Touching children’s hearts

Touching children's hearts

My first reading close to my Swiss hometown: all 30 chairs at the Bistro Bechandra in Elgg were taken.

What are the most touching moments during the readings of children’s books?

My very special moments are when small girls and boys start telling things like about a cat, who came to their house, who did this and that and how that felt or like today, how a small boy told a long, long story with plenty of unimportant details about moving and so on in order to reveal at the end how it was that the cat purred.

It is amazing to realize that my story about the boy Leonard and the cat named Loulou resonates with children.

But not only with children… Another touching moment was when an adult told me at my very first reading that my story reminded her so much of her beloved dog from childhood that she was moved to tears. Or one colleague bought my story because when he was a kid, his cat always walked him to school as Loulou does with Leonard in my story.

Today, at my first reading close to my Swiss hometown Winterthur, I didn’t expect a big audience. Fifteen minutes before the start, half of the restaurant was full of joyful, small and big children and even elderly people, and at the start, all 30 chairs were taken.

What a moment to stand in front of this big audience and to see all these open eyes and minds to listen to me!

I’ve been reading stories to children since many years. My two boys, now 13 and 15 and in puberty, listened to me every night. We read together so many books, we read all books written by Astrid Lindgren. We travelled with Jim Knopf and Lukas, the train conductor. We suffered with the figures of Brother Grimm, and when we didn’t have a book at our hands, I started inventing stories about an elephant who was too big because he loved eating, and how many times, my boys told me to continue the story about Frederic, the elephant.

Reading to a big audience like today is completely different. It is strange because I am not that close to the children and I cannot feel exactly how they perceive the story. That’s why I love to ask questions in between in order be able to hear what they have understood and what they have been thinking of it.

One thing I was reassured of today: Animals like cats and dogs have such a big impact on people’s lives.

It gives so much color to my life with my two sons. Besides, our cat story only started five years ago with two cats. Then, Loulou joined us, gave birth to four babies. We kept two of them. Meanwhile, we only have three cats because one of the babies decided to stay at the neighbor’s house. I could tell so many stories about our cats, how they disappeared, how we found them again, how many dead mice, but even more living mice had visited us, and how many of them, I had to catch. Funny moments, I can tell!

The sequel to the first book won’t talk about mice but will be the story about «Leonard and Lea», and there will be a dog playing a big role together with the cat Loulou. The story is already complete in my mind, and more than three-quarter of it written down. As soon as I have some quiet moments without running after mice, I will get it finished.

Encouraging people to write their books

Encouraging people to write their books

My first meeting with over 30 Swiss female writers gave me a lot of inspiration.

I’ve been writing since I am 12 or 13. I filled up many journals with my thoughts, and I always dreamt of writing a book. But, and this is something which I discovered this very year, I was scared of publishing my thoughts, because people would judge me, and I did not stand this idea of putting myself in a public place and giving others the chance to put me down.

I was writing a lot as a journalist for newspapers and magazines some years ago. But this wasn’t that difficult for me because I was writing about other people’s opinions and I did not have to expose myself too much.

Publishing my first book, a children’s book called «Leonard and Loulou» this spring, gave me such a great pleasure and self-confidence. Of course, I was very skeptical at the beginning because again, I was afraid of other people’s judgment. Getting more and more nice feedbacks to the story about a boy and a cat, touching people’s heart when doing my reading, I started believing more and more in my capacity in writing. And, yes, there will be a follow-up to the first book, a second one with the title «Leonard and Lea» which will be published in 2019.

A wonderful moment and very reassuring had also been when I discussed with the New Yorker publishing house, Morgan James, about how my book will be printed and sold in July 2019 in the States, in England and in Australia. I got so many compliments by the editor board for the story and the book itself. It might sound crazy, but I couldn’t believe that I had created this book when I heard them talking about it. Honestly, I got goose pumps when I read the description of my book written by their marketing department because it sounded so great.

This book is also the starting point of my new business which is to help people to write their books, to give them the confidence they might be lacking of as I did and to get them to this wonderful moment in their lives where they open the first page of their printed book or published e-Book and they feel overwhelmed and have goose pumps.

I want to encourage people to write what they want to share with the world. I want to help women and men not to hold back their stories, their experiences and their knowledge, because it is so amazing what I receive when I dared to share my story: a great assurance of myself that there is a sense in being on this planet, and there is a mission I am asked to fulfill: helping others to write their books. It might sound strange to some of you, but I don’t know how may times I was willing to leave this world because I didn’t see any sense of being here any more. This could be the story of a book for adults I will be writing some day. We will see.

I am very grateful for having met wonderful, inspiring business coaches in the last 12 months, who empowered me to take action, among them are Kane and Alessia Minkus, Kevin Paetz and Michelle Masters. Thank you so much for your guidance and encouragement and thanks as well for this amazing community I met through you.

My first children’s book is born


My first children's book is born

My friends are very supportive. They all are very fond of «Leonard and Loulou». Many thanks!

Publishing a book is like being pregnant and giving birth to a child. “Leonard and Loulou”, my first children’s book, is like a child who is taking me on a journey I never thought it would exist.

I had sent the German manuscript to several publishing houses in Switzerland, and guess, nobody wanted to take it. I was sad at the time I got these answers. Today, I am happy that it worked out for me like that.

End of October 2017, I decided to put the book on the Swiss crowd founding platform called wemakeit to raise some money to print the book in Switzerland. And I was so excited to see how the money came in because 34 of my dear friends decided to support me. Thanks so much again.

“3000 Swiss Francs should do it to print some hundred of copies of my book”, I thought. To find a printing office took me a long time. I asked at least 10 printing offices to get an offer. I always wanted to have a nice hard cover with a solid binding because the book should be resistant to a lot of hands to be touched by and to get handed over to the next generation.  How I love my children’s books, which I looked at as a child and I could look at again with my two boys now!

As a multicultural being, having studied French, English and German, I wanted to start with the book in three languages. Again, my friends are so wonderful. They translated the story into English (Marlyse Treichler) and French (Jacques Roch, the father of my two boys), and another friend (Cornelia Schmidt), who has her own translation office (I can give you her address because she’s got no website), lectured it. Thanks a lot to you all!

The very beautiful layout was made up by my neighbor, Adrian Ochsner and Printed Matter. Thanks, Adrian!  You may ask him for editing your book.  But at the moment, he loves doing some big construction works, he is driving construction machines and will be having time for graphic design again in about one year. That’s what he told me when he was devotedly repairing his newly-bought old tractor the other day.

Last but not least, also many thanks to my friend Kiril Charov (Swiss-Bulgarian doctor and artist) who found the great Bulgarian illustrator Teodora Dimitrova. She invented the main characters, my boy Léonard and our cat Loulou according to the pictures she got from us. Thanks to her, the book has been published. Before, Kiril had found another illustrator who didn’t fit at all to the story, and I nearly stopped my project to publish the story because I couldn’t imagine the book with other illustrations than they are now.

