Sunday, May 18, 2008
There are moments in parenting when you just can't help but be proud of your children. Of course I'm proud of my children just for being mine, but there are special times when your children accomplish something that just demands that you take a special pause to shine a light on their accomplishments and give to thanks to the Lord for the goodness He has shown through them. May of 2008 stands out as one of those moments in our family history that I need to give that special thanks to the Lord and to give some props to my children, particularly to my oldest two daughters!
This weekend, our family had the privilege of attending my oldest daughter's graduation ceremony as she completed her Masters Degree in Psychology from Roosevelt University, in Chicago. As we observed the ceremony and watched Coco walk across the stage to receive her diploma, my mind drifted to the first time I took Coco to school almost 20 years ago. It was a tropically hot Manila day, as usual, and Coco and I walked through the streets, holding hands, dodging traffic and chatting about "this, that and the other." When we arrived at her school, I noticed her friends were staring at me, amazed at this man they had heard about but never seen. Coco noticed too, and one of her bolder classmates broke the silence and asked, "Sino yan?" - "Who is he?" Coco responded matter-of-factly, "Daddy ko!" - "My Daddy!" When that didn't seem to satisfy her classmate's curiosity, she looked up at my head and added, "Pero Calvo!" - "But he's bald!" A knowing look and broad smile appeared and suddenly all was well. If she was Okay with my strange appearance, then it must have been Okay for them too!
When I think back to that time of Coco's early grade school years in the Philippines, I think of all the effort Luz expended to make sure that Coco and our second oldest Maris, attended the best schools possible and received an educational foundation that emphasized hard work, discipline, focus and respect - attributes that paid huge dividends and produced much fruit, which we were blessed to see this weekend. Though we couldn't attend my daughter Maris' graduation in South Carolina, we are equally proud of her and see the same fruit produced in abundant measure in her life and work and a continued harvest in our 2 younger children too.
Most of us are familiar with the Scripture that states, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and in his old age, he will not depart from it." This is not meant to be a guarantee, but a principle, and one that is somewhat debated among biblical linguists and scholars regarding the exact application and meaning. Nevertheless, the basic meaning is obvious enough. Children must be lovingly and passionately taught, not just passively and casually observed. Guided by the Scriptures, Luz and I have imperfectly, but enthusiastically attempted to guide our children in such a way that they would make sound decisions based on godly principles and choose the path that God would have them to follow. That doesn't mean that we have agreed with every decision they have made or that we need to, but it does mean that whatever path they may choose, we can be assured that their choice will be made from a righteous basis with a noble intent.
I watched my oldest girl walk across the stage, knowing her mother and I hadn't produced a clone of ourselves but that literally by the Grace and Mercy of Jesus Christ, we had raised a conscientious, motivated and dedicated woman who has her own walk with the Lord and her own calling to fulfil. It is this knowledge that has made me content and an especially proud papa. I just can't help it! Until next time...