Mom:The Best Title in the World

Won the title,not once but twice:)

My butterfly is starting to fly

Today is her first school field trip to be on her own.

I was supposed to go with her. Though parents were not exactly invited, i had planned on tagging along in my car. Keeping a safe distance so as not to make my presence felt, but watching with an eagle eye to make sure she is safe. I realize no matter how i try to teach her independence, i will always be the first one to break it. I can’t seem to let go. Maybe i will never learn how.

As i watch her get off the car, i saw the excited smile on her face. I knew she was happy Mommy was not going with her. I tried till the last minute, but the forces beyond my control would not let me have my way this time. I knew deep down she was secretly thanking her little brother, but not really being glad that he got sick so i had to stay home with him.

“Mommy, kaya ko ( i can manage). Don’t worry”. I tried a last ditch effort. “If your brother is not sick, would you have really wanted me to go with you? Be honest, i won’t get hurt”. To which she replied , “No, i really want to try and experience being on my own”. And then my son added quite maturely and with an air of wisdom, “Take care of yourself”.

Listening to them, i had this thought: Did i overdo it? Training them to be responsible individuals quite early? For a moment i felt a pang of regret. I want my babies back. The small, cuddly ones who depended on me for everything. But i know i could never have them back. They’ve grown. They are growing. They will grow.

If there is one consolation i get from this heart breaking realization, it’s that i get to see this swift transformation everyday. I have to console myself that at least i get to be there to witness every milestone. At least i get to record everything, like this picture i took of her this morning. The picture that will signify the first of the many school tours that i will no longer be a part of.

IMG_20150205_062654[1]Now i am home writing this blog post and i am very sad. I find myself counting the hours till i can fetch her and treat her for after-school snacks. Anything that would erase this heaviness and make me forget that she’s eleven and that i really can’t do anything about it but to embrace motherhood even more and enjoy her childhood like there is no tomorrow.

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Live while we’re young

What an unforgettable experience. I will always be grateful for that day when i felt the urge to open my face book account to see my daughter’s godfather post a photo of a long  line at the SM Arena  ticket counter. Which led me and my daughter on a much similar line a year after waiting to get inside the venue where our worlds would meet for a few hours as we watch her favorite band in a concert.

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It was one of those moments when i felt like a young girl again. Hand in hand with my best girl, we patiently waited for five hours to get inside. Only by God’s grace were we able to withstand the long hours of waiting. Thanking the Lord for our safety and  good weather. It was extremely humid but it was also cloudy. We were spared from getting sunburned. We never had the urge to go to the restroom which will make us leave our spot and line up all over again. We had no episode of nausea, though we saw a lot of people passing out and requiring medical attention.

Until today, i keep on remembering our moments on that line and i can’t help but marvel at the gift i have received from above eleven years ago. Having her has changed my life in more ways than i could ever change hers. Having your daughter for a best friend is definitely one of the coolest and awesome things you could ever have.

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I think, for me, more than the show itself, i would always cherish those five hours at the line. That line  was a supreme test of patience, positivity, perseverance and above all,  parental devotion.

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There were moms, dads, grandparents who stood for hours with their children. I especially admired the dads who came with their little ones. It was a very sweet sight.

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Behind the railings were the daddies who dropped off their children and opted to stay and wait till the show was over. You could see most of them on the phone from time to time checking if their daughters have already made it to the venue.

In our batch, there were a lot of moms who instantly fell into conversation with one another to pass the time. A camaraderie was formed right away. We were all there for the same reason. We love our children so much to let them miss this milestone. And yes, it is a milestone. Every drop of sweat and varicose vein was worth it when i saw the pure joy in my daughter’s face as we finally entered the venue and found our seats. It was priceless. A year in waiting for an hour and a half concert was worth it.

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And the energy. Oh wow! What great energy. It is impossible not to get carried away. No one would ever believe that these girls waited in line for hours. I could not believe that i am still standing after those endless hours of waiting. How could i sit still when all around me where excited, giddy, cheerful girls who scream at every sound coming from the stage. My best girl is up on her feet and waving her hands in the air. At that moment i realized, i am one of them. I am my daughter’s friend. I am her peer and there is no stopping me from living in that moment.

