Of My Son's Birthday, Realizations and Promises

It wasn't long ago when he was just a 9.2 lbs newborn last 2003. Seeing him walk, even bringing...

It wasn't long ago when he was just a 9.2 lbs newborn last 2003. Seeing him walk, even bringing him to school for the first time are still fresh to me.  I even remember how he stunned the audience during his first dance performance in preschool.  Now, he is short of a foot my height and wears pants for the first time as his school uniform.  Signs that he's no longer a "baby" are so evident that it pinches my heart a bit.

Last September 10, my eldest son celebrated his 9th birthday.  I took a leave from the office to ensure my full attention on him on that special day.  For his birthday I thought of doing the following:

Decorate the house- Since he was 4, he gets excited seeing our place dressed up for his birthday.  I use buntings, crepe paper and birthday banners.  
What really happened: The night before his big day, I spent an hour decorating the dining and living area.  The morning he saw it, he SMILED, but he wasn't as WOWed by it anymore.
Prepare him a special breakfast - Seeing his plate-o'-food arranged neatly gives him appetite
What really happened: I cooked his special chicken hotdog and egg for breakfast, molded his 2 small cups of rice, and arranged them to look like a boy's face.  I used a character place mat and poured him water in a goblet (he likes the fancy/fine things).  

Hold a class party - Since he started schooling, he always has a class celebration.
What really happened: He declined this idea.  He said he's already a big kid and there's no need to do it.  He'd rather have something to give out to his classmates.

Lunch bonding at his school's exclusive cafeteria - I thought since he has classes, I will visit him in school during lunch time and buy him his favorite dish at their school's cafeteria.
What really happened: He politely told me that we're having dinner anyway, so if it's ok to just treat his closest friends some snacks.  So I gave him an allowance and he treated 5 of them.
Gift Choosing and Arcade Bonding - After school, I'd bring him to the mall to let him choose our birthday present and go to an arcade where we could have a little bonding.
What really happened: I'm happy that he still liked this idea.  When he came home, he freshened up, changed clothes and asked me  if we're ready to go.  Off we went immediately!  He chose Go-Go's II collectibles as his special gift.

Dinner with the whole family - Since his birthday fell on a Monday, a work/school day, I thought dinner would be the best time to celebrate it complete with the family.
What really happened: After our mall bonding, we took out dinner from his favorite KFC.  We hurriedly went home to see the rest of the family for dinner.  We sang his birthday song, he blew out his birthday candle, ate dinner and ice cream for dessert.

Realizations of a Hurt Mom:
Honestly, I got hurt when few of my plans were rejected by him. I even questioned, 'Is he now embarrassed to be seen with me in school?'  But to feel that would be unfair of me.  I read about child development for 8-9 year-olds and learned that it's normal.   I felt better after reading these facts that at his age, he:
  • Has increased ability to relate to the outside world at school and with friends.
  • Has great desire to fit in and be accepted by their peer group.
  • Has a clearly developed sense of self-worth.
  • Communicates needs, wants and emotions in healthy ways.
  • Values friends greatly and makes them an increasingly important part of life.
  • Shows more independence from parents and family.
  • May express an increased desire for privacy.
What A Parent Can Do:
  • Show affection and recognize his accomplishments.
  • Help child develop a sense of responsibility.
  • Talk regularly about school, friends, and things he looks forward to in the future.
  • Make clear rules and stick to them and be clear about what behavior is okay and what is not okay.
  • Do fun things together as a family.
  • Get involved with his school like meeting his teachers or joining activities.
  • Continue reading to your child.
Learning these things, seeing my son pretty normal and actually doing great at being responsible, obedient and independent, make me so proud of him and ourselves as parents.  I just worry too much sometimes.  With this, I would like to make some promises to myself and to him.  I promise to become a better parent each day; To make myself aware of the changes that he will be going through as he reach puberty; To adjust to these changes and progress our healthy parenting as he grows older; And I promise to listen, encourage,  stand by him, respect, trust and LOVE him come what may.

Happy Birthday to my dear son, Dandre!  I love you very much! 



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70 comments

  1. Michelle Villarta-CabanasSeptember 16, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    I feel the same way sis. Let's just revel in the thought that our children are growing. Let's just hope and teach them to become good persons someday. :-)

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  2. I enjoyed reading your post Sis. I could see how much you are attached to your son and I smile reading all the narration of your activities for the whole day of his birthday. Happy Belated Birthday to your son. He's one lucky son!

