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  Two wheels or not two wheels

I would like to share with you a proud tatay moment. It didn’t seem too long ago that my little boys were in need of diaper changes and milk bottles in the middle of the night. It didn’t seem that long ago, that I had, with great nervousness, watched them take their first steps. It also didn’t seem too long ago that I had encountered a food fight that involved 3 toddlers and 3 bowls of spaghetti. It was not pretty.

It seems that we are now in the next stage of their young life. First words were spoken; skateboards, basketballs and bikes are now the main choice of toys, where before it was colourful plastic trucks or soft furry music playing animals. The kids have grown up, in what seemed to be a blink of an eye. At times they can have attitudes, other times they will give you a hug if they think you need one. Personalities have emerged and little men they have become.

Which brings me to my proud tatay moment. Last weekend, we started closing up our cabin for the winter. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon. The sun was warm and the leaves had started changing to a yellowish brown. I was working on the roof, while my wife, Elizabeth, took care of the inside of our summer home. The little ones were playing on the quiet street.

I stopped what I was doing to reflect to this past summer.

What a summer it was.

This was our first year owning a cabin. And before I go any further, I have to say; I never knew what the attraction was to have a summer getaway, until now. The life that you live, outside of the hustle and bustle of the city is something that I will cherish forever. It’s a combination of the complete peace and quiet, the assurance in knowing that your child is safe to play in the street or to wander and explore the world in which we live, or that we have the opportunity to grow together as a family. No TV’s, no computers, no stress. Our entertainment was endless hours of conversation around the campfire. Man, I wish our summers lasted much longer!

Gavin, who was biking down the lane on our neighbour’s bike, interrupted my daydream. That was a common occurrence as he loves to bike. He has worn out his back tire and training wheels on his bike that we had bought earlier this year.

Little did I know, my neighbour had taken the training wheels off the bike so that he could teach his grandson how to ride on two wheels the day before. Not knowing this fact, as I looked closer and noticed that Gavin was cautiously moving forward on a bike with no training wheels, I became speechless, the only word I could mutter was my wife’s name. We both ran to the street and watched in awe. There he was going up and down the street, more confident with each pass. Soon enough he was holding on with one hand and waving with the other. This kid, at 4 years old has got talent! Now, I am sure this isn’t the first time a 4-year old rode a two-wheeler, but nevertheless, it was a proud tatay moment.

Before I go, I want to express my fondness of being Filipino. This past summer, as you know, we spent a lot of time at the cabin. During that time, we had put our running shoes aside and used our slippers to walk to the beach. Here is where my Filipino pride kicks in…why is it that we Filipinos can run or play basketball in chinelas? I have seen it many times; friends playing ball in front their house, wearing thong sandals, not high-tops, not Air Jordans, but chinelas. I believe it is a talent to just be able to walk in those sandals let alone run. I can even hear it now, click clack click clack, there is that distinct sound when you know someone is walking in sandals. Filipino’s Got Talent!


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