And the picture shows the wonderful action launched by my friend Dave Hertig (the big Swiss expert for Content Marketing Services) when he interviewed me in Zurich at his event, and half of the participants wanted to have my book.

You can order “Leonard and Loulou” as a hard copy by sending me an e-mail or you can buy it as an eBook at Amazon or iBooks.

My latest and craziest idea is to bring the book into the Chinese market. Chinese people are very fond of Heidi and a lot of Swiss products. And I already see “Leonard and Loulou” in front of my inner eyes in Chinese. I let you know when this idea will be starting to fly.

Conversation between brothers: Scene 24

Conversation between brothers: Scene 24

1 pm in the kitchen while cleaning the dishes

 

Big boy:        “When did you shower last?”
Little boy:     “Why are you asking?”
Big boy:        “Well, you smell!”
Little boy:     “None of your business!”
Big boy:        “And look at your hair style!”
Little boy:     “Anything wrong with my hair?”
Big boy:        “Check the mirror, mate!”
Little boy:     “What’s wrong with you?”
Big boy:        “And when did you change your T-shirt?”
Little boy:     “This morning!”
Big boy:        “No, it’s the same as yesterday!”
Little boy:      “I have two of this kind.”
Big boy:        “Can I smell it?”
Little boy:     “No.”
Big boy:        “See! You didn’t change.”
Little boy:     “Stop bothering me!”
Big boy:        “One last question: Did you shower yesterday?”
Little boy:     “Don’t know.”
Big boy:        “The day before?”
Little boy:     “For you: four days ago…!”
Big boy:        “Definitely.”
Little boy:     “And don’t come that close.”
Big boy:        “But I like you.”
Little boy:     “Keep away from me!”
Big boy:        “You know: girls don’t like bad smelling boys.”
Little boy: “How do you know? Did your girlfriend tell you?”
Big boy:        “What? Girlfriend?”
Little boy:     “I saw you hanging around with that blond girl yesterday.”
Big boy:        “She’s not my girlfriend.”
Little boy:     “Ah…!”
Big boy:        “I helped her with our homework in French.”
Little boy:     “I saw you flirting!”
Big boy:        “Talking to a girl means flirting?”
Little boy:     “I’m sure you like her.”
Big boy:        “And your girlfriend?”
Little boy:     “Ha, ha…. ”
Big boy:        “Doesn’t she love you anymore?”
Little boy:     “What do you know?”
Big boy:        “I’m sure, when you wash your hair more often…”
Little boy:     “Stop!”
Big boy:        “You didn’t get up in a good mood today.”
Little boy:     “You know what?”
Big boy:        “Tell me, little brother!”
Little boy:     “Y o u  are in a bad mood!”
Big boy:        “Only because I talked about shower?”
Little boy:     “Leave me alone!”
Big boy:        “I’ll get you a fresh T-shirt!”
Little boy:     “I’ll get you some strokes?”
Big boy:        “Wanna knock me down?”
Little boy:     “I will!”
Big boy:        “Do you dare?”
Little boy:     “And if I dare!”
Big boy:        “Come on. Show me!”
Little boy:     “You know what? Clean up the kitchen alone.”
Big boy:        “Mum… he is so mean. He left without finishing the dishes.”

 

 

Read “Conversation between brothers. Scene 23”

 

 

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Smiling colors

In Switzerland, everybody with a garden owns one of these dark green, ugly containers. Every week, these containers are being rolled to the street. Every week, the garbage truck takes the green, compostable goods out of these ugly creatures.

Everything is so clean and cozy in Switzerland. You cannot believe it before you’ve seen it or if you’re Swiss and you’ve travelled to other countries.
I like cleanliness but I felt sorry for our container being so normal and nothing beautiful. Now, it became a little piece of art or an own personal identity.

But meanwhile, I realized that there are not only green containers in Switzerland. They are yellow, and they take old newspaper. Or they are brown, and they serve for cardboard. Or they are black, and they should be used for normal garbage bags.

Green, yellow, brown and black.

It’s complicated. It’s very complicated. I know.

Our container is lime-green, blue and pink and has golden wheels. The garbage people will be confused. Or will they give it a little smile?

I hope so.

Or do you think I’d have to repaint the container and turn it into dark green again?
Everything is possible in standardized Switzerland.

In case, I would let you know.

Confidence

 

I feel so amazed, when I look at my nearly one-year-old cat. This young cat is lying on our sofa without having any fear. The world could go under, but this cat is confident. It feels protected by us humans. Did I ever feel like this in my life? I would say no.

Since years I’ve been looking for confidence, feeling at home and protected.

This small cat has reached what I’ve been looking for years. How possible?

Many people tell that animals teach us a lot of things. This might be true. I didn’t believe it. I might be wrong.

Since years I’m looking for being at home where I am at home.

Since years I’m trying to be confident.

Since years I’m trying to be confident in what I am.

Since year I’m struggling.

And this small cat shows me how easy it is.

Just let you go.

Be confident.

Don’t bother.

All the beings around you will be taking care of you.

Just let you go.

The most difficult thing.

For me.

How about you?

Babies grow fast

blacky-and-loupi_swissmadestory-ch

 

Babies grow fast

It’s obvious: Babies are growing fast. Humans or cats: it’s the same. And there wasn’t enough time to write about each stadium of getting older. I’m so sorry.

I could have told you about these precious moments when they had opened their eyes or when they had started walking around. We had spent so many hours watching them and discovering the four different personalities of these four babies.

They’ll be soon half a year with us. Two of them left us because we couldn’t keep all four. Their mother is now so furious when she get’s across them. She was much too soon fed up with nurturing them.

We kept these two: Blacky and Loupi. The first one is eating all the time, and the second one, a real baby, is still sucking, not its mother but our skin. And this can last for half an hour. It’s very sweet.

Blacky walks around very often while Loupi is staying at home, sleeping or playing around by itself. But when Blacky comes home, Loupi is very happy licking it thoroughly. And then, they’re joking around in the living room, from one end to the other. It’s a real joy to watch.

One brother, the four babies are all male, has already died. A very sad story… It joined a couple that was taking care of it in a very loving manner. But Lou, that was its name, was so curious. It couldn’t wait until the garage door was open… We were very sad. But this is life.

Fortunately, the two babies staying with us are full of life and very affectionate. We wouldn’t miss this year’s miracle: the birth of our four kittens.

Birth of our four kitties

Birth of our four kitties

Kittens_www.swissmadestory.ch

 

Baby cat Loulou got pregnant before it turned one year old. But even at this young age, it is a wonderful mother.

When I got to bed that special night, Loulou slipped under my cover. It was rather hot there and Loulou realized after some minutes that this wasn’t a good place to give birth to its babies. I made it a nest on the matrass beside my bed and felt asleep very quickly.

Three quarters of an hour later, I woke up and saw Loulou with two wet kitties very busy with cleaning them. I had promised my two boys to wake them up in case…

Excited by this little wonder happening in my bedroom, we three observed Loulou and its two charming creatures. We thought two babies would be enough. So we could keep them both. But suddenly, Loulou laid down again. It sounded like a fart when a black ball rapidly got out of its body. Loulou took of the bag of waters and dried the third baby by licking it softly.

