During my childhood, even though we knew we loved each other, my parents and siblings and I rarely said “I love you” unless we were ending long distance phone calls or we were saying goodbyes at the airport. Hubby’s childhood was pretty much the same. It was as if saying those three words without any reason and just because you wanted to was too...cheesy and baduy (sorry, I can’t think of any other better words right now).
So when we started our own family, Hubby and I made it a point to say “I love you” at least once a day. When we say it to our kids, we accompany these words with kisses and tight hugs that last for a few seconds. As Caila grew, so did her tolerance with kissing become shorter. If we would ask her for a kiss, she would either offer her cheek or kiss us but then wipe her mouth right away. However, she liked hugs. And when I would tell her “I love you, Caila (or Anak),” she would automatically reply “I love you, Mommy.” She never initiated saying those words, but this changed about a month ago.
One day while she was playing with her toys and I was sitting on the sofa watching television, Caila suddenly came up to me, gave me a kiss and hug, and said “I love you, Mommy” to which I replied “I love you, Anak.” Immediately after that, she went back playing. I was stunned and initially thought that she wanted something. But when she didn’t say or do anything that implied what I had suspected earlier, I felt so happy. The next day, she was eating something and I was carrying Sophie when again she said “I love you, Mommy.” And that evening while she and her daddy were watching TV, she said “I love you, Daddy.” Since then, she tells us this every single day. Ang sarap talaga pakinggan from your child! And whenever she can, she embraces her baby sister and tells her “I love you, Sophie.” Sobrang nakakataba ng puso every time I see this!
Another instance happened last night when we went to the nearby supermarket to buy a few things. While she was pulling the trolley-basket and Hubby was looking for breadcrumbs (I had gone to another aisle to look for another item), Caila suddenly said “I love you, Daddy.” There was a lady standing nearby who overheard this, and told her companion “Ang sweet naman! Sana sinasabihan din ako ng ganyan ng anak ko.”
It’s moments like these that make me so proud and so thankful that Hubby and I are raising our daughters to be loving. Parang it affirms that in spite of our faults, we're doing a good job as parents. I hope and pray Sophie will also be like this and they’ll never get tired of giving us hugs and kisses and saying those words to us.