Raising Boys

Posted Friday, February 27th, 2009 at 09:58 AM


Caleb’s hitting the big milestone of 5 years old got me thinking about parenting.

Family Photo
My brothers and I really know how to make a memorable Christmas photo

My parents raised 3 boys. Not only that, but the Filipino/Asian dynamic meant that they also co-raised 6 other boys. Two of my aunts and uncle’s families were also made up of 3 boys, all around the same age. And we also at each other’s houses raising boy chaos. We went through some old home videos once and found some footage of an old road trip my parents took us on when I was about 9. This meant Lem and Oliver were around 5 and 4, respectively. One scene had the 3 of us jumping up and down on a hotel bed, throwing sheets and pillows around, striking super-hero poses, and causing a huge ruckus. It then panned over to the other queen bed, where my parents were laying under the blankets, watching TV, exhausted from a day of walking and sight-seeing–totally impervious to the complete devastation going on around them.

As we got older, the playing changed somewhat, but the spirit of carnage remained:
Dad is tied up
The Malabuyo men, Davao City, Philippines, circa 1999

But it all paid off – now that we are all grown and have been successfully launched into adulthood, my parents can bask in the delight of 3 grown sons who love and respect them:
Dad's graduation
Us embarrassing our parents at dad’s graduation from seminary

I now have 2 boys of my own, and while I remember mentioning when Caleb was a baby that I found a new appreciation of my parents now that I had a son, now that I have two sons I am ready to stand up and give my parents an solid ovation.

There’s really no way to fully appreciate what your parents do for you until you become one yourself. The sleepless nights, endless diapers, constant wrangling, stress of keeping them alive – they are all just words on a blog post until you have experienced (or…are experiencing) it first-hand. Caleb and Tyler are both under the age of 6 and I can already tell that the fun is just beginning. Tyler isn’t old enough to give Caleb a fight, but when he is, it’ll be fun to watch. While I can destroy Caleb in a wrestling match, he can certainly outlast me – the kid can wrestle for days after I certainly would drop dead from exhaustion.

So here’s to you, mom and dad. You survived raising 3 boys and were rewarded with our sister, Rachel, 10 years later. Wow, just think if you had another boy…

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