Okay, three babies would be enough, we thought. But after a few minutes, number four slipped out of its mother, very quietly compared to number three. Oh, dear! We’re so proud of our cat mother.

Loulou did all as I had read before. It ate all four placentas. “It looks like a dark brown slug”, Little Boy said which was a very precise description.

It was 1.30 a.m. 10-year-old Boy and me, we two were not tired at all. “I go to bed now,” Big Boy said, “and I’ll look at the details in the morning!” That was a clear statement by my 12-year-old.

The exciting adventure with our cat family is 10 days old today. Nature is gracious to us. All four kittens and its mother are healthy, drinking, sleeping, drinking, sleeping, getting washed by its mother, smelling wonderfully like newborn, peeping from time to time when they cannot find a free teat.

We could spend hours and hours by watching this small miracle.

 

 

 

 


 

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Different views

Different views_www.swissmadstory.ch

 

Different views

The other day, we’re talking about travelling to India again. Big Boy was rather excited about the idea, Little Boy wasn’t. So, we started discussing, we three, about the good and bad things about spending our vacation in a totally different country than Switzerland.

Little Boy told us: “I’d be coming under the condition that we won’t sleep again in this cottage hotel with a lot of spiders, cockroaches and worms which were eating the wooden walls at night and disturbing me in my sleep. I want to have the nice hotel room we had when we went to India the first time.” This was a clear statement. Big Boy reacted in a way I wouldn’t have expected: “Oh, no”, he said, “I loved our cottage in this beautiful garden with a lot of nice plants and flowers, and I loved it because it was so simple.”

Well, two boys, two different views… I tried the financial aspect: “The first time, we had more money and the third time, we tried to keep the budget low. And for the price of one night in the nice hotel room, we could sleep ten nights in the bamboo cottage. What do you thing about this?”

Little Boy answered, surprisingly different than we expected: “I have enough money on my bank account to pay one night or two in the nice hotel or if you want one week.” This was typically Little Boy and very generous.

We kept on discussing a while, but couldn’t find a solution fitting to every one’s needs of us three.

I tried a different approach: “How about the flight”, I asked the two boys. “Cheap flight, long travelling time and at least two stopovers? Or an expensive flight with Emirates, but quick and only one stopover.”

“Emirates….! Definitely”, cried Big and Little Boy. “We want to watch again all the movies like the first time. Not like last time. The service wasn’t nice and the movie program was rather poor.”

Okay, okay… I said: “Our budget is limited. Emirates would cost us more than 1500 Swiss Francs on the top of the cheap flight. Do you want to spend this money for just the movie program”, I asked.

Big and Little Boy started to evaluate what makes more sense: cheap flight, expensive hotel or expensive flight and cheap hotel. And they tried to calculate which solution would be more suitable for my finances.

Little Boy tried to reduce costs by a cheap flight, in order to get rid of the bothering insects. Big Boy tried to convince me of a comfortable and short flight, in order to prevent me from jetlag and exhaustion. That was very sweet by him. But I understood that he didn’t want to renounce to the entertainment program.

At the end of the meal, I was proud of our reasonable conversation with my 10 and 12 years old boys, but I proposed to postpone any decision and get back to it another time.

I’ll let you know how and when we’ll be finding the solution for our next trip to India.

 

 

Fill up energy

Fill up energy

Content Day_swissmadestory.ch

 

I didn’t want to go the Content Production Day by Dave Hertig in Zurich. I was afraid of meeting all the successful Content Managers and feeling very insignificant.

Fortunately, I didn’t listen to my feelings but to my intellect. I got so much energy talking to this group of people, all being on their road to contribute some interesting messages to the Swiss population.

I learnt as well how important it is to continue the way once started even if it doesn’t seem getting “successful”. Sometimes or very often, it takes time. One cannot earn the fruits of his work within weeks or months. Sometimes, it takes years.

And another thing: One has to be oneself, do what he’s best at and find his personal style. Then, people will be fond of him because of his authentic being.

What do I need to become authentic? It’s courage. I need a big portion of courage to pursue the road I took a few months or years ago. Failures – being financially or emotionally – are part of the road.

So, what do I conclude of the last Content Production Day?

Networking, sharing ideas, talking about one’s experiences helps. A lot.

I didn’t feel any more insignificant at the end of the day. I felt strong to follow the road I’ve started. And this is good. Very good, so. Thanks, Dave.


Gerry’s Bar

Gerrysbar_swissmadestory.ch

 

Listening helps

He lives around the corner, and he told my boys how to make pizza on a grey Sunday afternoon two years ago. Gerry, the owner of Gerry’s Bar and the manager of the Italian restaurant, is a real Italian with a real wide-open heart.

I knew I should talk to him. But when I stopped by, he told me that he engaged a young man for his website the night before. I was too late.

But good stories always start at a negative point. Three weeks later, I was the one to re-design his website and to shoot his new front picture.

How come, you may ask?

I was on the right time at the right place and talked to the right person. Because Gerry’s young daughter is the head of the marketing of this restaurant, and she has to deal daily with the website.

The point of this story: Listening, talking and being alert helps a lot.

When I sat with Gerry’s young daughter at that grey afternoon in their restaurant, I didn’t know how I’d manage to convince them to be the person they needed. But I did it. Doing nothing but listening.

 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 23

Conversation between brothers 23_swissmadestory.ch

Conversation between brothers: Scene 23

16.15 am after school

 

Little boy:    “Did you listen to what mom said?”
Big boy:        “No… why?”
Little boy:    “Don’t disturb me…”
Big boy:        “Oh… poor you… you’re feeling disturbed…”
Little boy:    “Yes… I said stop…”
Big boy:        “Oh… yes, I heard that. What’s your problem?”
Little boy:    “I have to do my homework now.”
Big boy:        “Go on…”
Little boy:    “But you’re disturbing me.”
Big boy:        “Oh… my little brother…”
Little boy:    “Leave me now…”
Big boy:        “Well… I see you want to do your homework.”
Little boy:    “Yes.”
Big boy:        “You’re such a eager beaver.”
Little boy:    “Stop insulting me…”
Big boy:        “Oh. You’re feeling insulted. Poor you.”
Little boy:    “Yes. Go away…!”
Big boy:        “Oh. You’re such an excellent scholar.”
Little boy:    “Stopppppp. ”
Big boy:        “Okay… you’re such an intelligent boy…!”
Little boy:    “Stopppppp.”
Big boy:        “You know. I’m cheesed off with school.”
Little boy:    “No wonder… with your intelligence!”
Big boy:        “Hey. Now, you’re insulting me. Stop.”
Little boy:    “Ha, ha, ha… you see how it feels!”
Big boy:        “I didn’t insult you as much as you did.”
Little boy:    “That’s what you think…”
Big boy:        “Yes…! But it’s true…!”
Little boy:    “No…!”
Big boy:        “Yes…! It’s true…!”
Little boy:    “No…!”
Big boy:        “Yes…!
Little boy:    “Stop!”
Big boy:        “You started!”
Little boy:    “No. You did.”
Big boy:        “Oh. What a liar.”
Little boy:    “Come on.”
Big boy:        “Mom. He’s so mean.”

