Friday, September 16, 2016

Happy 12th, My Li'l Man!

Happy 12th birthday to my fave son!

I feel guilty that as my kids grow older, I'm no longer as eager to document their days like I was when they were younger. I remember I would have albums upon albums filled with their photos, but that was when I was still shooting with film. Later on, when digital photography overtook film, I would be busy on photoshop making photo journals.

I haven't done that in years. Yet, there is so much I want to document to make me remember.

 In 2013. Taking a photo with all three kids is an exercise in futility.
Just 3 years later, in 2016, R is almost as tall as his achi, who stands 5'6"

During a 2014 photoshoot

In 2015, for the school's Father and Son Camp 

So today, the day my youngest kid turns 12, I am writing a blog post so I don't forget what makes him special this 2016.

2016 has been one of so much changes for him. After all, he has moved on from the safety of grade school to the freedom that is high school.

He has made lots of new friends. His life is expanding beyond the familiar circle of childhood friends whose parents I am also friends with. It used to be that his playdates are planned with my mommy friends, so his friends are basically just limited to the kids of moms who are my good friends.

But just early this year, he asked to go to the mall with his friends to watch a movie. I don't even know the parents of most of his friends anymore. I wanted to be a cool mom, and it was jsut to watch a movie anyway, so I said he can go.

The day came, and when we were about to leave the house, he goes, "Can you just leave me at the mall entrance? You don't have to go in with me na."

I looked at him in disbelief, "Teka lang! Aren't you just 11? You're too young to be walking in the mall alone. I am going with you until you're with your friends."

But he resisted, "Fine. But can you walk behind me. Like be sure to stay far away... can you stay so far away that you only see my head?"

He got a big NO, of course. "Are you embarrassed to be seen with me? Hmmm?"

He denied it, of course. "No! It's just that I'm a man already. You're treating me like a baby."

He's asking for it. "Excuse me, you're 11! You're not allowed to walk in the mall alone when you're 11. In fact, you should be holding your mom's hand." And I moved in to hold his hand.

And just for good measure, I made sure I asked him to kiss me good-bye, too, before I left him with his friends. Ahahaha! Ang OA eh.

Today he turns 12

this photo originally appeared in this post:

Please allow mama to hug you a little tighter and hold on a little longer.  Your body is undergoing so many changes. You grew almost 5 inches in a year's time. Your slim frame is now all bones and muscles. Pretty soon I will be hugging a boy-man... who might not want to be hugged anymore... when other people are around.

Today, I just want to let you know how much you are loved. There are so many reasons because you are so easy to love... but I want to finish this post by tonight. Hahaha!

I love how perceptive you are of my feelings. You always seem to know when I'm sad even if I don't say a word. You just get me, and I can feel how you try to adjust yourself emotionally to accommodate my feelings, even if you don't have to. You never have to, but it's deeply appreciated.

You have a wonderful sense of humor. It is at turns witty, dry and sarcastic. You're quick to give it, and it never fails to make us laugh.

I love how you STILL say you love me. You just blurt it out, and I can feel the appreciation and gratefulness in your heart, from where those emotions are coming from.

I love how you are turning out to be confident in who you are in Christ. Always remember that confidence that is sourced from God has unlimited possibility.

I love that you try to be a good steward of your time, talent and resources. I pray that God rewards you: May He let you realize your strengths, talents and interest early on in life so you don't have to struggle, may He allow you to easily grow into them, and that you will be able to use them to glorify God.

For all of these and a bazillion reasons more, I love you now and forever!

Happy 12th, My Li'l Man!