Oh, to be young and free.

Then the boys came out and what pandemonium! Despite the incessant reminder from the organizers to not stand on the chairs, everyone was doing the opposite. The helpless security just stood there with a resigned look on their faces. I couldn’t even stop my daughter from doing so because we will not be able to see a thing as everyone, yes everyone, even those at the front were standing on their chairs. And so i found myself breaking the rules and enjoying every minute of it. Standing on my chair, waving my hands in the air like i just don’t care.

How liberating!

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I sang. Yes, i know the lines. I danced. Yes, i did manage not to fall from my chair as i did. I screamed. Yes, i did, for the boys were really cute. And i got teary eyed as i stole a look at my daughter and saw her crying happy tears. At that moment, i was just so grateful.

I thank Harry, Liam, Niall and Louis ( also Zayn though he broke my daughter’s heart for leaving the band) for making my daughter happy. I thank them for an awesome show and for thanking us ( the moms, dads, grandparents) who patiently and lovingly supported our children in their devotion of their group. It was really sweet of them to mention us. To quote my daughter, ” Aww, they are really good boys”. They have won our hearts the second time.

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If i would describe the concert in one word, it would be amazing. But to describe our experience in one word would be impossible. Perhaps the best fitting definition would be it is one for the books. An experience so unforgettable that the story behind it would surely be passed on to my grandchildren.

I had monumental fun. My daughter and i both did.  And no, i didn’t use any earplugs. Totally ignoring the strong advise of friends. They wouldn’t have worked anyway. And what use would i have of them with all the screaming that i did.

Live while we’re young, right?

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I am Me

For the past eleven years, i have been getting a lot of educating from the most unexpected and amazing teachers i have ever had. My children. Unknown to them, they have taught me the richest, most valuable, humbling and life changing lessons in life. And i have a feeling i will be needing their expertise for many more years.

This morning another lesson was taught to me. This time, my son has brought along his little friends to teach me the value of becoming myself. The best version of me.

I have four more years till i reach that phase they call “middle age”. But there are times when i feel that i am already at the foot of that bridge. With a college diploma, a former career in broadcasting, a freelance job, a life of a full time Mom, a happy marriage and a wonderful family, there are times when i still feel the need to ask the questions…

Who am I? What makes me special? What can i do?

I ask not because i am lost. I ask because sometimes no matter how fulfilled i am, i need to remind myself of me. That underneath the dishes to wash, laundry to fold, beds to make, articles to write, and events to dress up for, there is that person who is so unique that there is no other individual on earth who was made exactly the way i am. That everyday i am given the grace, a new opportunity  to be the best that i can be.

This morning i had the privilege of meeting the most confident and  happiest people on earth.

They are strong. They are brave. They are cute. They are happy. They are thoughtful. They are smart. They are helpful. They are special. They are proud. They are super. They are lovable. They are kind.

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They are the preschoolers of Creative Explorers. Our son’s preschool. Our daughter’s alma mater.

They are themselves. So simple. So exact. So true.

So innocent.

“When i grow up, i want to be a firefighter so i can put out the fire”. To dream of becoming someone with the intention of helping others. How many of us still have that purest of intentions?

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So candid.

“I want to be a doctor, so i can inject people”. That one was greeted with cheerful laughter and applause from the audience :)

So truthful.

“I am special because Mommy loves me”

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So confident.

” I can sing”.

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And i realize it is never that difficult to be just like them. I live with them. Everyday, i have this precious gift of time to learn with them, laugh with them, cry with them, sing with them, dance with them, play with them, make a mess with them, create art with them, build memories with them. Be myself with them.

Today, our son together with his friends bade goodbye to another school year. They were now ready to move up. So ready that even if the lights were suddenly turned off on that stage, they would keep on shining for their light would be enough to fill that entire hall with their brightness.

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The graduating class’ song perfectly defined who they are. “Liwanag sa Dilim” ( Light in Darkness).

So much enthusiasm. Brimming with optimism. Simply contagious.

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I can be who i want to be.

“I’m the world’s greatest. I am an eagle. I am a tree. I am the river. I am the sea. I am the sun. I am the moon. I am the star. I am Jupiter. I am Mars. I am you. I am me. I am the most beautiful. I am the strongest. I am the most important”.

