Last week, we had some of my wife’s family visiting our home in Davao City, Philippines. Feyma‘s family lives in General Santos City, which is about 3 to 4 hours south of Davao. We see the family fairly frequently. I particularly enjoy seeing the kids when they come. I am a real lover of children, they make my day, and enjoy spoiling them a bit.
In January, Feyma‘s family had a family reunion, and we went down for that. I spent most of the time hanging out with the kids, talking to them and such. Being an American, it is not often that these kids get to see and interact with people like me. I consider it important to spend time with them, and to drive home the point that they do not have to fear foreigners like myself. It is common here in the Philippines that young children fear foreigners, or are so shy that they will not talk with foreigners. I don’t like that, so I make a special effort to show the kids that there is no reason to fear me.
When the family members came last week, they had several children with them. Both Feyma and I enjoyed doing things with the kids. For one thing, we took two of the kids to McDonald’s to lunch twice. We took them other places too. Did things with them. I took one of the kids to the local Mall. They have a “kiddie train” there where you can ride around the mall in a train, and I took him on the train. His face showed just how much fun he had! I enjoyed seeing him so happy.
I posted some pictures and information on Facebook showing that I took some of my “grandkids” out to McDonald’s and such. In the Philippines, children of your nieces or nephews are considered your grandchildren. Well, it had been a while since I posted a picture of myself on FB, and I got a ton of comments saying that I was looking good and that I had lost a lot of weight. It is a fact that I had lost about 35 pounds since the last time I posted a picture.
Then I got a couple of very negative comments. One person said that I was a fake. Said that I was harming my grandchildren by taking them to McDonald’s. Saying that it was not true that I had even lost any weight. I was called a hypocrite.
I do not eat at McDonald’s. I never do. I was fasting at the time that I took the children out to eat, so I did not even eat, I just let them enjoy it. Also, these are kids from poor families. They do not get to go out and eat very often, probably just a couple times per year, at most. I asked them where they wanted to eat, and they chose McDonald’s. I don’t consider McDonald’s to be a healthy meal, but I also think that one meal or two per year at McDonald’s is not going to damage their health.
I had a heart attack last year. I have made great efforts to reduce the amount of stress in my life. I don’t need stress, and I want to eliminate it. So, instead of getting into an argument over the whole thing, I just unfriended these few people. Who needs it? You know what… it actually felt good to eliminate that stress!