I remember this day like it was yesterday.
This happened a couple of years ago.
I went home excited, mentally planning our Father-Son trip to the mall. (Each week, I try to have a date with my boys. Sometimes together. Sometimes separately. That day, I was going to have a date with my eldest boy, Bene.)
But as I arrived home and stepped down of my car, my phone rang.
“Bo, are you already at the wedding?” my friend asked me.
“Huh? What wedding?” I asked.
“The wedding of Amina…”
Wham! It was like I was hit by a bat on the head. I totally forgot about the wedding!
How can I now tell Bene?
The little guy was so looking forward to our date.
When I entered the house, I greeted him and said, “I’ve got a problem about our date …” I told him about the wedding.
That was when my wife said, “Son, can you go with Daddy to the wedding? That’ll be your date.” (Thank God for my wise wife.)
A few minutes later, my son and I were riding the car in our matching barong tagalogs.
It turned out that we were early for the wedding, so we walked to a coffee shop beside the church, and talked and laughed together as he ate his favorite cinnamon roll.
The wedding was superb!
It was also a wonderful time for me to give mini-lectures to my little pupil—in whispers at the back pew—on marriage, family, and love.
After the wedding, the reception was at the exclusive Polo Club.
While waiting for the dinner to begin, we had a phenomenal time sitting down on the grass (yes, still in our barongs) under the canopy of stars—and chatted the night away.
“I don’t want to be a cowboy anymore, Daddy,” he said.
“No more?” This was a shock to me. It had been his declared dream ever since he was two. In fact, his first word wasn’t “mama”. It was “horse.” (I’m not kidding.)
He piped up, “I don’t want to be a Cowboy anymore. I just want to ride horses for pleasure.”
“Okay. What do you want to be?”
“A businessman.” (Six-year old kids have a way of declaring their dreams as though it’s as sure as the planet is round. I wonder what age we lose that confidence?)
“That’s great. You can own a ranch. How many horses do you want to own?”
“About ten,” he grinned.
“How will you earn to maintain the ranch?” I asked.
“Kids can ride my horses for P20 each…”
“Uh…, isn’t that a bit too cheap?”
“They can also feed my rabbits if they pay something. And I’ll sell my customers snacks and have a restaurant in my ranch.”
“My ranch will also have an imaginary forest.”
“An imaginary forest. Parents will be afraid if their kids go to a real forest with real animals. So I’ll make an imaginary forest with robotic animals—even some legendary creatures like dinosaurs, unicorns, mermaids,…”
“Yes, because there’ll be a lake in my ranch. With a shipwreck. Kids can also visit the shipwreck.”
After planning for his future, we got our plates and stood in front of the buffet table for the entire evening. Because the food was so fabulous, we didn’t bother to sit down. That night, he ate seven sticks of barbecue and I gobbled up 50% of the European cheeses there.
In other words, my date with Bene was a ball.
If I didn’t have a weekly date with him, how will I know about his dreams? I would have missed hearing that he didn’t want to be a Cowboy anymore, that he wanted an imaginary forest, robotic animals, a lake and a shipwreck for kids to visit and have fun…
I was even more convinced of my family goals when I read the frightening statistics from David Perdew about “fatherless kids”. According to statistics, children from a fatherless home are:
· Five times more likely to commit suicide
· Thirty-two times more likely to run away
· Twenty times more likely to have behavioral disorders
· Fourteen times more likely to commit rape (this applies to boys)
· Nine times more likely to drop out of high school
· Ten times more likely to abuse chemical substances
· Nine times more likely to end up in a charitable institution
· Twenty times more likely to end up in prison for a long period of time
Fathers—and mothers—your kids need you.
David Perdew says we either pay now or pay later.
And when you pay later, it always costs more.
I suggest you pay now.
Have a fantastic 2011—especially with your family.
May your dreams come true,
PS. Never Forget Your Family. Except for God, nothing else is more important. Get powerful inspiration and instruction on how to build your own family. It’s never too late. Log on at www.FamilyReborn.com now!
PS2. By the way, my wife and I homeschool our boys. We know it’s a bit crazy. But I believe it’s one of the best decisions we’ve made. If you’re interested in homeschooling your children, log on at www.CatholicFilipinoAcademy.com now.