 


Conversation between brothers: Scene 22

Conversation between brothers 22_swissmadestory.ch

Conversation between brothers: Scene 22

4.10 p.m. on a holiday afternoon

Big boy:        “Who is your girl-friend?”

Little boy:    “I don’t have any girl-friend.”

Big boy:        “What? Are you sure?”

Little boy:    “Sure enough.”

Big boy:        “But who’s writing you messages?”

Little boy:    “You’re so curious.”

Big boy:        “Tell me!”

Little boy:    “How about your girl-friend?”

Big boy:        “Girl-friend?”

Little boy:    “Yes. Come on!”

Big boy:        “I don’t have. Girls are all b…!”

Little boy:    “I don’t believe you.”

Big boy:        “You know my school mates.”

Little boy:    “What’s wrong with them?”

Big boy:        “They behave in such a daffy way.”

Little boy:    “I know…”

Big boy:        “I cannot stand it.”

Little boy:    “I’m glad. The girls of my class are different.”

Big boy:        “Wait… they’ll soon be the same way.”

Little boy:    “O my god!”

Big boy:        “And they always stick together…”

Little boy:    “Yes… I saw them during the break.”

Big boy:        “I cannot talk to them any more.”

Little boy:    “Fortunately, we’re boys…”

Big boy:        “Oh… yes!”

 

 

 

 


 

Why not?

Grandmother_www.swissmadestory.ch

 

Why not?

She’s 87 years old, our remarkable grandmother, living in Geneva in her tiny apartment.

“Do you play Beaver Gang with me”, asked Big Boy.

“Well, I’ve no idea what this is”, said Grandmother. “But, why not!”

Big Boy explained the game to her. Very quickly like a fast train. One could hardly follow. They started. She didn’t know what to do, but she kept on, always smiling.

“Now, you have to look at this card and exchange it with this one”, Big Boy tried to help, with a big smile on his face, too. Little Boy followed, amused as well.

She didn’t give up, played until the very end of the game. Big and Little Boy contributed their part to the successful ending.

“What a funny game”, Grandmother concluded, although she didn’t understand all.

The Boys wouldn’t have noticed what Grandmother has told me: It’s worth to say more “why not” instead of “no”.

 


 

Happy kite, happy day

Happy kite_swissmadestory.ch

Happy kite, happy day

 

Why do we think so much? Why do we worry so much?

It’s a bright day, and we are standing on our two legs. We’re smiling. We don’t think about what will be in the future and what has been in the past.

We’re feeling alive. We enjoy being here. Our kite is flying high.

Our jeans have got a hole, but we don’t care.

We’re talking to the crows wishing them a good flight.

Make a wish, and it will come true.

 
 
 

Christmas present for mom

Chrismas present_swissmadestory.ch

 
 

Christmas present for mom

I don’t feel old, but this memory dates from 43 years ago. A long time.

I could hardly wait until my mom opened my Christmas present. I was so proud of it. The thing I made at school. I had been working on it for hours.

When I brought it home after the last school day, I had to hide it until the Christmas Eve. A very long time.
And I hear my mom under the Christmas tree: “Oh, this is wonderful. You made this?” I was so happy for hours.

When little boy came home two days ago, we couldn’t eat until he had wrapped his thing from school and he could hand it out to me.

I unwrapped it very, very slowly looking many times into little boys’ eyes gathering his pride and happiness.

This moment will stay in my memory, too. Forever.

I’m so happy.
 
 

Relationship

Cat harmony_swissmadestory

Relationship

It takes quite a while to get along.
When I think of the two cats, it took four months until I could take this picture just two days ago.
They didn’t like each other very much at the beginning.

Couldn’t it be the same with humans?
It doesn’t have to be something like a firework while coming across a new person – at school, at work, in courses, with new neighbors.
It could take time, a lot of time,
Days, weeks, months, and years.
Do I have this time?
Am I patient enough?
Can I wait until I get the permission to enter the new person’s territory – slowly, but steadily?

The two cats showed me: it works.

 

 


 

Fox on visit

Fox on visit

Eight o’clock in the morning. Working on my computer, I had a look outside.

He was sitting there, in my garden. Quietly. Looking around.

He cleaned himself like a cat.

He watched the cars passing by.

And then, he disappeared.

I don’t know where.

And I wonder what was the purpose of his visit.

 

 

 

 


 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 21

Conversation between brothers 21_swissmadestory.ch.JPG

 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 21

12.10 a.m. after school

Big boy:        “Did you bring home my things from school?”
Little boy:    “No!”
Big boy:        “What? You didn’t?”
Little boy:    “Yes. Why should I?”
Big boy:        “But we agreed you take my homework.”
Little boy:    “Yes, but you also left your sports cloths with your whole bag.”
Big boy:        “So, what did you bring home?”
Little boy:    “Just your folder with your homework.”
Big boy:        “Come on. This isn’t true.”
Little boy:    “Sure. It is.”
Big boy:        “You won’t allow you to play your game on my computer.”
Little boy:    “But, we agreed this morning.”
Big boy:        “But, you didn’t bring home my things.”
Little boy:    “Sure, just one folder. Nothing else.”
Big boy:        “So, you’ll get it at school for me.”
Little boy:    “No. I won’t. What do you think?”
Big boy:        “You have to… !”
Little boy:    “Not in my dreams…!”
Big boy:        “You won’t get my computer.”
Little boy:    “You promised me.”
Big boy:        “It’s your fault.”
Little boy:    “You’re so mean.”
Big boy:        “You are mean…!”
Little boy:    “No… you!”
Big boy:        “No… you!”
Mom:             “What’s going on?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Conversation between brothers: Scene 20

Conversation between brothers 20_swissmadestory.ch.JPG

 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 20

12.15 a.m. after school

 

Little boy:    “I didn’t take your stuff.”
Big boy:        “What?”
Little boy:    “You put your school folder under my jacket.”
Big boy:        “I didn’t want to take it with me.”
Little boy:    “I saw it. But I left it at school.”
Big boy:        “There is my homework in it.”
Little boy:    “I don’t want to be your servant.”
Big boy:        “Don’t you understand?”
Little boy:    “What?”
Big boy:        “I had to go to town.”
Little boy:    “So what? This isn’t my problem.”
Big boy:        “Don’t you understand?”
Little boy:    “You could ask me first.”
Big boy:        “I didn’t think of it. I forgot.”
Little boy:    “It’s already the second time.”
Big boy:        “I was in a hurry.”
Little boy:    “I don’t care.”
Big boy:        “I can’t do my homework.”
Little boy:    “So what?”
Big boy:        “Mom, he’s so mean.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Conversation between brothers: Scene 19

Conversation between brothers 19_swissmadestory.ch
 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 19

 

7.35 p.m. before school

 

Little boy: “Mom, he’s insulting me.”
Big boy: “Oh… you’ve got such a bad breath.”
Little boy: “Shut up.”
Big boy: “Don’t touch me.”
Little boy: “Stop…”
Big boy: “He’s beating me without a reason.”
Little boy: “Oh… poor you!”
Big boy: “Mom, tell him to stop.”
Little boy: “Who started first?
Big boy: “You started first!”
Little boy: “No, you were standing in my way.”
Big boy: “Oh… poor you.”
Little boy: “Mom, he’s so mean to me.”
Big boy: “Oh… tell Mom, poor kid.”
Little boy: “You’re such a pain in my a…!”
Mom: “Stoppppp…. it’s time to prepare for school.”

