20 Things Every Parent Should Hear

1. You are a hero for your kids. You are. You're a go-the-distance, fight-the-dragon, face-the-challenges hero for your kids. Taking a beating makes that more true. Not less.

2. We all struggle. Every parent. Everywhere. We all second-guess ourselves. And we all want to quit sometimes. Hold the good times close, and when things are tough, remember, "this, too, shall pass."

3. Finding the funny may not save your soul, but it will save your sanity. Or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, look for the humor and embrace the crazy. Laughter is a lifeline.

4. Every day, you will feel like you have mishandled something. Like you've been impatient. Like you've misjudged. Like you've been too harsh. Like you've been too lenient. You may be right. Apologize if you need to and then, whatever. Seriously. Just whatever. Let it go.

5. The crazy, the crying, the cuddles. The screaming, the sacred, the scared. The minutes, the magic, the mess. It's all part of it. And it's all worth it.

6. Family is the best. Even when it's not perfect. And it's never perfect. Ever.

7. At the end of organization, at the end of patience, at the end of perfection, we die to ourselves. And then love rises from the ashes. It sucks. And then it gets better. And then it sucks again. Still, love rises.

8. You will never regret parenting. Except for the teeny, tiny tons of times when you secretly wonder if you maybe regret it just a little. But, overall, never. And overall is what counts in the end.

9. Parenting is like climbing the big mountain. Look for the base camp. That's where you rest, meet other climbers, take in oxygen and acclimatize. Base camp is what makes summiting possible.

10. You are not alone in this strange, vast, parenting ocean. Even in the dark of night. You are not alone. You're not.

11. Kids know the way to magical and they'll give you a free pass to come along. Breathe in the magic as long as you can, because that same kid is going to poop his pants in just a minute.

12. There's a very fine line between enjoying the chaos and barely surviving. Actually, there's no line at all. It's all mixed up together. That "fine line" thing is a lie.

13. If you pay attention, kids will teach you how to laugh loudly, how to love deeply and how to live fully. They will also ruin all your stuff.

14. Any number of kids is a lot of kids.

15. Look for joy. You'll find it in the middle of the busy. Or under the ridiculous. Or hanging from the overwhelmed in its underpants. Joy's like that. It's in the middle of everything. It's completely unpredictable. And it will surprise you when you're not expecting it. Like vomit and diarrhea, except good.

16. You will fall apart and do it all wrong. Forgive yourself. Ask your kids to forgive you. Set an example of resilient fallibility. Set an example of practicing the art of love -- both loving yourself and loving others. No one does this parenting gig right the first time. Or the last time. Or the times in between. Showing your kids how to keep going after getting it wrong is a wonderful gift to give them.

17. Kids are difficult, gross, confusing and awesome. So are you.

18. Parenting will bring you face-to-face with yourself. It may be terrifying. It may break you. But it will also rebuild you, and you will be stronger than you ever thought possible.

19. Balance is a myth. Parenting isn't a tight-rope walk; it's a dance. Strive for rhythm instead of balance, and trust yourself to move to the ever-changing beat.

20. Yes, you will have days where you wonder where the hell the capable and organized you went. Yes, you will sit on the floor of the main aisle at Target by the check-out area with a child who is thrashing, screaming and calling you names. Yes, you will have to tell your child that the dog is not a napkin and to put down the urinal cake. If you do not do all those things literally, then you will do them figuratively. And yes, you will also hold that child and rock back and forth and tell him you love him and tell him he's safe and tell him you're not leaving even though he will someday leave you. This is parenting. It is tragic and triumphant. Messy and magical. Sacred and spectacular. And it is, always, fiercely worthwhile.




For the last three months, our house has had a revolving door of guests, weekend after weekend, different family members visiting month after month. Which should explain why I am not up to date with my blog roll, as well as updating my own.

I have had the most wonderful 10 days when my parents and brother visited. My Dad just had a procedure done last year that almost did not make their recent trip possible. And so I am relieved when he was pronounced fit to travel. My brother has documented the itinerary in his blog.

It was a constant whirlwind of activities. I had to juggle more balls this time with my same 2 hands. I had to make sure my guests are comfortable at home and are driven to places I had wanted to take them. At the same time, the daily humdrum continues – bento-making, work, kids' activities, grocery runs and domestic duties. It was crazy chaos, but I had the best memories to reminisce now after it was all over.

With my parents outside our home.

Took my brother to see the beauty of !ndigo bookstore.

We had the most awesome brunch at Spencer's at the Waterfront (Burlington).

My brother and sister together with my parents strolled downtown Toronto, on days I had to go to work.

Mom was amazed at the selection we have of Filipino dishes and delicassy.

Had my cousins over for lunch and non-stop chit-chat. Reminds us of the good old days we gather in our parent's house.

My brother jumps on the trampline in my cousin's house.

My niece had her First Communion. It's so nice that my parents and brother got to be part of it.

Typical of our meals.  Lots. of. Food.

My family tried Portuguese cuisine and really enjoyed the experience.  I have wrote about Bairrada Churrasquiera here

I personally enjoyed strolling in the mall with my parents, like we did when were still back home.

Before I sent them to the airport, we stopped by sister's office to say goodbye.  We purposely took picture with the office sign for our namesake - 雷.  This is where we started crying bucket of tears. 

It has been my honour and privilege to have welcome and immersed my family into the life we now have here.  I had the most wonderful time with them, precious moments I will always look back to with fond memories.  I love you guys and I will miss you always.

Happy Mothers' Day!

Motherhood. A child's perspective.