    Visiting from BC

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  3. Kids grow up so fast don't they Louise? Perhaps it is about time to start learning to let go and continue supporting hiis interests and trusting him enough that he will be okay in his journey towards independence.

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  4. Khimbyrlee EerlrybmihkSeptember 16, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    The different side of me when I was still a child.


    Good thing you made realizations for yourself.


    I will remember those when I will be having my own. :D

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  5. Hi Khimberlee! I am having mixed emotions actually.. :)

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  6. Hi Sarah, they do. Just reading your "let go" phrase, ouch na naman sa puso ko. But yes, yes, yes, I have to learn and trust him. Thank you thank you for the encouragement. I'm in tears..

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  7. Thanks Krizza, that's sweet of you. I am attached really because he's my first. :) Oh well, like what Sarah said earlier, I have to learn to let go little by little...Thanks for the greeting! :)

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  8. Yes Michelle, let's revel in that and pray that they remember what we teach them so they grow up to be the responsible persons we want them to be..

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  9. Your such a lucky mom... btw: na miss ko tuloy si KFC..

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  10. Thanks Anygen, indeed I am. Yup KFC.. unli-gravy!!! =)

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  11. Nah. I'm afraid to experience this. Haha. Baka maiyak ako when I see my daughter slowly detaching herself from me. I know it's not that bad, but just the thought of things being different from when she was just a kid, when all she ever wants to be beside me, makes me sad. But, at least, I now know it's normal. Thanks to you.


    Btw, sis, I have something for you. Please check this out, because I really think you deserve it!

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  12. Nah. I'm afraid to experience this. Haha. Baka maiyak ako when I see my daughter slowly detaching herself from me. I know it's not that bad, but just the thought of things being different from when she was just a kid, when all she ever wants is to be beside me, makes me sad. But, at least, I now know it's normal. Thanks to you.
    Btw, sis, I have something for you. Please check this out, because I really think you deserve it!

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  13. Happy Birthday kiddo! And about 9.2lbs for a newborn, he is heavy!

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  14. Hi Verna, when he was so much younger, I didn't want to think that it would come to this. Though I've always anticipated it, lalo na boy siya. Well, I'm still learning and relearning all over again on being a parent to him and the little one as they go through the different phases of their lives. Thank you for visiting and the nomination? :) Thanks!

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  15. Hi Ron, Thank you for the greeting and yes a heavyweight through normal delivery! :)

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  16. Wait till he becomes a teenager! I have a seven-year old kid, too, and I am still his only first love, and I am enjoying it, knowing full well he won't be like this in two years haha. I also have two teen girls, a 14 and 16 year old, too. so get in the moment while you can, because kids grow up soo fast!


    Have a blessed Sunday!!!


    Marie (http://www.mommyunwired.com/)

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  17. Happy Birthday Dandre!
    Ambilis lumaki ng mga bata ngayon. Parang kailan lang nasa tyan sila ng mommy then after coming out, hindi mo namamalayan, ilang taon na sila...
    -visit from BCB (9/24)

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  18. Wow! Naiimagine ko na how emotional I could be when my becomes a grown up boy na. Happy birthday to your son!


    Mommy Maye

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  19. belated happy b-day dandre!
    love reading developmental changes of your son

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  20. I wonder how will I react if my son reject what I usually do for him, at seven he still excited whenever I with him in all of his school activities...I guess i shall ready myself at this early para hindi ako ma surprise...:-)

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  21. awww.such a mommy post! We always want our kids to be babies , I know! I think it will break my heart too when my daughter reach this stage but Thats what we have to do, be happy for their own happiness and slightly let them go.

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  22. Yes Sanna.. I'm still on the learning curve.. heck.. it will always be ata.. huhuhu

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  23. I know.. that's how he still was til he was 8 years old. Now he's 9.. i saw some changes..

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  24. awww... i can feel you... iv been feeling the same for my about to be 1 baby... because lately he prefers the daddy already... and his cars.... well i guess i really need to psyche myself na... :-)

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  25. Wait til he goes to school na, then have group of friends and be busy with so many things already. :)

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  26. Farida Jane TiongsonSeptember 26, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    I like the idea of "dressing up" the house for your son. My sister-in-law also does this and the surprise on my nephew or niece's face is always there. Similarly, it adds the festive feeling when one is celebrating the birthday :)

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  27. Hi Farida, nice seeing you again! :) Yup that's the point.. festive mood! :) Which reminds me, I have to put it down later. :)

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  28. Happy birthday to you big boy! I so miss how we Pinoy celebrate birthdays. Spaghetti and chicken, solved na. Visiting from CommEx Sept25.