 
 
 

Content is queen

Content Day_www.swissmadestory.ch

Content is queen

Being creative is a wonderful thing. Being creative in a group is even more inspiring.

The Swiss journalist Dave Hertig invented and sponsors the “Content Day” where journalists, editors, marketing and event managers gather in the old town of Zurich.

During this day, I worked on my own projects. I finished and published for example my client’s new website www.demant.ch, I published the daily content for my other client Almo Nature and its website, Facebook and Twitter account and I continued the work for the third client who will soon come out with his professional hearing aid app for Android smartphones.

But the most inspiring thing during this day was the discussions on the roof of the house with the other creative people. We argued about the quality of texts today and 20 years ago, we discussed the pro and contra of publishing secret things and we exchanged funny stories of daily life as self-employed workers.

And last but not least, I appreciated very much the 1-minute presentations. Every hour, we stopped our own activity and listened to one of the participants and his or her ideas: one nice example is the creation of sustainable shirts for men.

Summa summarum: My first “Content Day” has been an enriching experience to my 80 days as an independent content manager.

Thanks, Dave… for all this and for your picture.

 

 

 


Successful performing

Circus Pipistrello_swissmadestory.ch

 

Successful performing

I don’t know why I love the circus, perhaps, because it’s so creative. And I’m so glad my boys do like it, too.

They again spent one week in the circus, again in the circus band as last year. And they had to work hard to play during one hour and a half while their 90 colleagues were performing as clowns, acrobats, mimes and magicians.

Little boy played the electric bass guitar for the first time, and big boy was improvising as a French rapper – with success. I’m proud of them.

I won’t forget this special moment, and maybe, they will always remember later in their lives. I wish it for them, because being creative creates self-confidence – an important factor to be happy.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 18

Conversation between brothers 18 _swissmadestory.ch

Conversation between brothers: Scene 18

13.17 p.m. after lunch

Big boy:         “Hey, you have to clean up the kitchen.”

Little boy:      “It’s not my turn.”

Big boy:         “Sure. It’s yours. I did it last week.”

Little boy:      “Hmm…”

Big boy:         “You have to clean the pan and salad bowl, too.”

Little boy:      “No….”

Big boy:         “But, it’s part of it.”

Little boy:      “Do you think I do all this?”

Big boy:         “You have to.”

Little boy:      “Hmm …”

Big boy:         “It did it yesterday.”

Little boy:      “But, you didn’t clean the pans.”

Big boy:         “Sure, because I wanted to do something nice for mom.”

Little boy:      “Oh…”

Big boy:         “You could do something nice to her, too.”

Little boy:      “I don’t feel like it.”

Big boy:         “You are such an egoist.”

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 17

Conversations between brothers 17_www.esthersviewpoint.com

Conversation between brothers: Scene 17

12.35 p.m. at lunch

 

Big boy:         “He’s always correcting me, mom.”

Little boy:      “But you said it wrong.”

Big boy:         “But you’re making fun of me.”

Little boy:      “No. Not at all.”

Big boy:         “You think you know all better.”

Little boy:      “No. But you said it wrong.”

Big boy:         “Your tone is so mean.”

Little boy:      “Are you in a bad mood?”

Big boy:         “Mom, tell him to stop.”

Little boy:      “Oh… poor you.”

Big boy:         “I want to change place.”

Little boy:      “You don’t like me in front of you.”

Big boy:         “Yes, because you’re teasing me.”

Little boy:      “Oh… my brother is suffering.”

Big boy:         “Stop…”

Little boy:      “Oh… ”

Big boy:         “Mom, I want to sit in front of you.”

 

 

 

 

A heart for animals

Heart for animals Kopie

A heart for animals

Big Boy rescued a little bird. Mister cat wanted to play with it, and he could watch this scene.

A heart for animals, you’d say. Right.

But it depends very much of the situation.

Big Boy likes playing with the baby cat, putting it under a cover or putting his T-shirt around its body and letting it try in vain to break free.

Or he enjoys cutting earthworms or snails or dissecting locusts.

It was also Big Boy who came home from Kindergarten with a dozen of cottage snails in his hands and pockets.

At that time, I remember, I wanted to take out the laundry from the washing machine. Two cottage snails were wandering on the freshly washed jeans. They survived an hour turning around by 40 degrees Celsius.

As Big Boy’s mother, I’d say I have to have a big heart for animals too, in order to survive Big Boy’s zoo without a heart attack.

 

 

 

 

 

Grounded

Grounded with bare foot_www.esthersviewpoint.com

Grounded

I didn’t like being barefoot when I was a child. I had my woolen socks, knitted by my grandmother, and they definitely were my protection against too much life and summer action.

I loved spending my free afternoons on my bed reading stories about a courageous woman in Lhasa or an intelligent French lady having an unhappy love affair.

It was in India that I dared walking nearly barefoot during five weeks. I only had my flip-flops.

The first time in my life, I felt grounded by my bare feet.

Certain feelings take a long time to grow.

Deep relaxation

Let you go cat yoga_esthersviewpoint.com

Deep relaxation

Looking at my baby cat that is sleeping most of the time when I’m writing I understand what my yoga teacher always wants to tell me.

Breathing and letting go…

Relax.

Most of the time, my thoughts are walking around during the yoga class like my curious baby cat when it’s chasing butterflies, dragonflies, grasshoppers or even a toad.

My dear cat, can we change lives – just for one day? I’d like to sleep beside your computer while you’re writing my stories and get the sensation of deep relaxation.

 

 

Looking for men

Looking for men_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 

It was a hot Summer Sunday afternoon. I was sitting at this place, looking at the lake and the mountains.

I didn’t have a boyfriend, but I wished to have one. I tried to read a very intelligent book and to have a very intellectual expression on my face.

I didn’t concentrate too much on my book; I was spying to discover a single man, looking as well very intelligent and very intellectual.

It was one of these five hundred Sundays. I felt very lonely.

It never happened: this chance encounter.

I finished my studies: with brilliant results. I had a lot of interesting discussions with my professors.

A male counterpart at my age came to see me from time to time – but only in my dreams.

Farewell

Cat lady Nara_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 

Our cat lady Nara will be leaving us soon. It’s a sad moment because we really love her.

