(originally posted on January 24, 2011)
To Our Everdearest Zek,
Amazing how time flies!
It seems just yesterday when your mom and I were relentlessly storming heaven with prayers for our first child which we have been waiting for fours years. And now, here you are, seven years old and on the very cusp of boyhood who is raring to explore and discover the world to quench your ever-expanding curiosity and to openly accept more responsibilities befitting your age.
You have brought unspeakable joy and innermost pride in us as your mom journaled your every bit of milestones and achievements. Each single smile and giggle of yours resulted into our own smiles. I can never forget those days when your mom excitedly and proudly narrates to me your gimmicks-of-the-day highlights as soon as I arrived home from my work.
We were blessed to have been given the rare chance to be completely together even as I worked in this foreign land. We have traveled to a few known destinations, enjoying the food and friendly people along the way. We’ve have seen modern and scenic spots as well as traverse through all modes transportation – airplanes, high-speed trains, normal trains, fast ferries, slow yachts, fast cars, slow cars, big bus, small bus, big bus that looks small because of too much people forcefully packed inside, a dirt-bike and a dirty bike.
When you entered your wonder and discovery years, we started to have lots of adventures as we fought each other as Spider Zek and Daddy Oc. We also became buddies and goofed around a lot as Sponge Zek and Patrick Dad only to be each others nemesis once again as Obi Zek Kenobi and Dad Vader. We ruled the Kingdom of Far Far Away as Zhrek and Dadkey and we defended Cybetron from the attacks of the Decepticons as Optimus Dad and Bumble Zek. We raced and won over cars as Lightning McZek and Dator. Sometimes, I stayed on the sidelines to watch you fight the forces of darkness alone as Zek 10. Whew! Being a full-time partner of your heroic pursuits and exploits can be tiring, so in our lives away from our secret superhero identities, we just let ourselves be father and son to thumb-wrestled with each other, play kick-ball while running or visit your favorite toy-shops to look at the latest editions.
Homeschooling is another on-going memorable opportunity for you and your mom to bond in an educational set-up. Yes, there were tough moments and, at times, road-block experiences for her along the way but I stood witness to how far and enriching your sessions with her have been. All your first vocabularies, words, phrases and sentences were lovingly and patiently taught by her. You made her proud with every step of the way. You loved art-attack activities very much and I will never forget you putting a small blanket over you paper and color eagle art so it will not be cold during winter time (Believe me, it speaks volumes about the kind-hearted boy you are J ). We went to a lot of educational places but I will always remember how you felt sad to leave the train museum which you really enjoyed visiting. However, the pinnacle of our joy in homeschooling is the opportunity to be your very first “evangelizers” in knowing our Lord from whom everything comes and to whom everything will end. We have been training you to become a prayerful person in the future who will have a deep personal relationship with Him which is the most important choice you will ever make – to be for Him always, in anything and everything that you will do.
Not all the time was light and warm for us though, and in a way, we thank God that you were spared from the deep hurt that befell your mom and I after your sister Maia’s sudden departure. We know that you continue to miss your sister a lot as you oftentimes asks us when will she come back and how far is heaven so that we can try to fetch her already. In your own innocent ways, you have made her short stay with us memorable for her and I always imagine her looking down after you, totally proud for being your young sister.
As your sibling is just a few months away, your mommy and I are pretty sure that you are going to be once again a great kuya to him/her. You never hide your excitement as you often ask when he/she will be out of mommy’s tummy. But sorry buddy, our new baby is not a quadruplets as you giggly hoped for so you have your undivided attention when he/she finally arrives.
I would also like to take this opportunity to apologize for any short-comings that your mommy and I have shown to you. Particularly for me, I know that you remember the times when I lost my temper and snapped at you during some of our study periods. I promise to work extra hard not to do that anymore so that you will be more encouraged to enjoy your learning rather than to be fearful in forced learning.
Zek, know this well - if I try to narrate all our happy, funny and bonding moments, it would take me more than 7 years to do it. So now I must stop and simply let you know how your mommy and I feel at this moment for you.
We love you so much and we will always love you in our uniquely-for-Zek-only love, as we also have our uniquely-for-Maia-only love and a uniquely-for-new –baby love. There is nothing in this world that can ever take away our love for you, no matter if we are strong and able enough to show it or if we are already gray-haired, toothless and too-old to even remember your name.
So seven years is over and your next 7-year chapter starts today.
We wish you all the best.
God bless you, son.