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  29. Awww...I guess mommy is just feeling nostalgic...kids grow up fast these days...maybe it's time to catch up hehehe. Soon, he will be a man, but with a good mom like you, I know that no matter how he changes, you will always have that special place in his heart. :-)

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  30. Jessel Atonson-RosalesSeptember 27, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    No words can explain how a great mother you are. Happy birthday to your son...

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  31. happy birthday to your son!
    I know your effort is appreciated by your son. Maybe he's growing up and wants to be with his friends. i've been like that when I was in HS

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  32. Your little boy is growing up fast! Soon it will be ......girls! I'm sure he appreciates your efforts even if he rejected some of them.

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  33. I know JellyBelly! :) Waaah I can't take the idea of having girls in the picture...

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  34. Aaaww Anneleia.. how shall I react to that when he's bigger na. :(

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  35. Hi Jessel.. those are sweet words.. thank you so much! That means a lot! :) Thank you!

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  36. Thanks Aileen.. I feel like crying again.. :(

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  37. Happy belated birthday to your litle boy. It's great that you are able to let go and let the boy have the type of celebration that he wished for. Great on you mummy!!

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  38. Thanks Dominique, it was tough "letting go" whew. :)

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  39. Happy Birthday to your son! You do have practical yet very loving ideas in celebrating his birthday.

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  40. Happy birthday little man! :)




    Visiting from ComEx Sept 25

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  41. He's really growing up and becoming more mature. Does he still allow you to kiss him in front of his friends? Or does he still give you a kiss in front of his friends? Some boys decline when older. Happy birthday to your son!

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  42. Yes Chin Chin, buti na lang he still does. :)

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  43. Don't feel sad, he's just growing up :) In time you will find other ways to bond with him and they will be even more special because it's not something that just happens everyday. THe important thing is he was happy on his birthday, and he knows that he has a very loving mom in you. :)

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  44. Happy Birthday To Him. Those kind of stuffs that your son (his decisions) are pretty normal at his age. =)

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  45. happy bday to him... love the breakfast food rice with hotdog. But you know my husband laugh at me pag kumakain ako nyan kase here they don't use to eat that hotdog with rice hahaha.. sabi ko walang paki alaman.

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  46. ''Is he now embarrassed to be seen with me in school?'


    - I always hear those lines when watching tv (teledrama and stuff) regarding their son whose age is between 9-teens. Maybe that is really normal for boys. And it's great that you've read child dev related articles so you can understand and cope with your son's changes rather than get "tampo" with him :D

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  47. Wow, thank you Vera, I feel relieved with your words. Thank you. :)

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  48. Thanks Ron! A fresh take on it from a guy's perspective. :)

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  49. hahahaha! Kami we're all rice people at home! :) Same tayo Anygen! lol!

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  50. Hahaha! I know, I'm just being sentimental. :) I know he's proud of me, he's just really growing up I guess. :) Thanks Jenifer! :)

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  51. He is starting to have his own preferences. I think that is healthy for a boy aged like him :)

    Happy birthday to your young man!

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  52. how sweet! :) happy birthday to your son! :)

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  53. Happy Birthday to your son!
    I myself fear the time when my little ones grow up and wouldn't always want to be with dear Mama. I keep in mind though that this is our role as parents. To get them ready to face the world and make their own lives. For now, I try to spend as much time as I can with them so even when they grow their wings and fly away from home, they'd have plenty of memories to cherish.

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  54. I feel you mommy... Though my two year old is still very clingy to me, I can't imagine to be in your shoes right now, letting go seems very hard. But great moms do the best for their kids right?


    Happy Birthday to your son. :)

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  55. I know Olga.. there's no such thing as prepared parenting.. even if you've read books on it, experience just surprises you!

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  56. Thanks Phoebe! That's true.. we'll do anything and everything to give our bestest to the kids! :)

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  57. happy birthday to your son.


    OMG i can't imagine my son doing those several years from now - exerting his preference and independence.

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  58. happy birthday to him. :) he must be really lucky having you as her mom. :)

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  59. Happy birthday to your son. Be glad to know that you are raising an independent child who can stand on his own. Good job, Mommy! Sometimes the simplest birthdays are the most memorable.

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  60. Thanks Kat! Those are sweet words, I agree. :)

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  61. I know, I didn't see this coming this soon too. Though i've expected this, but nothing really prepares you for it..

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