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A Date to Remember

“I have a date with a cute boy tomorrow. I’m so excited,” I texted a friend last Thursday. My friend was intrigued and started grilling me if this “guy” was “the one”! Er, I don’t think so!

I spent Friday afternoon in the company of 4-year-old Luis and it was one memorable day for me. I never thought baby-sitting could be fun and fulfilling, until I met the Paderes kids–what are smart and sweet bunch they are!

When I arrived at their house, Luis was hiding inside a tiny space in their cabinet! After giving me a warm welcome, he proceeded to show me his jumping skills–ranging from super-duper high, to super high, to medium high and low. He could also do a mean back roll! (His father wanted to name him after Bruce Lee, but changed his mind, you see.)

Luis Rafael with his book and toy robot (11-04-05)

Luis regaled me with his sharp memory by taking me through his Dinosaur activity book. Wow, he remembered all the instructions his mom gave for every single page and proceeded to correct me when I mis-read one! This little guy remembers everything. More than that, I could sense his deep love for his mom as he recited to me her every word.

During the course of our time together, Luis was coughing and developed a fever, but he never once complained. He was just happy to go to Jollibee and eat Chicken Joy with me. Before the meal, he took my hand and started thanking God for the food. He also prayed that everybody will be well. Before leaving Jollibee, I bought him a toy donkey to remind him of our “date.”

When his mom called, Luis didn’t mention his fever or his cough, or how tired he was, all he said was “Mom, I have a new toy donkey!” When I coaxed him to drink his medicine, he did so without grumbling. After torturing him with three kinds of icky medicine, all he wanted from me was a bedtime story–no, make that 5 bedtime stories! So I read him Bendon the Bear, David and Goliath, Noah and the Ark, Daniel and the Lion’s Den and Jesus’ resurrection, until my voice was almost hoarse. It gave me a new appreciation for the Bible and motherhood!

Luis’s sisters: Fumi and Sofia!


What a privilege it is to be entrusted to care for this little boy even for just a few hours. And what a great privilege it is to have God entrust us with the care of His precious children. Luis is a great kid beause his parents have invested so much in him, even while he was still in the womb. Whenever I visit them, I see how Ate Pia showers him with love and attention, and balances it with discipline every time he’s being naughty. But I tell you, one sweet “soreee” from Luis can melt the heart of the sternest disciplinarian.

And so I went home so full of hope about the future. I used to have this fear about raising a family and all the hardships it supposedly entails. I realize now more than ever that having kids can be a wonderful experience. It will certainly be a challenging one, but I am sure it will bring with it great rewards. Thank you, Ptr. Michael & Ate Pia! Thanks, Luis!

“Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him.” -Ps. 127:3


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