I received word from one of my dear friends, Jonathan, that his wife Jo had given birth to their son Jed Matthew last June 27. I knew of the coming of this child soon after they decided to announce it to family and friends. I shared in their joy as I share in their joy now that Jed is with them. Jonathan, like me, is already 40 years old. He married the same year I did, but had done so after I had already left for New York.
We met in college in UP Manila. He, with his brother and a gang called X-32 were actually a year ahead of me, but the College and Arts of Sciences was a small campus and we became very good friends. I derived part of my inspiration to enter Law School from his example. He entered the UP College of Law soon after he graduated from CAS, two years ahead of me.
He is one of my friends from my life before law school who actually headed into it with the same if not more intense passion as I did. We kept in touch through the years — I missed him and the other guys when I was left behind in College. We would spend hours on the phone and we would talk. He was a real brother to me in many ways. As we started building our careers, (he, in litigation and later as Chief of Staff to one of the Justices of the Supreme Court, and moi in Corporate Communications before I left for New York), we would continue to see each other occasionally. The last time I saw him was when I went home this May. I saw him only once, but that was more than enough.
From the time I met him to the time he met Jo, he had been with two other women who were not bad catches. They would’ve been “keepers”, too, and he had been with each one a long time. But when I saw him with Jo, I knew this was it. My friend had a certain sparkle in his eyes I did not see with the two others. I can imagine that same sparkle in his eyes now that he has his little boy.
Parenthood is a unique joy that only those who have children, biological or not, get to know because it radically alters your perspective in life. I make no distinction between adopted and natural children because to me, Parenthood, has nothing to do with blood ties. You can take a complete stranger into your life and into your heart, and you are a parent 100%. You can carry a child in your womb for 9 months and go through the pain of childbirth, and yet never be a parent to that child.
I wrote him today to congratulate him and Jo. I know he will make a good father. Besides his dashing good looks (Ruby Rodriguez was rumored to have had a crush on him way back when she was a sophomore in UP Manila), Jonathan has a very good attitude about life which makes a good companion to his intelligence and wit.
He and I are magkumpare and magkumare twice over. Two of our dear friends had asked us to be Ninong and Ninang to their children twice. When Angel was baptized, I had 3 pairs of godparents here in New York, but I have two de facto godparents I specifically chose even if they were based in Manila. Yes, Jonathan was one of them. I wanted Angel to have a connection to my home and family. He would definitely be one person I would want my son to know as an integral part of his life — even if via long distance.
Jonathan is moving to my part of the world soon. I have been his Devil’s Advocate — forever harping on the “other side of the coin” he ought to consider. At the end of the day, I trust his decision. I know he will be okay, wherever he finds himself in the years to come. Jed’s addition to the family is just another well-deserved gift and blessing, and I am happy my friend is now a Dad.