When I got hold of last month’s issue of Fish, the Kerygma magazine for the youth, I was so touched. I think I was more than touched. My heart was so happy to read an article written by my youngest son Anton.
Even if you know that your child appreciates you, it’s really different when you read on print his well-thought out words about you shared to the public. Anton, whom I called in my first book, Raising Pinoy Boys, as both the “giver of joy” and “my greatest challenge” was the sweetest as a young lad. Despite that, he was the one who argued most with me. In his “speech” during our silver wedding anniversary, he said, “Even if I have the least number of years with Mama because I’m the youngest, I think she’s had more arguments with me than with Papa whom she’s been married to for 25 years now!” Of course, this elicited laughter among the guests.
I love him to bits and this is what I remember telling him as a young boy, after a major argument (minutes after I have cooled down), “Anton, even if we always argue, promise me that you will never let Mama take away your spunk, okay? I don’t want to kill your spirit. Just remember to always argue with me respectfully, okay?” I guess he remembered that because he still has that spirit and spunk up to now that he is 21 years old. After he graduated from college this year, he is now bravely pursuing his career in hosting and choreography, a field that is unknown to us who are used to the usual corporate track. ?
Today, I wish to share that article he wrote about me in Fish magazine. He would always write about his father as his role model and this is the first time I hear him say that I’m his idol. ? May this serve as a reminder to parents out there that deep down inside, our children really look up to us.
‘I(dol) Choose You!’
by Anton Fausto
Growing up, we all needed idols to look up to, whether it be a parent, a mentor, a friend, or even a celebrity. We choose our idols for various reasons on the different aspects of our life. For example, I look up to Lebron James as a basketball player. He’s the personification of discipline and hard work, still arguably the best active NBA player after fifteen seasons, at thirty-three years old. I look up to my own classmates in school, juggling academics and leading organizations at the same time.
Rose, My Mom
Now I’ll talk about someone close to my heart. I’m talking about my own mother, the only “Rose” in our family of boys. I have two older brothers and a gentle father, making my mom the queen of the house. I was the most makulit and playful among the three of us, so naturally, I would be on the receiving end of majority of the scolding and disciplining in the house. I wasn’t as academically enthusiastic as my brothers so I would need the most reminding and nagging to stop playing and start studying.
Given this type of relationship I uniquely had with my mother, you would expect that we would disagree and argue a lot, so why would I write about her as my idol? Aren’t idols people we look up to, want to be like, and someone we agree with? But my mom and I would always fight. That is exactly my point. Our idols are human and have different characteristics and layers we may not agree with. Despite these, we still choose to pattern our lifestyles after theirs. You would think that someone would look up to his parents by default, and that’s how I started in my younger years.
Regardless of clashes with my mom while growing up, I knew she was always right. I believed that her opinions and explanations were as sound and true as the laws of nature. But my mom’s story was one filled with struggles and big decisions that had to be made. She was an asthmatic and back then, asthma was more fatal. Her condition reached the point where she was asked to stop schooling so that she could stay at home and rest. Unwilling to give up and let this challenge defeat her, she found a way to continue studying, switching schools almost every year just to be able to meet the academic requirements to move on to the next year. She eventually studied in Ateneo for college and graduated with honors.
Her next big decision came when my second brother was born. She and my dad both worked in the finance industry, but she believed she could use her time better by leaving her job to take care of my brothers, and eventually me. But my mom was a career-driven woman. She runs the household like a well-oiled machine, tracking how the money moves, keeping her boys in check, and pushing my dad to be more successful. One could compare her to Michelle Obama, whom her husband Barrack Obama proudly shares is one of the keys of his success.
For many instances in her life, it would be rational and completely understandable to let life dictate what would happen to her but she took control of her life and paved her own way—regardless. It is this fearless and bold attitude I wish to emulate in my life.
My Mom Now
Today, she’s known as the “FQ Mom,” as she writes books, articles, and gives talks about parenting and financial literacy. She is dedicated to her advocacy and to our family. At more than fifty years of age, after raising three boys and sustaining a healthy relationship with my dad, she was able to find a new calling. She made new dreams and is still chasing them. She continues to raise me and my brothers, and supports my father, all with genuine love. She may not do sports at all, but she has the mindset that some of the best athletes have.
As I grew and learned more about myself and life, I appreciated my mom’s struggles and story much more. I noticed things I didn’t realize when I was younger. She had her own background and way of being brought up. She has her own biases and opinions that are true for her but doesn’t mean that they are the absolute truth. I realized that my mom wasn’t born the way she is today. She wasn’t the instant superhero; she learned to be one as she raised this family. Our idols are also human as we are. They have off days, they get mad, they make mistakes. Lebron James only has twenty-four hours in a day; he just uses time differently.
Something I learned and am continuing to learn is that we make the choices that will dictate our lives. We choose what to do when we get up in the morning. We choose who to look up to. We can say that we’re sort of born to look up to our parents by default, but I make the choice to continue to look up to my mom until now.
Incidentally, Anton will be sharing the stage with Marvin and me on November 22, 2018 at the Kerygma Conference to talk about Parenting Challenges Made Fun. Come see us to know more about this loving, challenging, interesting, and if I may add, successful parent-child relationship we have. Click link to register.
- The biggest Catholic inspirational and learning event is finally here again! Kerygma Conference 2018: Limitless! Marvin and I are so excited because we will be sharing the stage with our bunso, Anton Fausto, in our talk “Parenting Challenges Made Fun”. We will be there on November 22 (Thursday) at 11:00am, SMX Convention Center, Manila. For tickets and more information, visit kerygmaconference.com
- I’ll be at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ 1st Financial Education Stakeholders’ Expo on Nov. 27-28, 2018 (Tues-Wed) at the SMX Convention Center, Manila. On Day 2, November 28 (Wed), I’ll be giving a talk on “Fin-Ed Program Design Using Behavioral Economics” and also moderating the plenary session on Innovations in Financial Education. I hope to see you there! ?
- Thanks to those who already bought the FQ Book, especially to those who took the time out to send me their feedback. Your feedback is food for my soul. To those who have not gotten their copy yet, here’s a short preview of FQ: The nth Intelligence INSERT YOU TUBE LINK WITH THUMBNAIL THAT’S CLICKABLE.
You may now purchase the book in major bookstores, or if you want autographed copies, please go to FQ Mom FB page (click SHOP), or FQMom.com (click BOOKS), or email us at FQMomm@gmail.com
- Want to know where your FQ stands? Take the FQ Test Challenge now! Click link. http://rebrand.ly/FQTest
Rose Fres Fausto is a speaker and author of bestselling books Raising Pinoy Boys and The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon (English and Filipino versions). Click this link to read samples – Books of FQ Mom. She is a Behavioral Economist, Certified Gallup Strengths Coach and the grand prize winner of the first Sinag Financial Literacy Digital Journalism Awards. Follow her on Facebook & YouTube as FQ Mom, and Twitter & Instagram as theFQMom. Her latest book is FQ: The nth Intelligence.
ATTRIBUTIONS: This article is published with the permission of Fish magazine and the author. Photos from Adobe Stock, spin.com, Kevork Djansezian / Getty modified and used to help deliver the message of the article.