The Real Joy of Our Children

So last weekend we found ourselves in Oslob, Cebu on another family trip. We did a host of amazing things with the kids from swimming with the whalesharks to taking a dip under the breathtaking Tumalog falls.  But amidst all those fun things, one event stood out for Troy. Shopping and spending time with me.

On our last day in Cebu, we visited a mall which was right across our hotel. Everyone had their own mission so we decided to split up. Troy decided to go with me since both of us did not have any agenda.  We just walked aimlessly around the mall.  To me, it was not an extraordinary experience as I just shopped like i normally would.  Once in a while, I would ask for Troy's opinion on some products that i liked and he would ask me the same on things that he saw. We walked around chatting and laughing like good friends. As we were heading back to the hotel, Troy was smiling from ear to ear and he suddenly said "You know mom, you're not my normal mommy today". I did not know what he meant so i prodded. He further explained that i was so happy and so much fun to be with that day.  Eeps! That compliment stung a little.  We talked about it some more and i understood his heart.

I have been thinking about what Troy said ever since he said it last Sunday.  I reflected on the many times that we enjoyed things together.  How did that short shopping trip have such an impact on him?  Then I realized that I was a friend to him that day. I was not the parent who had to say "Look only but we're not buying, okay?" when he wanted to look at toys. I realized that I did not treat him like a child when i spoke to him about the things that I bought.  After one of my purchases, i even told him "I'm so happy i am finally able to buy this! I have wanted this for so long!" I did not realize it then but now that i think about it, i realize that it's something i would probably say to Dens but not really to my children.

While our kids need us to guide them since we are their parents, they also need us to be their friend. Time spent with them does not automatically make it 'Quality Time' even if we're doing things that they enjoy. Laugh with them and be silly together. Last night i played Wii with Troy and we had the time of our lives laughing at each other's wrong moves.  I did not try to make it into a teachable moment but simply had fun with him as i normally would with my friends.  I hope that i can consistently be the 'not normal mommy' for Troy.  Someone he would love to always spend time with even when we're not doing anything exciting.  And one day when he is all grown up and still loves spending time with me, that would be such an awesome reward.


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