Nara grew up somewhere far from us. She must have been beaten and treated very badly. She is so shy and wants hardly be caressed.

Over this year and a half, since she came here, she became a tiny bit less anxious. The first week with us, she was hiding under the sofa. Now, she jumped onto the sofa from time to time, laid down and started purring and stayed a while there.

Nara started even licking our Mister cat and was lying with him in the basket. Everybody was convinced that she’ll be adopting our baby cat with an open heart.

When our baby Loulou arrived three weeks ago, Nara was very curious at the beginning. But then, her elegant tail grew very thick, as we’ve never seen it. She developed such anger only by seeing the baby cat.

Three days ago, she bit the tiny cat into its leg when chasing it in the garden. The baby cat’s leg was terribly bleeding.

It’s too much stress for both of them and all family members as well. That’s why Nara will leave us for a better place for her. Farewell, Nara, we love you.

 

 

 

Birthday wish

Little boys birthday in India_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 

Some want to have a nice dinner for their birthday; some want to go shopping, and this boy wanted to go swimming in a pool.

Swimming pools and India don’t really belong together. But for little boy’s birthday wish, mothers have to make possible everything, even in India.

Of course, our little green paradise with our small hut didn’t help in this situation. As we hadn’t been in the middle of nowhere in India, a few hotels with pool standard were around.

And so, we sneaked in a well-known hotel where we had celebrated New Year’s two years before. We pretended being residents, and swoops… we jumped into the pool.

It was hard to get little boy out of the water. He’s a fish and uses to play for hours being a real fish.

The offer of having some sweets with his older brother in his favorite restaurant took his pool session to an end. Thank Goddess Sweets!

 

 

Crazy life

Being a mother in Switzerland means doing all, and all means all: working 100 percent, looking after my two boys, taking care of the household, and above all trying to have a relationship with a man.

But let’s not talk about the fourth thing! This is another story. Let’s talk about the three other things which are in total already much too much.

I’m not complaining, not at all, because I wanted it this way. I certainly wanted to be a workingwoman and wanted to have kids. But nobody asked me whether I wanted to clean floors, change beds, wash cloths, fix lights, heating, shower nozzles, toilet boxes and so on and on.

I’d rather sit and write than arguing with youngsters about their consummation of computers and smartphones games or telling them twenty times to feed their pets, etc. But I’m not complaining, because I wanted to be divorced and educate my kids according to my style.

So, what’s the point, you may be asking? The point is that I cannot fill well all these roles because it would be a 300 percent job. And it’s pretty hard to confess that I’m not a perfect workingwoman, nor a good mother and at least a busy housewife. I’m constantly facing insufficiency.

And in order not to drive mad, I have to eliminate certain roles at certain times. Some days, I laugh at my kitchen disorder. Some days, I let the boys go on a long leash. Some days, I feel like writing and not working for money. And some days, I don’t know what should come first…

Can you follow me?

 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 16

Conversation between brothers 16_www.esthersviewpoint.com

3.30 p.m. on a free Wednesday afternoon

Big boy:         “You’re not fat at all.”

Little boy:      “Look at my belly on the picture.”

Big boy:         “No, look here at my belly.”

Little boy:      “You haven’t got a belly at all.”

Big boy:         “But, if I press it between my fingers. It looks the same.”

Little boy:      “I won’t eat any more.”

Big boy:         “Come on. Eat your mars.”

Little boy:      “No, I won’t. And I won’t eat any more.”

Big boy:         “It’s how mom took the picture. Your belly is not fat.”

Little boy:      “It is…!”

Big boy:         “Don’t feel bad.”

Little boy:      “I feel bad…!”

Big boy:         “Look at you. You’re perfect.”

Little boy:      “I’m not.”

Big boy:         “Don’t say that…”

Little boy:      “Hmm…”

Big boy:         “Mom, tell him please…!”

Mom:              “It’s all my fault. You’re not fat at all.”

Mom:              “I didn’t take a good picture.”

Big boy:         “You see… my dear brother…!”

 

 

 

 

Taking care of his baby

Little boy with cat_www.esthersviewpoint.com

Little boy is a very sweet mother to his baby cat. But like mothers do, he’s often complaining that his Loulou is doing nasty things like jumping on the table or licking plates in the kitchen with unhealthy things for a little cat.

More and more, little boy is getting tired as well of being disturbed in his sleep at night by his little baby. The other day, he was even crying because he didn’t want to share his bed with it any more. “I need a good rest tonight”, he told me. And he asked me to take care of it that night.

Little boy was also very worried when Loulou played with a wasp and was probably stung by it. “It’s always licking with its tongue and it seems having tears in its eyes”, he reported me.

Together with his big brother, he gave it SOS pills – some homeopathic pills I used to give him when he was small child. And little boy was very proud: “Loulou swallowed one pill, I am sure.”

Taking care of his baby cat keeps little boy busier than he imagined before.

 

No chance with educating

Big boy and mother_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 

As I knew it will be hard to get back to mother’s rules.

The two boys are back from their vacation with their father and back from playing games and watching films, and it’s been a hard week.

And still, it is. After spending a Saturday with big boy while little boy is with his father I’m giving up – at eight o’clock in the evening.

Big boy wasn’t able to do something creative during the day. His drawing is still waiting to be finished. There are two eyes on the paper. That’s all.

He was restless, and I wasn’t capable to catch him with interesting ideas.

Okay, we went shopping and got a pump for our garden, and there is now the element water running as Feng Shui tells to do in order to calm down.

No chance, I wasn’t very successful with my big boy.

He’s now watching the film “Penguins in Madagascar” while I’m writing this.

I admit: Educating kids isn’t a picnic.

 

 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 15

Conversation between brothers 15_www.esthersviewpoint.com

5.12 p.m. after school

Big boy:         “Why are you so late from school?”

Little boy:     “Am I late?”

Big boy:         “It’s 10 past 5 and your school finished at 4.20.”

Little boy:     “No, it was 4.30.”

Big boy:         “No. It’s always 4.20.”

Little boy:     “Okay… I had to walk back to get my bike.”

Big boy:         “But to walk back takes me five minutes.”

Little boy:     “But I didn’t walk fast.”

Big boy:         “You played games on the phone with your friend.”

Little boy:     “No…”

Big boy:         “Come on. Or you’ve played foot with your other friend.”

Little boy:     “No… I was alone walking back.”

Big boy:         “I don’t believe you.”

Little boy:     “Leave me now…”

Big boy:         “So, tell me what you’ve been doing.”

Little boy:     “I told you.”

Big boy:         “You don’t need 50 minutes…”

Little boy:     “Hmmm…”

Big boy:         “I’m sure you played games…”

Mom:             “Stop…! Please!”

 

No time for homework

Cat Loulou_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 
 
It is our new baby: three months old, silky coat and not shy at all. Loulou tells our two other cats who is the boss in this house. Hissing und growling like a big old cat, this tiny thing already knows how to make upset the others.

