“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father…In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.”  Matthew 18: 10-14 

cheaper by the dozen is a movie starring steve martin, bonnie hunt, hillary duff, tom welling among others.  it is a story about a big family that is surprisingly happy despite the daily struggles that come with raising twelve kids in all. the parents dreamt of a huge family, so when the kids start coming one after the other, they decided to move to illinois away from the careers they were more than willing to give up.  all for the family.  until the father was offered a job to coach a prestigious university football team that he was once a part of. this was his big dream and with all the perks that go with the job, it was an offer that he could not resist and wouldn’t not turn down.  but this meant moving away from the home they already learned to love.  even if the kids oppose strongly to the idea to leave behind the friends and the life they knew and were  comfortable with: their simple and ‘chaotic’ rural life in illinois.  indeed, they were happy where they were.

but the father had the final say.  they moved to chicago and no sooner than they had already settled, the mother also had her dream realized.  her book was published and she was required to go to new york for two weeks for a series of book signing and tv appearances to promote her book.  this was were all the problems started.  the father was left alone to take care of the kids and the home.  at the same time he was starting to build up his career as a coach.  not yet adjusted to their new way of life, the kids began feeling neglected and their home was turned upside down.  disorganized, chaotic, and more chaotic than ever.  every one started acting like jerks. 

mark, one of the younger kids had a pet frog named beans which he considered his best friend.  among all the kids, mark felt left out and that nobody cared as much for him.  so when beans died and no one seemed to care how devastated he was, mark ran away, rode on a train headed to his most favorite place in the world-their home in illinois.  this had the whole family rally together and look for mark.  and made the parents realized they made a mistake.  they realized how much more important their kids were than any career in the world.

indeed, all of us have our own grand dreams for ourselves.  it’s not a bad thing to pursue them.  but  we must include this in our list and make it number 1: to be able to raise a happy, closely knitted and God-fearing family, however big or small it may be.  you see, there’s always a retirement in careers.  when we are through, somebody else takes our place at work.  not in the case of parents. because parenthood is a lifetime contract.  at the end of the day, when we are already old and gray; when we are sick and dying;  success in our careers won’t matter much.  but although they’ve already grown, the touch of our kid’s hand to soothe us; the smile that they give back at us to make us feel better; that kiss on our foreheads and the warmth embrace each time they see us.  these are what will matter most.  the love we planted in their hearts, is the love we will harvest at our life’s sunset. 

let us all take time to value our children more.  now is the time.  they are treasures that can never ever be replaced.  they are our dreams come true.  we don’t even have to pursue them at all.  they are already here.  only if we ever look at them and care.  then surely, our life’s midnights will never be cold, alone and lonely.

Hug your child today.  Just a simple gesture.  But it will make a difference.  Not only for your kid…but for you as well.

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