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What a blessing to witness this milestone. To see these little heroes at their best. Yes, they are heroes. For everyday they save someone from sadness, from negativity, from being ordinary, from gloom.

Teacher Giselle Elgincolin.  Founder and Directress of Creative Explorers School for Children. One of the most passionate and dedicated teachers that i admire.

Teacher Giselle Elgincolin. Founder and Directress of Creative Explorers School for Children. One of the most passionate and dedicated teachers that i admire.

To have our little boy among these promising and gifted children. To hear them speak of the joy of life, of God’s goodness, of who they are, of their dreams, of what they can do and of what they can become. What a heart changing experience. In two hours, i have learned so much, more than i have ever learned in one college semester.

A valuable life lesson.

And for this, i am thankful for every teacher who has taught, inspired, loved and encouraged my children to be who they are are, to be the best that they can be, to celebrate their uniqueness, to never stop exploring, to continuously yearn to learn.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Parenting is a whole lot more enjoyable and fulfilling with you.

The passionate, energetic, pretty and vibrant teachers and staff of Creative Explorers

The passionate, energetic, pretty and vibrant teachers and staff of Creative Explorers

But the biggest thanks i reserve for my little teachers. Thank you for for being you. Thank you for teaching me that there is no other person i would rather be, than me.

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“I am the smallest thing that you love and the biggest thing from above”.

Yes my darlings, you are. No matter how big you’ll get, remember this:

You will never be ordinary. You will never be small. You are God’s masterpiece. You are unique. You are you. The very best there is.

Because of you, i know that i am too.

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A mother is never ready

A mother is never ready.

No she never is.

A mother is never ready for every birthday.

No she never is.

She may throw a fantastic party complete with all the trimmings

But when the last guest leaves and the celebrant falls asleep

She sits quietly in a corner

trying to forget

that her baby is now a year older.

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A mother is never ready

no she never is.

A mother is never ready

for every school year to end.

No she never is.

When the last of the school things

have been sent home

She fights back the tears

that are starting to form.

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Hurray! Summer is here

But while everyone is in good cheer

Busy at play

and having fun all day

She sits quietly in a corner

wishing she will feel better.

Because she knows that when summer is over

she will be saying goodbye

to another batch of toys

that will never be played with again.

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A mother is never ready.

No she never is.

A mother is never ready for Moving Up days

No she never is.

Though she will dress up in her best

With her camera tucked in her vest

She will discreetly dab a hankie  to her eyes

To keep her tears from flowing.

Still her face is glowing

She smiles for she is truly happy.

She beams with pride

As her babies go up that stage

But in her heart there is a certain sadness.

Her babies have grown

and are now ready to move on.

But her feet are somehow stuck

Is there any way to go back?

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A mother is never ready.

No she never is.

She is never ready to

end a chapter

celebrate a milestone

move on

No she never is.

Still she knows that she needs to.

With open arms she has to.

For as long as there are memories to keep

and days to make new ones

In perfect peace

she will sleep.

But not without a silent prayer

for a fresh batch of grace

that the next time she needs to be ready

She will have the heart to be.

But that

in all honesty

I feel will never be.

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A “Fair” to remember

This February, our family was treated to two creative and innovative school fairs. What a super cool way to celebrate the month of love.

Our first treat came as we celebrated the 12th birthday of our our son’s school. And boy, they do know how to throw a really awesome fair! Even old students are welcome and every year i see kids from previous batches including our daughter who always looks forward to visiting her beloved preschool.

This year, the theme was ” I love HUE”. From the gate, guests were already treated to cheerful bursts of color. Truly, the color of love is not just red:)

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The passionate and dedicated Teacher Giselle Elgincolin.

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Each child is given a ticket with photos of the different booths. All photos should be stamped after visiting each booth to get a special token:)

Our family has been attending this annual fair for the past 8 years but each event is always a new experience for us.  As my daughter would say each year, “That was an awesome fair”. Which she would say again the following year. It just gets better and better!

What i personally love about it is the passionate involvement of everyone into making each fair memorable not just for the students and teachers but for the whole family as well.

