The Oldest Story We Can All Relate To

Inspiring stories about parenting, its challenges, and how people are able to deal with it are all over but there is one particular story that has become my favorite.

There once lived a couple who never had a child. They were already old and the idea of having one seems more impossible as years go by. The day, however, came when someone paid a visit and who then told the husband that they will soon have a son.

His wife who overheard the conversation couldn’t believe her ears. The news to her was unreal. She believed that she cannot bear a child anymore but her husband who is a man of big faith knew otherwise.

And a miracle did happen. The once childless couple soon became a parent of a son. He was a gift and they love him so much.

Years passed and something would put them to the test. The man was told that their most cherished son needs to be offered and he received instructions how it would be done.

The fateful day arrived. Overcoming sadness as well as reluctance the man proceeded as planned. Taking his son with him he climbed the mountain where everything would take place. All set, the altar ready and his son tied up, the man raised his knife to execute the ultimate sacrifice.

Just as he was about to take his own son’s life, a voice from heaven soon thundered as an Angel ordered, “You have proven yourself. Let go of your son and from the bushes you will find a lamb. Use it instead as your offering to God.” This is the story of the couple Abraham and Sarah and their son, their only son, Isaac.

I never knew that a story from the biblical period, one that I have read to our son several times before, will soon be the same as our condition sans the altar and the need to slay a son–even a poor lamb. The similarity is in how an unexpected situation would test our faith.

It was how it felt like when my wife and I first learned about Marcus having a progressive crippling condition. We questioned God, we asked so many questions. We asked why us. We asked why of all children, why Marcus. We hoped that we would soon find the answers.

For now we cannot do anything but accept the fact that this predicament we are in is a test–a rather difficult one–that we need to pass. It is our own cross that we need to carry and a monster that we should face boldly. We must remain steadfast with the heartbreaking fact that we will eventually lose our only son because of Duchenne Muscle Dystrophy. I know that this is also the same feeling that others have whose lives of their loved ones are threatened by conditions like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Such unfortunate circumstance made the recently concluded Father’s Day more meaningful to me. While until now I continue to strive to be that ideal father, I know that I have found my purpose in life: to be a good father that Marcus needs to have whether or not that angel from heaven comes down and tells us, “You’ve passed, you will have your beloved son back.”

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Mood: 6/10 Honks! (He told his mother that he finds it hard to wake up from bed.)

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Enter the Exit

“Daddy, that’s exit! Wrong way yan!” protests Marcus upon seeing the big EXIT sign as I make a turn to the Greenfield toll gate during a recent trip to Nuvali. Wow, the kid has a point. Among the confusing road signs that we have (which we have a lot by the way) here in our country is the EXIT. Why? Can you recall seeing a toll gate sign that says ENTRANCE? Well, I may not have been paying attention but I can’t remember seeing one.

And I am not alone because I know a lot of drivers would agree. For example, “to go to SLEX (South Luzon Expressway), use the Carmona EXIT,” “If you’re coming from Batangas, you can go to Festival Mall via the Alabang EXIT” are just two examples of common direction instructions that mention EXIT whether that’s coming from or going to the expressway way. Either way, we just neither have an Alabang ENRANCE nor an SLEX ENTRANCE. So can we blame kids as young as Marcus to have the impression that their dads who have been their role models of a good driver—all the others are irresponsible, aren’t they?—are now obviously violating a traffic rule?

The immediate answer of course would be to explain it to them. But would it be plain and simple? I doubt it. It would take some more road trips, and similar you-are-wrong objections, before we can finally make them accept that what they have seen on the ‘opposites’ segment of their educational videos do not apply all the time. Yes, the opposite of ENTRANCE is EXIT but for some reason people who designed the toll gates didn’t consider that there will be parents with mini backseat drivers, who will start to learn how to read, and who will sooner or later question why in the world is his father entering a way with a big and clear exit sign. Good luck to us.

To all dads who will be on the road, happy father’s day! And I hope you don’t miss the exit…or entrance…to your destination.

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Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Got a mini LED key chain with my name on it as father’s day gift from wifey. Yesterday, Marcus gave me a car. Toy car.)

You Become a Father When…

…you start caring for a small bundle of joy.

…you gladly forego your own sleeping time in order to watch the new occupant of your bed slowly settle to dreamland.

…you hate leaving home because there’s now another hand waving you goodbye.

…you visit playgrounds with just a slight yank from fragile yet convincing hands.

…you realize how hard it was then for your own father to raise you.

…you stop being the king of the remote control and that the winner is one who does not even have to speak…and it’s not even your wife.

…you shamelessly sing a nursery hymn on short notice…anytime, anywhere.

…you watch what you’re saying because a pair of tiny ears listens.

…you watch what you’re doing because little eyes are intently watching.

…you enthusiastically mount a basketball hoop in your yard…and you don’t even play the game.

…Barney, Mickey and Baby Einstein just pushed your Braveheart, Top Gun, and Saving Private Ryan DVDs deeper into the back of CD shelf.

…your Last Song Syndrome is not the latest rock music but the Alphabet song.

…you stopped hating noisy kids in the church because you’re now constantly running after one.

…you shift to buying the smaller Happy Meals…not because you’re on a diet but just because you want a toy to come with it.

…you have now mastered dealing with a formula…and it’s not math.

…you wake up at 3 AM just to blog how it is like to become a father. Happy Father’s Day to everyone!

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Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Grabbed another oatmeal cookie to keep me company.)