Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Its  mid-day and my boys are sound  asleep….

It’s a holiday today. I hearken back to the holidays of past and most times would mean I’m out on some adventure trip or probably catching up on the latest happenings at the mall. Today, however, I am in front of my computer in the bedroom standing watch over my sleeping boys. It takes much effort from me to tear away my gaze from the two figures that lie so peacefully in our bed. I am simply amazed how my little baby seems to be just like a mini replica of my husband. The way my Mike’s mouth will seem to pout at something only his dreams would know about is mimicked by my Bonn’s pursed lips suggesting deep sleep and a warning to not disturb. There were some instances that they will make a “grunting sound” almost at the same time and this would bring a smile on my admiring face. They would even roll over to one side exactly the same time.

These days, however, Bonn rolls multiple times and ends up sleeping vertically across the bed. At 5 months old, he stopped sleeping in his crib and moved over between me and Mike on the big bed. Given such new sleeping habit, it has been a challenge for both my husband and I to sleep on very limited space without moving. Bonn’s sleeping needs extend to having a warm body he could easily grab and hug. He would raise up his little fingers unconsciously in the air with that full trust that they will be entwined and reassured by bigger fingers or they would have the feel of a human face he could explore until he falls back to slumber land. With eyes closed, he will feel each finger of yours or the contours of your face and engulf entirely with his tiny hands as if inspecting them for their sincerity and true value. In some instances that he reached out and found nobody there, his disappointed and fearful cries have been heartbreaking.

Sometimes he will have nightmares and his frightened screams albeit asleep have been quite disturbing for his first-time mom. I often asked why should babies have bad dreams given they had such little time to live life yet and develop unpleasant experiences. Still, nightmares or bad dreams are the only explanation I can come up with when he half awakes in the middle of the night demanding immediate comfort. In the morning, however, last night’s unpleasant moments seem to vanish as he opens his eyes and upon gazing at your staring face, he smiles. He is a very happy baby that loves being surrounded by people and loves to smile a lot. He is fascinated by people’s faces and amazed at how the face can come up with a thousand expressions and the mouth move in different ways creating different interesting sounds. He would listen attentively to hours and hours of adult talk probably fascinated and at home with all the chattering. He would prefer to watch adult talk shows over Mickey Mouse with a serious intense focus that parallels someone who understands the conversation and is truly engaged. And yet when he wants to play, he is embodied with a free spirit that lets him just scream and shout in glee. He is so strong and active and he loves to walk around using your feet and jump up and down with your arms lifting him as high as you can. He is quite a handful and at the end of just 30 minutes or so, I would be more exhausted than he is. He will let out a big yawn but would refuse to fall asleep as he is afraid that life will pass him by while he rests. It is these times when I would have to hug him real tight against my bosom, rock him sideways and sing him lullabies. Within minutes, he will close his eyes and fall asleep in my arms comforted by the smell of his mother’s presence and her soft voice.

Mike will arrive home quiet late from work as his travel time usually reaches past two hours one way. I would want him to sleep after dinner but probably given the noise I make with the computer as I work from home at night and the online audio calls I participate in, he prefers to watch TV for a bit so that when he comes up near midnight for bed from the living room, his eyes will simply close from exhaustion and he will fall into deep sleep. That would have been ideal but with Bonn sleeping with us, he wakes up as well with our baby’s hunger cries. The next thing he knew, it will be 530 AM already the following day and it’s time to get up already and go to work. But I guess that is the caveat for working parents everywhere that has to work outside their homes. With this, I slowly realize the importance of a work from home mom like me to our child’s daily development especially with a child like Bonn that yearns human attention 24/7. That is why holidays and Sundays, I make sure my Mike rests and he spends ample time with his son. Because taking care of Bonn and playing with him during these days becomes his vitamins.

I hear my husband stirring from my sleep. He might have been sensitive to my typing sounds and would most likely wake up anytime soon. He usually gets energized with just a 15 minute power nap. My Bonn, however, especially when he sleeps along somebody beside him will sleep for a much longer time. Left alone, he will content himself with 5 minute sleep energizers during the day.

My boys are asleep. I am overwhelmed how I have been entrusted to guard and protect life’s genuine treasures. This is my family. It is with great happiness and joy that I revel in my duty as a wife and mother. Every time I feel discontent creeps in, one look at my husband’s kind face and my baby’s trusting gaze and everything else fades in the background. All is well.

Monday, November 21, 2011

"The Brightest" - A book review

Universality is a concept although widely accepted today has been revolutionary back then.

One of the more major barriers identified has been language.

We are lucky today that language is not as much a barrier now with the technologies that have proliferated the global world assisted by the internet age.

Still, despite these developments, it is a bit disconcerting to have to learn that misunderstanding and confusion leading to the path of war and hate remains.

It is with these thoughts that I believe we hang on to the basics so as not to lose track of the path of good that leads to "home".

This book, "Brightest" captured my attention through its simplicity as it narrates a very familiar storyline of overcoming adversity through just visuals.

In an age where whoever manages to shout the loudest gets immediate attention, this book is refreshing for its  idea that often it is the most quite that actually reaches hearts.That sometimes it is only through  silence that we are allowed  to see the brightest star.

Kids, teenagers of this generation prefer to lock themselves up against what they perceive as the "noise" of the world to a point that sometimes they exclude their own parents.

But in a generation where "visuals" are out in high regard, graphics and illustration seem to be the best way to teach them universal concepts and virtues.

This is exactly what "Brightest" do. It is said that a picture speaks a thousand words.If that is the case then this book of a few beautifully illustrated pages speak volumes.

It is a book I will give a child that has been deafened by the words of today's indiscriminate media to ensure he doesn't lose sight of what's important.

I imagine a child of 3 or 4 raised in the US sharing this book with a foreigner child who does not know English and still have that instant connection.

I highly recommend this children's book to parents and child educators to reiterate concepts of friendship, self-determination, perseverance and Divine guidance.