  The decoration, posters and artworks were made by the students and teachers. Every family was  given a schedule to man the booths. Truly, there is no excuse not to have an amazing time on this awesome day!

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The rainbow fishing game

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Aside from having fun,children learn the value of recycling plastic bottles at the Heartastic Bowling game booth:)

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Why buy a sun catcher when you can make one?

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Then there is the Talent Show. Current and old students are welcome to sign up for it. Even family members are welcome to join. Though this is not a contest, performers are so inspired and eager to show their very best. As the children cheer for their own classmates, you would really feel the strong bond among the students.

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That’s our son singing and dancing to the chart topping hit, Beat it.

That's our son singing and dancing to the chart-topping hit Beat It.

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The host and over-all talent show coordinator, Teacher Gilette Santos.

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And what is a fair without the goodies? For the “hungry HUE”, families were treated to a delicious selection of comfort food. There were hot dogs,corn, baked macaroni, donuts, siomai and healthy refreshments. Yum!IMG_20150214_083423IMG_20150214_084005

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It was definitely a blast! We were one of the last families to leave but we left happy and with an armful of goodies. Truly, it was was time well spent.

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Our next stop was our daughter’s  “MASCIYA fair”. It is an annual school fair to celebrate Math and Science as the really cool and fun subjects that they are. If truth be told, i have never enjoyed learning about Math and Science as a student until i was introduced to this really awesome concept:)IMG_20150220_102736

What made this years’s event more special was that the students were given the opportunity to conceptualize their own games, as well as to make and decorate their own booths. How cool is that? :)

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My daughter with her team mates manning the “Mixers Game”. A very easy but tricky game to test the memory. You simply memorize the location of all the cards with the different water forms, then put them face down, mix it and make sure you get 3 matching water forms. For example, Ocean-salt water. Awesome!

Just like in our son’s school, this fair is a community effort. It had an atmosphere that of a really jolly county fair complete with stuffed toys and candies as prizes:)

All the booths were carefully thought of. With each one highlighting Math and Science lessons. There was this one booth called Hit the Target where you first have to answer a set of  Science related questions from 3 categories. I chose the “Easy” category. What can i do, Science is not my best subject. The really embarrassing thing was, i even failed to answer the last question that would qualify me for the next round. Darn! But hey, i got to try again (choosing the easy category again) and finally made it to the final round, which was hitting the target and getting a prize:)

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Of course, my favorite booth was my daughter’s booth. It was one of the easiest and the cheapest game ( at 2 pesos per try). She told me that it was really the intention so they would get more customers and more votes. You see, there is a prize for the “most loved booth”, which she and her team mates won:)

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For the first time in an “x” number of years, i actually enjoyed doing Math! Thanks to the innovative and super cool grade 6 students who thought of the game “Bowl-A-Math-A”. I played the game thrice and had to stop so i can give chance to others :)

Reusing clean and empty Yakult bottles, the objective is to bowl over the bottles  and answer a mathematical question correctly. I was so happy that i got the correct answer i literally jumped for joy. That was a first for me where Math is concerned. English and Social Studies are my strongest subjects :)

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I had so much fun that i even ended up buying a tub of soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies that were meant as a prize ( one piece for every correct answer!) just because time was up and i couldn’t play anymore because they had to close the booths already.

At the close of the fair, earnings were divided equally among the team members. What a cool way to learn entrepreneurial skills!

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Awards and recognitions were also given to the most creative booth, most loved booth as well as the winners of the Math and Science quiz bee.

It was scorching hot that day, but i don’t think anyone minded. Everyone was just busy having fun, being kids and being in the company of those whose passion is to give a different kind of learning experience to these amazing children. I had loads of fun. More fun than i ever had in my own school fairs. Definitely looking forward to next year.

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Are the students in progressive schools having too much fun?

Originally posted on What is a Progressive School?:

It is a common misconception that a progressive school is one big playground where kids are just playing all day, not memorizing enough info and are just too free… like wild animals in the jungle. Though it is tempting to make a huge playground for them to play in all day (because what’s wrong with that??), progressive schools defy the old adage that learning is not supposed to be fun.

