happiest moments of my life. I still feel those sweet moments while I write this. The difficult times of appeasing them in the middle of the night and shaking their formula bottle to feed them were nothing compared to the joy that they bring every day. Yes, things change when they grow up, but that’s the exciting part. You’ve been a part of them in their first smile, first time to sit down, to crawl, stand, walk and talk. As kids, their attention span is so quick, when you arrive from work, they kiss and hug you for a while, and then they play.
The weekend has always been the best days of the week. That’s the only time I thoroughly enjoy them. Here are the five stages of happiness with children :
- It’s always the first time you hold them. Then the first few months of putting them in the crib and carrying them on your arms and shoulders. Bathing them is enjoyable. You prepare the warm water, the tub, and the towel. You see them react for the first time to temperature change. And that sudden quick arm and leg movements in the bathtub.
- In the first year, just by looking at them will make anyone smile. You want them to giggle almost every moment. You enjoy their self-weaning time. Watching them wean on their own like a drunk little person taking food to their mouth and all over their face.
- As a toddler, making fun of how they talk is so enjoyable. Every word that comes out to their mouth is so cute. Their hugs and kisses are the warmest though very fragile. Isabela has her ways to give sweet little actions when she’s with me.
- At five to ten, they are excited about life. They quickly absorb anything. I enjoy bringing them to hikes, and beaches. It’s so refreshing to teach them how to survive life in a way that it will be easy for them to realize and comprehend. It is their grooming years. Charles right now enjoys sketching and solving puzzles.
- Fiona is now nearing sixteen, and from a little one, she has now grown into a young teenage girl. My happiest day when I first held her always give me that sense of memory every time I see her. I enjoy talking to her about her friends, about her school lessons, her struggles, and her dreams.
I can’t wait to see them experience adulthood, solve problems on their own and have their own family. They are the most fulfilling thing in the world.