By Jane Kingsu-Cheng
We’ve all been there. We’ve had our fair share of mistakes which we learned from, and we’ve had surprising and momentous outcomes from the attempts we took when we were young. So why are we apprehensive to let our children experience the same ups and downs? We must admit, it can be hard to let go of our precious babies, but life itself is the greatest teacher, for both the parent and the child.
Remember the first time the baby rolled over by himself? We eagerly waited, cheered him on with every attempt, and got teary-eyed when he finally did it. This experience progressed as the months go by, from standing up on his own, to walking by himself, to having conversations and more. The joy of parenting can only be experienced once we let go of our children, and that is what celebrating everyday milestones is all about. Nestlé Nankid dreams of inculcating this joy and wonder to all the families out there with 19 of their “Amazing Possibles” videos.
Let them be
Cat Arambulo Antonio has three children. She was expecting her youngest, Alana, to be the most reserved among the three. Her two older siblings are making their mark in the world, so Cat was scared Alana might feel pressured to live up to the reputation of her two older siblings. “You know what’s surprising, she’s the one with the biggest personality. She’s never shy, she’s very assertive, and she knows what she wants. And what I realized in all this is that when you give your child that platform to do these things, when you let them make the mistakes that they do, you would be so amazed with the amazing possibles that are about to happen. And I see that everyday with Alana, with everything that she does,” she reveals.
Cat narrates how she asked Alana not to jump in the pool, “She’ll run, flips, and you’ll have a heart attack. She’s jumping off things, and she’ll say, ‘Mom, I can do it!’” Cat realized that as parents, we should let them be. Worrying too much will hamper their growth, and one would miss the opportunity to be amazed on these milestones, no matter how big or small.
Hope a thousand folds
“Your baby has only one week to live.” These words were said to the father of Dr. Maricel Ridon Cristobal, who is now 51 years old. Maricel suffered from polio at the tender age of one, “I almost lost my life. I was incubated and I was paralyzed from head to toe. I was in a coma at that time.”
It was her dad’s optimism and prayers that got Maricel bouncing back. Since then, hope has never left her side. Not being able to stand up and walk, this pediatrician is in a wheelchair most of the time. But this didn’t stop her from graduating from college under the faculty of medicine and surgery, practicing pediatrics for over 20 years, trying another field which is aesthetics, and starting a family with her husband. The latest surprise of which was being pregnant at the age of 44, and giving birth to her daughter Zia. She also drives with her left leg, and tries to explore the world through scuba diving and parasailing.
She is also well-loved by mothers, thanking her for taking good care of their babies. Most have expressed their gratitude and hope, telling her that when they hear her walking with her crutches or cane, they feel that their babies are already on their way to getting better. It’s important to have hope, it fuels your courage that nothing is impossible, as long as you believe.
Provide the right environment
Archie David is a teacher, and he’s been taking care of children with special needs for over 20 years. “I’ve seen how amazing possibles are. From a child with cerebral palsy who mustered every fiber of his body to be able to prop himself and sit properly, a child with dyslexia who was finally able to write b and p correctly, a child with autism who is able to tolerate all the auditory stimuli well enough to be able to go to church with his family. And now, these kids are growing to become engineers, chefs, sacristans, bouncer,” he reveals.
Along with interacting with these children with special needs, he has also worked with their parents who felt depressed and hopeless. Archie explains, “Nothing could be more disabling than a child’s condition is not the diagnosis per se, but the wrongful actions of the people around them. Today we are celebrating these people, influencers, ambassadors, parents, and profess who have showed that it can work. Just believe.”
A total of 19 videos are released in their YouTube channel, featuring parents and professionals who share the same experience of hope and harnessing their amazing possibles. Arlene Tan-Bantoto, business executive officer for Nestlé Infant Nutrition adds, “We chose 19, because it’s been 19 years since Nankid had its first major innovation which is Optipro. We continue to innovate the product too, so it really come close to our commitment and mission to nurture a healthier generation.”