1. There’s no structure. Every school curriculum has structure. There are class schedules and routines,  scope and sequence charts and developmental checklists. Without these structures, we cannot reach our goals. Why doesn’t it look structured? Because the teachers make sure that the schedules, plans and activities are holistic. There are downtimes, creative times,  and play time… things needed in a child’s school day.

2. The students are too rowdy and noisyI’m all for obedience but Im also all for being…

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Aginaldong Adarna: Nov.15-Dec.18

inmyquietlittlecorner:

Another book shopping spree for my bookworms and me :)

Originally posted on The Adarna House Blog:

Christmas-Sale

Ramdam na ba ninyo ang paparating na Pasko? Kami rin, ramdam na namin! Kaya bilang maagang pagbati sa inyo, aanyayahan namin kayong dumalaw sa aming showroom mula Nobyembre 15 hanggang Disyembre 18 para sa Aginaldong Adarna, ang aming taunang Christmas Sale!

Dahil magtataas na ang presyo ng aming storybooks sa sunod na taon (Php 79.00 na bawat isa), ito na ang huling pagkakataong mabili sila sa halagang Php55.00. Magtataas rin ang presyo ng board books (mula Php 95.00, magiging Php 99.00), kaya ito na ang panahong mamakyaw ng Unang Aklat boxes! Tulad ng iba pang Christmas packages, limitado ang bilang ng mga ito, kaya’t pumunta nang maaga para hindi maubusan.

Maganda rin itong pagkakataong magbahagi ng mga biyaya. Bahagi ng kinikita ng aming showroom ay napupunta sa Adarna Group Foundation. Taon-taon din kaming nakikipagkatuwang sa Jollibee Foundation, kaya maaari kayong magdala ng mga hindi na ginagamit na laruan, libro, o damit para…

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Bittersweet

Celebrating my children’s birthdays will always be bittersweet days for me. While i busy myself with the preparations, deep inside my heart is crying.

Tomorrow my son turns five.. Last night, his prayer before dinner went like this: “Lord, thank you for this beautiful day. Thank you for my birthday. Please let it be my birthday already. I’m still waiting for it. I’m excited to be five years old already. Thank you for my party and my parents. In Jesus, mighty name, i pray. Amen.”

I was smiling while my eyes were closed. I didn’t open them right away, for i was afraid the tears that welled up inside might fall. i didn’t want to dampen that very cute and light moment.

But now, i let the tears flow.

Five? How can my baby boy be five already? Why did he have to grow so fast?

Those sleepless nights seem so far away now, but to me it feels like it was just yesterday when i first held him in my arms.

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My sunbeam. Yes, that’s how i call him. For he is the sun in my darkest days. The ray of sunshine in the midst of cloudy days. He is that one bright light shining just for me during a downpour.

Darling, tomorrow you will be a year older. Growing bigger. Shining brighter.

Though my heart aches, it swells with pride too and bursts with so much love for how wonderfully you have grown. I know God has you in the palm of His hands and He has great things in store for you.

But for now, let me hold on to the baby you once were. Let me cuddle and sing you lullabyes. For i can’t say goodbye to those days yet.

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There will always be a child in you (there has to be)

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These are Yellow and Keisha. My childhood dolls. Yes, even at my age of 36 with two children and a husband, they are still with me. They are my saving grace, apart from the many graces that God sends my way each day that i am almost tempted to sink into my shell and to never come out again.

Yes again. Even moms and wives need to hold on to that precious chapter of our lives called childhood. It is very important that we take a moment to stop and try hard to remember those carefree days when all our cares were easily taken cared of for us, by our own mommies and daddies. 

Yes again and again. Even moms had moms and dads who doted on them. No matter how strong we may seem now, there was a time when we just needed to cry a little and then big strong arms would be wrapped around us. There was a time when all our heartaches were mended by those soft, warm hands and soothing voice.

Yes. There are days ( so many of these days) when i long to be back in the safety of my childhood home. There are nights ( oh so many of these nights) when i desperately want to retreat to my own bedroom. 

Oh what i would give to just be able to have one day of my childhood back. Just one day.

Waking up to the gentle sound of my Mom’s voice. Breakfast waiting on the table. Music filling the house. No cares. No worries. No heartaches. 

