(Before I begin, allow me to apologize for not having posted for quite some time. Three months, yes? Between covering Manny Pacquiao’s last fight and some seismic shifts in the office, things have been pretty hectic my end and there was little time to update my blogs. Hope this post makes up for lost time.)
I had always been fascinated with the word ever since I encountered it a few years ago.
It is said that the word, which has Welsh roots, has no direct English translation. After cursory research on it, I understood why. English even struggles to define hiraeth. I came across several attempts to define the word in English, and three caught my attention. There are dictionaries that refer to it as that intense longing or yearning for one’s homeland. Some define it as some sort of melancholic homesickness for a home one can never return to. Then there is my favorite: A longing; a heart-gutting yearning to belong that dissipates only after one finally finds his home.
That last definition is what resonates with me a lot.
WAY before Isay turned six months old, the wife and I had decided to make it special by taking her on her first airplane ride. When picking a destination, we settled on Hong Kong, so that we could take the little bunny to Disneyland.
During the course of the planning, we decided to bring the wife’s parents along for some family bonding time. Since it was the first time Isay would be on a trip, we made sure we combed through every possible situation we would face. Airplane rides, train rides, long walks, long days. Since Isay could only appreciate this trip through pictures, we wanted to make sure she would be at least comfortable the whole four days we would be in HK.
Why travel? Because we want her to get comfortable going to different places and visiting different cultures. If there is one thing we want our baby to develop, it’s a sense of adventure and discovery, the joy of traveling.
There’s been a lot of activity lately in the office and in between raising a child and running to different meetings, it was difficult to wedge in blogging hours into the schedule. Every real available break would be spent resting. I guess it comes with age, this need to pause and slow down after every stretch of living life at breakneck speed.
And it’s not like there’s a lot of available rest hours, not when you have a tiny bundle of smiles grabbing at your shirt and eager for playtime.
Plus, even when the little one decides to sleep, you can’t join her. Not now. Not until she’s old enough to realize it isn’t wise to roll over to the edge of the bed.
FOR Isay’s fifth month, her christening stands out as the most significant moment. There’s a reason we waited what people felt was too long to have her baptized. Especially since we live in a country where superstition still has its talons sunk in its psyche. Oldtimers say that it is never good to make long trips before a child’s baptism. And Isay has been traveling to Nueva Ecija quite a bit.
But we wanted her to be physically strong enough to endure the solemn and the social parts of christening. People would want to carry her, we assumed, and we needed to be sure that her body was strong enough so she wouldn’t require overly delicate cradling.
About the title of this post. Let me tell you a story…
ONE OF the thing that would really make me happy is if Isay gets hooked on sports. It doesn’t have to be competitively, although God knows a sportswriter dad would always dream of that. But at the very least, I hope she gets interested enough to try out a few disciplines—if only for the fact that sports-active people are some of the healthiest, well-balanced people on earth.
The wife and I talk about it a lot, and we include sports talk with our daily conversations with Isay. We’ve talked about sports like football (our consensus top pick), swimming, tennis, volleyball and taekwondo. I come from a lineage that has asthma encoded into our genetic software. Arthritis, meanwhile, seems to be programmed in my wife’s DNA. And the best way for Isay to crash those genetic downloads is to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which includes getting into sports.
So I try to get her exposed to sports in whatever way I can.
WHILE it was safe for Isay to have her first Halloween, we drew the line on her first cemetery visit. The crowd is just too much for a kid her age. In lieu of that, allow us—Isay, her mom and me—to light a few candles in honor of those we will always refuse to forget.