The cat is the late birthday present for nine-year-old Little Boy, and he is the new mother of this creature. He takes his role very seriously. I found him yesterday sitting in his room with his cat, reading with his softest voice little stories to his four-legged friend and looking at me proudly like a mother with her baby.

This morning, Little Boy first complained when I woke him up with his cat. “Loulou crawled under my duvet tonight and bit me in my big toe”, he told me and asked, “do you know how much painful this was?” I understood very well. Although, he had been warned of these kinds of coincidences by the former cat mother.

But Little Boys’ dedication to Loulou is still unbroken. He didn’t have time to do his homework after school because it wanted to play with him and he found it an excellent idea.

Well, we’ll be talking soon to the cat in order to get some free minutes for homework.

 
 

Alive

 

Boy jumping_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 

 

My boys are teaching me – among a lot of things – one important thing: being open.

Being open for new experiences, new people, new places, new tastes, new colors, new feelings.

For example, I’ve never dreamt of going fishing, cleaning fishes and cooking them. And when you open our fridge right now, you find living mealworms. Thanks, Big Boy.

Or I didn’t have any experience in my childhood with playing with legos. But it feels satisfying lying on the floor of the living-room and putting together a VW bus of at least 10’000 pieces.

Or I wasn’t the typical game player when I was younger. But now I’m spending hours by playing Uno or Rummikub with Little Boy.

Being open isn’t an easy thing to do. But it gives me much more in return. And there will be more experiences in the future I’ve never dreamt of. I’m sure and open.

 

 

Calling mom: Scene 2

Boys in vacation_www.esthersviewpoint.com

5.45 p.m. in a restaurant in Venice with their father

 
Big boy:         “Hi mom, how are you?”

Me:                 “Fine. Thanks. How about you?”

Big boy:         “Fine. Mom, can you give me the permission for some apps. I want to play some games on my iPod?”

Me:                 “Hmmm… you want to play…”

Big boy:         “You know: I need to download these games.”

Me:                 “Hmmm… where are you at the moment?”

Big boy:         “In a restaurant. Do you give me the permission?”

Me:                 “Hmmm… How is the hotel in Venice?”

Big boy:         “It’s okay. Mom, will you do it now?”

Me:                 “Hmmm…”

Big boy:         “If you do it now, I’ll call you again tonight.”

Me:                 “Hmmm… Can I talk to your brother?”

Big boy:         “Okay…”

Little boy:     “Hi mom. How are you?”

Me:                 “Fine and you?”

Little boy:     “Okay. Mom, you have to give the permission to B.”

Me:                 “Hmmm… and if I don’t want?”

Little boy:     “I pass you again B.”

Big boy:         “Yes or no?”

Me:                 “No.”

Big boy:         “You are so mean, mom! I’ll hang up…”

 

P.S. Thanks to the father for the picture.

Switch for silence

Featured image

 

Sitting at the lake and trying to bring calm into my body.

No way. Head is working.

Where is the switch?

Thinking of the yoga teacher and remembering a yoga posture.

Body in quiet pose, head trying to concentrate on the breathing.

Head rotating. Not finding the switch for the breathing.

Giving up. Feeling the bad weather in my head, looking at the lake and accepting that total silence isn’t possible at the moment.

Never mind. Will be trying another time.

Calling mom: Scene 1

Cruise vacation_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 
 
 
My two boys are now on a cruise with their father. And I talked to Big Boy on the phone.

First thing he told me: “We don’t have Wi-Fi on board. It would cost 18 Euros half an hour. Do you understand, mom? Only for half an hour.”

Fortunately, they won’t stay all eight days on the ship. For example, there was a day trip to a Greek Island where they found a free Wi-Fi in a restaurant.

Second thing he told me: “There are so many people, mom. We try to find a quiet place from time to time.”

For sure, about 2500 passengers on this swimming hotel aren’t a small amount of people. I agree.

Third thing my twelve-year-old told me: “There is a game room on the ship. This is cool because you can play games for free.”

I am glad that I don’t have to discuss with my boys about the daily gaming time for the moment being, but certainly more intensively at their return. A withdrawal is always a hard thing to do.

And the good thing: They’ll be surely appreciating coming back to sweet, quiet home.
P.S. Thanks to the father for the picture.

 

 

 

Life is a firework

Featured image

 

Life is like an explosion. It starts like a normal Monday. But it wasn’t a normal day.

I am sure you had your normal Monday coming back to work from the weekend, a bit lazy and still dreaming of doing nothing.

Me instead, for the first time in my life since I finished my studies, I started my Monday without being engaged by a company.

For the first time, I am free, working for the people I like to.

You might say: Okay, so what….

You’re right. But after nearly 20 years, it’s very special to me.

Life is like a firework. Don’t you know these kinds of passages in your life?

If not, remember me: suddenly, there will be an unexpected explosion you never dreamt of and your life will change.

Don’t ask me what will come after the explosion. I don’t know either at the moment.
 

 

Traveling at home

 

Zurich_esthersviewpoint.com

 

Everybody is gone: my boys on a cruise with their father, some friends in the States, in Greece, France, Italy and so on and on.

I am traveling in my mind.

I was again a student, hanging around at the river in Zurich discussing with my friends about Heidegger or Derrida, smoking my own made cigarettes and drinking red wine.

Or I met there a man I was very fond of and him as well of me, but he didn’t want to leave his girlfriend. She didn’t mind him seeing me from time to time. I couldn’t agree with this setting.

Or I remember how I was sunbathing there at the riverside on Sunday afternoons, reading heavy books and searching hard for an intelligently looking young man to talk to.

I spent many summers there, trying out different relationships. But my summer feeling kept always to be the same, and it came back when I visited this place a few days ago.

 

 

 

Believe

Featured image

 

It was in my first class. I was seven. I had to do those additions: 6+7=12 or 13? 5+8=24 or 23 or 22? I was looking at my fingers, counting, recounting and I was so nervous about these figures. They were turning around in my head.

I walked to my teacher, an elderly woman, a Mademoiselle, certainly not married, with heavy glasses and a strong voice. She sat at a table, two steps above the floor. She took my sheet of calculations. Her red pencil was like a weapon. She destroyed all my nice additions – with a red dash.

I stepped back to my pupil desk – with a red face.

It has been a real fight – my figures and me. My father, a professor of mathematics, was desperate.

My mother even cried when we left after the talk with my teacher. How could I do this? Her daughter was so stupid. It was her first big crisis as a parent.

Wednesday afternoon, when my friends used to play on the street, I sat with my father repeating additions. As I couldn’t concentrate well, he closed the rolling shutters and we sat under the artificial light.

“Your daughter won’t be able to go to a high school later”, my teacher said to my father.

My father believed her and not in me.

 
 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 14

Featured image

8.35 p.m. during summer vacation

Little boy:      “If I have to watch your film, I want to play with your legos.”

Big boy:         “I don’t want to watch again your ‘Baymax’.”

Little boy:      “But I don’t want to watch ‘Wasabi’.”