Now, all i have are memories. But i am thankful i have them. And a few treasures to remind me that once i was a child who was loved and treasured.

Yes. We have to remember this every single day, in the midst of the life we have now. 

I was once a child who was adored and thought the world of, despite my flaws.To two proud individuals, i was perfect. No matter what.

Now there are tears in my eyes as i write. Suddenly i feel tired. And scared.

And now i snuggle close to my childhood treasures and try hard to remember that once i was a child, and everything was alright.

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Why i bought tickets to the One Direction concert

As a young girl i knew how it felt to be an adoring fan. I knew how it felt to have the urge to scream, giggle, laugh and cry at the same. But i also know that not all girls go through the same phase. It just so happened that i was born with that extra female chromosome in me that makes my eyes twinkle, my heart beat faster and my body move to the beat of my favorite music.

Even if i was all these things, i turned out alright. Yes. I grew up very well. I finished school. Got my degree with a few awards and recognitions in between. I had a bright career. Married well and now have two amazing children.

And one of my darling angels, turned out just like me. Yes, she is the same giggling, starry-eyed, fan-girl her Mommy was. And still am, by the way.

Just like me, my princess had her heart smitten too. Thrice actually. Troy of High School Musical had it first. It was short lived though. Then Justin Bieber claimed the spot for a couple of months until my daughter realized that his music is getting too mature for her taste. And now five handsome and talented lads have claimed it and i must say this has been the longest by far.

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Through it all, Mommy was with her. Smitten too. Singing and dancing with her. Oh we had lots of happy times and all these are kept in our memory chest.

Now, is this the only thing my daughter is about? Nah, of course not.

Yes she is all these, but so much more. My daughter is a straight A student, very creative for her age, an annointed writer, an artist by heart. Best of all, she has the purest of hearts. While she screams and giggles over her favorite boy band, in her heart she knows that Jesus is her real superstar.

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She is not misguided. She is NOT cheap. She is a perfectly normal young girl with a passion so deep for the things that she loves. She IS normal. Her youthful energy is directed to where it is supposed to be. Enjoying her childhood and adolescence. Something that many of us have missed. Either by force or by choice. And i am not going to rob her of the once in a lifetime  opportunity to enjoy hers.

What’s not normal is people finding the bad in everything. Criticizing others for the things that make them happy. Wallowing in negativity because they can’t find it in their hearts to let go and be happy for others. Judging. Never having the urge to let their hair down, dance, sing and to shout for joy. This to me is SAD. And in my book, this is NOT normal.

As with my past idols who went astray, got into trouble and pretty much messed up, i didn’t turn out to be like them. What they did with their lives beyond the beautiful music that they make, i didn’t delve into. My fascination with them didn’t define what i will  be. And my daughter’s passion towards her current favorite band will not define who she is. So if in the future, or maybe  already at present, the stars that she love will lose their way, it will not destroy the solid character that she already has.

I remember screaming my heart out while i watched the old, black and white videos of the Beatles when i was in High School. By the way, much as i love and will always love the greatest band in history, they were not the first boy band in my life. Menudo occupied that space. I fondly remember too how my parents indulged the fan girl in me by buying me long playing albums and posters of them. I was eight years old. And i turned out to perfectly normal and decent.

From Menudo to the Beatles, New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys, i was a consistent fan. And when i look back on all those years, there is always a smile on my face and a tug in my heart for i know i can never bring them back.  For a few hours maybe. You see, when the New Kids and the Backstreet boys went here for a concert, i didn’t miss it.  How could i?  Ahh.. to be young and free…..

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So to all my fellow Moms and Daddies too who would do anything for their children’s happiness, i salute you. No one has the right to judge our children for what makes them happy. And no one has the right to judge us  for the way we love our children.   To those who judge, i have five words for you, “live, laugh, love, DANCE and SING!” It’s a beautiful world :)

toay i will chose joy

Oh and before i forget, the reason why i bought tickets to the One Direction concert is this: My daughter loves them, i love her, and so i love them too. It’s something that is waiting to be kept in our treasure trove  of memories.  And by the way, they are super duper cute too!

Still a fan girl and always will be:)

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