Sunday, July 31, 2011

Leap of Faith

When I was about fifteen years old, I had my entire life figured out. Like (almost) every other 15 year-old girl on the planet, I wrote in my diary, listing the things that would happen to me: I would get married at 25 - my diary entry said I'd marry Joey McIntyre but whatever - I would have five kids (3 boys and 2 girls; I obviously had no clue what pregnancy and childbirth was be like!), I would be a successful entertainment magazine editor, I'd have a few New York Times best selling novels and thus I'd be rich. I also specified that I'd have a big house, a humungous walk-in closet and I'd have a kitchen that was made for royalty. Bold, right?

Fast forward about ten years later (plus a few more... then add a few more to that...), with a few items crossed out on that list. I did get married at precisely 25 years old, even though I didn't remember anything about my list at the time. It just happened that way, and obviously I had completely outgrown Joey McIntyre by then (my husband doesn't believe me though). I have two kids and not five, and I am completely fine with it. I'm not a New York Times best-selling novelist just yet, but I still hope I have a chance someday, and as for entertainment magazines, well, I'm not an editor, but I do manage a 2-page article about celebrities and the watches they wear. Good enough for me.

I had minimal bitterness about not fulfilling everything on my list. I mean, come on, I was 15 anyway. I realized even then, as I was writing the list, that some of the things I wanted were things I might not be able to accomplish. How much did I really know about life back then? I was just listing things I thought were cool from things that I had read and things I saw on television. But, out of everything I listed (about 25 things), I did have one dream I still wanted. My own house.

When my husband and I got married, we thought we'd be living with his parents temporarily. We gave ourselves two years max to save up enough and go buy our own house. Seven and a half years and two kids later, we still lived with my in-laws and space was running out. Blame it on the economy, blame it on my shopping habits - whatever. We didn't manage to save up what we were supposed to, and we were still living in their house.

When we came into the eighth year of marriage (this year), we finally made the decision to just risk it all and go for it. Sure, we kept worrying about not having enough to pay for everything: the down payment for the contractors, monthly loan installments, the new furniture, while still having to pay for school, art classes, computer classes and ballet lessons for the kids. But a wise person once told us, things only happen when we take that leap of faith. I guess it's like when baby birds are pushed off trees so they force themselves to flap their wings and fly. If their parents never pushed them over the edge, they'd never know they could fly.

Anyway, to cut the long story short, 2 weeks ago, the contractors started building our house. We're ecstatic! We have managed 2 out of the 5 payments to the contractor so far, and afterwards will still have a hefty loan to pay, but things look good. We even have some supporters (who shall remain nameless) who have been so extremely generous to us, so we won't have to worry about a few expenses. We're looking at a completion date of April 2012, which means next year's Christmas dinner can be at my house! Woo-hoo!

I guess what I'm trying to say here is, if you believe it, you'll see it. Take that leap of faith. If you've worked hard and prayed for it, you'll see it happen.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Worry-wart 2.0

It's been ages since I've updated this blog! I can't believe it's been that long! No, wait. Let me rephrase that. I can't believe it's APRIL already! Where did all the time go? How do we just continue to pass through the days just like that.

Since it's April now, I've passed one birthday party already for my daughter - she turned three in February. I feel like I slept through the last year, all of a sudden, boom, she's THREE. She acts and speaks like she's thirteen instead of three though to be honest. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. And even though April has just started, May is just around the corner, lurking around.

May 26th will mark my son Matthew's seventh birthday. He is so sure that we'll through him this huge birthday party at McDonald's now that daddy dearest works there. He thinks that birthdays are the only time we all celebrate him (well, aside from when we celebrate him winning art competitions and stuff) but here's what he doesn't realize: we celebrate every single day of his life.

I'm not going to go into the details of how he was born and stuff because I've written about that a million times already. I don't need to repeat his birthweight and scares and stuff. What I do need to say here is that every single day, I am reminded of how lucky we are to have him, and how worrying really gets me nowhere.

The other day I shared this with my friends: all I have ever wanted (and still want) for Matthew is for him to be normal. NORMAL - in every sense of the word. His birth, his premature condition, his hearing, none of this was or is normal, and I pray everyday that he gets a normal life like every kid in he world. And you know what? He actually is leading a normal life - I've just been to wrapped up in my worries to actually realize it!

A few weeks ago, his teacher sent me a text message, informing me that he had thrown away one of his friends' glasses. At first, I was horrified. My son, the lovable and sweet Matthew, threw someone's glasses away on purpose? He made the kid cry? But then, it hit me. My son was acting NORMAL - he was just following what the other kids were doing. They were all teasing this kid with glasses (poor kid!) and he was just being a part of his group of friends and took part in it too. This sounds TERRIBLE, I know this, but for me, the bigger picture was that he was acting like a normal kid under peer pressure!

If by rejoicing to this fact it makes me a bad parent, well, whatever. What can I say? Call it whatever you want but when you're constantly worried that your kid doesn't turn out normal and he actually goes out and acts normal, how could you not be ecstatic??

For the record, I did apologize to the kid's mother and Matthew did get into trouble for his behavior. He apologized to the kid too, and promised never to do it again. He's back to being that sweet kid again, and I've reduced my level of worry these days. I think.