By Yay Padua-Olmedo

Who’s more euphoric when a child does something exceptional? His parents? Or his grandparents?

Yes, this sense of jumping for joy and shouting alleluia, plus the urge to show these feats off. This lola is guilty as charged.

Believe me, it takes a lot of self-control to under-boast, especially if it concerns apos. Right, fellow grannies?

Raising up children is like preparing your puttanesca sauce.

Paul in Galatians 6:14 says not to boast except in the cross. Pretty please, allow me just this one boast.

LET’S START WITH JOAQUI

Now 15, my first grandchild is genuinely awesome! These soundbites should moderate the platitudes: Batch valedictorian. Champion sportsman―recently competed in Australia’s national martial arts meet as a member of the New South Wales team.

Math whiz kid. Keen on studying bio-medical engineering and nanotechnology. Excellent writer and public speaker―recently won first prize in his school’s speech competition.

Yet my favorite grandson 😄😜 has remained as shy and low-key as ever, like her parents Lucci and Joel.

A bit of a homeboy too. Religiously takes out the garbage. Laughs easily. Mababaw ang kaligayahan (easy to please).

His favorite toy: a 3-D printer with which he’s created odds and ends, outputs of his curious, design-prone and computing mind. His Instagram posts celebrate nerdy stuff―quite intriguing even for his 68-year-old engineer lolo Jack.

JOAQUI’S SISTER CHARLIZE

Grandchild number two: Excels in dancing and singing. Dancer and back-up singer in kids’ praise and worship, Hillsong Southwest (in one of Sydney’s suburbs).

Courted (biased lola words)  by the bigger Hillsong church in Australia to join its kiddie praise and worship videos. Represents her school―either in running, swimming, discus throw, basketball―in inter-school varsity meets.

She too recently made it as a finalist in their school’s speechfest—first runner-up, wow! But Charlize is most passionate about dance—competes in dance meets. Dreams of teaching dance as a profession.

She can prepare a mean pizza too.

GRANDKID 3, NATALIE.

Just turned six, Natalie is a performer. One who’d excel in a world of words, and singing or music per se. Plays the drums like her dad. Makes reading fun by singing book texts. Draws like an Olmedo (her other lolo, Onib, on Jack’s side is one of the Philippines’ most celebrated artists).

Just tonight, we caught her trying to play the tune―and pressing the right keys from memory―of a song she recently learned from her teacher. And she’s not even having piano lessons yet. Right there, I asked: gifted?

Her mom Opalyn has become more excited for her recently because Natalie’s taken a big leap in her school performance. She’s a US-born Pinoy kid. Yet, converse with her in Tagalog and you’d react, “Nagsasalita ng Tagalog?!” But she does it with a twang.

Natalie’s quite an ate (big sister), genuinely looking after her baby sister’s safety. This lola‘s been a bit sick a few days back so I got delayed rising from bed for supper. Guess who came in with a bowl of sinigang for granny. Caring, like her mother.

THE LITTLEST, COCO

Just turned one, this one’s a charmer. Our hungry caterpillar who attacks a chicken drumstick like she had a full set of teeth—she’s got only two.

Too early to say what her gifts are. Meanwhile, she’s my supervisor―tirelessly walking through every part of the house, checking out things and sounds like a detective would. Joaqui was like that when he was one.

Coco definitely has rhythm. Rocks to any form of music or beat. Screams with a deep and lusty vibrato. Who won’t if your house pulsates with drum beats?

I’ve lived―er… put up―with my son Carlo’s drumming for the most part of his life so it’s not surprising that Natalie and Coco rock too.

SURE FOUNDATION

Some may dismiss the above as feel-good pre-quals for these kids’ future bio-profiles. For sure, they’re fodder for pridefulness.

We’ve read a lot about over-achievers and gifted people. I’ve worked with some of them. Behaving like they’re the center-of-the-universe, they’re quite a pain really.

That’s why these parents/grandparents pray:

“That these kids will know God’s purpose for them. That they’d grow in wisdom and sense of excellence and service. That even as they succeed, they will remain humble, disciplined and dependent on Him. That they’d live by the Word and shun the toxic influences around them.”

This is what I boast of, Luke 1:50 “His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.”

Raising up children is like preparing your puttanesca sauce. Armed with faith and prayers that they’ll turn out fine, you relish them with love, hugs, memorable play times and fun times, reminders, rebukes and conversations, along with a hearty dose of your own good actions—because no matter how you press them to behave or shape up, your “doing” is what they’ll eventually catch.

The Bible urges us to teach them in the way they should go “so that when they are old, they won’t depart from it,” Proverbs 22:6.

Enjoy your grandparenting moments. But more than reveling at their feats, let’s constantly nudge them to be kind, considerate, compassionate, patient, etc.—that they’d behave as Jesus did!

For more parenting/grandparenting wisdom, check out my book, “Grandparenting: Happiness and Hard Work.” OMF and other popular bookstores. EBook format from Amazon.com

#grandparenting #parenting #raisingupchildren

Yay believes that her purpose as a Christian is to become salt and light where God has placed her. Aside from teaching Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations at Southville Foreign University in Las Pinas City, Philippines, she conducts motivational and business seminars and write inspirational materials. You can visit her blog at http://nuggetslifeslittlelessons.blogspot.com/

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