Well, Ais, since I’ve missed more than a week already, this will be more like another brain dump. I know you don’t mind. 🙂

Paco was all excited with the paycheck he got before we left for Migi’s NYLT. Wow, his second paycheck (the first one was from Google) and just 16! That’s not unusual for a lot of 16-year-olds these days, but it’s still unusual for our family, since I hadn’t thought my children would want to start working that young. He is now “on contract” and therefore gets paid a bit more too. With that came the privilege to stay at a cabin instead of tenting, so he’s moved in now. This was the second opening; he turned down the first as he didn’t quite approve of the people he would be rooming with. I asked him why — his answer, “They tend to cuss a lot.” I love seeing him make wise choices!

On the drive home from NYLT I quietly listened to the boys’ conversation. I thought back a couple of years, when we picked up Paco from his NYLT graduation and he taught you guys those clap sequences all the way home. This time the boys were heavily engaged in discussing plans for the next scout meeting and their overall goals for the troop. I heard references to delegating responsibility, increasing expectations of each scout to be good examples, and implementing SSC (start-stop-continue). Our boys are developing into such responsible leaders. Dad’s doing wonderfully training them on their road to manhood, I am just in awe at the changes.

Dad, as you know, was my personal confidence-builder when I was nineteen. Though I wasn’t one to be taken in quickly by externals, I admit the attention from what could be considered a fairly successful guy at his age was reassuring. I didn’t have to change myself for him, because he appreciated me and my family the way we were and he was happy to just be part of it all. I didn’t realize it at the time but looking back now, Dad is and always has been a PEOPLE-BUILDER. He knows exactly what to say to people to encourage them, give them a hand, give them that push (yes, sometimes not so gentle) especially when he knows people are capable of so much. It’s the reason the boys are the way they are — focused, for the most part. It’s the same reason I get approached at company gatherings, people heaping praises on him and telling me what a great guy he is and how they would do almost anything for him. It’s the reason those people went to bat for him when they had that recent issue with reorganization. And just like with the people that he manages/mentors, Dad knows just what programs to put Paco and Migi in so they grow. For one thing, they hear the lessons that we teach them from a third party. Take the NYLT : when Migi came home he was explaining how they were taught to write their goals down, and I *had* to point out that just a couple of weeks before we were having an argument because I wanted him to write his goals down for the summer and he was resisting. At his age it’s more effective at times to receive the message from a third party and not always from Mom or Dad…. and Dad knows that.

Maybe it’s one of the reasons I feel so committed to F4L. AJ is similar in many ways — like Dad he hardly ever criticizes or complains about people. He just goes about his work quietly, and when there are issues to be dealt with, he’ll say, “I’ll take care of that”, much like Dad. When you’ve got a leader like that, you know an organization will go places. It’s not about who did this or who said that, but what needs to be done.

So Saturday I worked on that video I sent you (the retrospective). It’s like having family again in the Philippines (you know what I mean). So in a sense it’s like having part of my heart there, and part here, and yet my heart isn’t broken, it’s actually made whole. It’s coming full circle, and so when you talk about going home, I know exactly where your heart is. I’m the same way.

So… Dad got Migi water shoes at Costco, his “NYLT graduation gift” and then we had dinner at Chopsticks. Oh my, you should have heard the looooong discussion on where we were going to have dinner. I won’t give you the play-by-play as it’s totally boring. There was a funny moment when the boys suggested PF Chang’s and Dad said, “That’s a bit uppity, isn’t it?” And then I reminded him that the few times I objected to where he was taking me for our dinner date as the place might be “uppity”, he dismissed my argument as having no basis, and that even people dressed jeans go there to eat all the time. LOL. For the record, I was wearing a T-shirt, shorts and sneakers, and the boys were in scout uniform, Yena in AHG — but we probably all smelled from being sweaty spending time at the camp. Maybe *that’s* what Daddy meant — no sweaty people at PF Chang’s. 😀 So Chopsticks it was, and I had this *darling* video of Yena, Migi and Paco chanting something that goes “Bazooka, Bazooka-zooka Bubble Gum, Bazooka-zooka Bubble Gum….” while at the restaurant, that I mean to post here, except that we had problems with the camera and the card and now I can’t find the video anywhere. :/ We all had ordered delicious food except for Paco, who was supposed to be celebrating his 16th — he ordered General Tso that turned out WAY TOO SWEET. My Siam Salad wasn’t spectacular but I appreciated the freshness of the ingredients at least.

Sunday Mass at 8, then took Grace and Paco to camp. On the way home, Nino was lamenting how he had taken the money in his pouch and wasted it. 🙁 Daddy goes, “Learn not to waste your money.” (You need to have been there.)

Hitting Publish on this or it will never happen.