Big boy:         “Why don’t you want to watch it?”

Little boy:      “I prefer ‘Baymax’.”

Big boy:         “So, I won’t let you play with my legos.”

Little boy:      “But you told me this morning…”

Big boy:         “I changed my mind.”

Little boy:      “You’re so mean.”

Big boy:         “Well, let’s watch my film and you’ll get my legos.”

Little boy:      “I don’t’ like this film.”

Big boy:         “I don’t like yours…”

Little boy:      “Okay…”

Big boy:         “Do you want to watch now?”

Little boy:      “But will you give me your legos?”

Big boy:         “We’ll see…”

Little boy:      “You’re never keeping your word… ”

Big boy:         “What are you blabbering?”

Little boy:      “Okay… I don’t want to watch your film.”

Big boy:         “You’re again ruining the good mood…!”

Conversation between brothers: Scene 13

Featured image
 

12.45 a.m. first day of summer vacation

Little boy:     “Where is my coffee?”

Big boy:         “What…?”

Little boy:     “You promised me a cold coffee.”

Big boy:         “I beg you pardon.”

Little boy:     “Don’t you remember?”

Big boy:         “What…?”

Little boy:     “For sure. We made a bet and I was right.”

Big boy:         “What? A bet?”

Little boy:     “We were looking for the right name of a film.”

Big boy:         “Okay. Right! I owe you a cold coffee.”

Little boy:     “I want it now…!”

Big boy:         “I can make you one now.”

Little boy:     “But, I want a cold one from the shop.”

Big boy:         “I don’t want to spend money.”

Little boy:     “But you promised me.”

Big boy:         “I’m always short of money…!”

Little boy:     “But, you lost our bet.”

Big boy:         “Hey… you cannot ask me when I’ve so little money…”

Little boy:     “This isn’t my problem…”

Big boy:         “Come on. Don’t be so mean.”

Little boy:     “So… when do I get my coffee…?”
 
 

Letter to my father

Father_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 

I know you must have felt rather powerless in many situations in your life. Otherwise you wouldn’t have made me feel so helpless talking to you.

You knew everything better than me. You did everything better than me. I didn’t have any chance to do something well.

I felt so worthless when I didn’t understand the math homework and you spent hours to explain to me everything starting with the basics. As a math professor you felt yourself so helpless because your daughter couldn’t calculate the easy things like 1 plus 1.

Years later, when I wanted to move out because I couldn’t stand any more our daily discussions, you were so upset. I was scared to discover so much anger in your face.

A few more years later, my very first article was published in a big Swiss newspaper. You were asked by my boy friend why you didn’t congratulate me. You answered: “Everybody can write an article. This isn’t such a big thing”.

Yes, father, you realized much more important things in life. But one thing wasn’t your thing: To make feel someone confortable in your company. And I suppose I know why. You never felt at ease with yourself. And I feel sorry for you… and for me, too.

 

 

Childhood memories

Featured image

 
While a lot of friends of mine spent their summer vacation on the seaside, my father decided that hiking in the Swiss mountains was the best thing to do with his family.

My brother and me tried to have fun with our father’s hobby. But we were very often “like a cat and a mouse” as my mother used to say.

Being a mother myself, it isn’t surprising to me.

Hanging around with children of the same age is much more interesting than carrying a backpack for a week with always the same menu, dry bread, jerky, dry apples, dry apricots and water.

And the highlight of the week was a liter of apple juice divided by four at the restaurant.

I think our dog did enjoy this much more than me.
 
 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 12

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3.40 p.m. in the living-room after school

Little boy:     “What’s wrong? Why are you crying?”

Big boy:         “Hmm… (sobbing).”

Little boy:     “What happened?”

Big boy:         “Well… two class mates wanted to beat me?”

Little boy:     “Just like this?”

Big boy:         “No, because I’m talking too much to E…”

Little boy:     “Oh… they’re just jealous of you.”

Big boy:         “I like talking to E. She is nice.”

Little boy:     “Sure, she is a nice girl.”

Big boy:         “But, they told me not to talk to her.”

Little boy:     “But, they cannot do this.”

Big boy:         “They warned me. They’ll beat me.”

Little boy:     “But, you won’t let them do!”

Big boy:         “They followed me all the way back home.”

Little boy:     “Why don’t you tell your teacher?”

Big boy:         “They warned me. If I tell him…”

Little boy:     “But, you won’t waste your time with these two guys.”

Big boy:         “Hmm…. (sobbing).”

Little boy:     “Come on. You’re stronger than them!”

Big boy:         “I know… (but still sobbing).”
 
 

At the moment being

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Drinking my morning tea, I’m thinking how I’ll manage the new website at work and to whom I’ll have to write my first email.

Riding my bike to work, I’m thinking that I forgot to tell my little boy that his violin lesson will be starting earlier than usual.

Logging into my computer at work, I’m thinking that I’ll need to buy a birthday present for my big boy’s friend.

Writing my first email, I’m thinking that I forgot to log out my computer at home and my kids will probably take profit after school surfing until I’ll be coming home tonight.

Eating my lunch, I’m thinking that I’ll have to organize the two weeks of summer vacation with the boys, call my parents and fix the day visiting the zoo.

Writing my 42nd email, I’m thinking that I should read the newspaper to get the latest news about Greece.

Riding my bike home, I’m thinking that I didn’t prepare well for the editor meeting the next day.

Finding my boys at my computer, I’m thinking I should organize my life with less stress.

Thinking that I wasn’t conscious of all these moments during the day thinking at other things, I’m thinking that it’s pretty hard not thinking all the time and feeling the moment being.
 
 

Careless

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It has been a lake, an evening and a warm summer night.

My boys and me enjoyed this moment.

We three felt secure, fearless and careless.

There were just a few birds talking before going to sleep.

And us three looking at the twilight sky.

The picture records the moment and my feelings.

Fortunately, we’ve got pictures to remember what we easily forget.

 
 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 11

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7.15 a.m. in the living-room before school

Big boy:         “Why are you crying?”

Little boy:     “I didn’t do my housework…”

Big boy:         “But is this so bad?”

Little boy:     “I’ll get a red point as punishment.”

Big boy:         “Well…that’s not this bad.”

Little boy:     “I’ve already one red point…”

Big boy:         “Well… I already did so many extra exercises.”

Little boy:     “But I didn’t. For me it’s bad.”

Big boy:         “Come on. You will survive…”

Little boy:     “No… I don’t want to go to school.”

Big boy:         “Tell your teacher you didn’t have time yesterday.”

Little boy:     “But I got this homework a week ago.”

Big boy:         “Okay… then you have to put up with a red point.”

Little boy:     “…and I didn’t learn my dictation.”

Big boy:         “Well… Shall I tell you how I do?”

                       “Every free minute, during the break or

whenever I’ve to wait for something,

I look at the sentences.

And I try to memorize them.”

Little boy:     “But I didn’t copy it at all.”

Big boy:         “You’ve got still half hour before school starts.”

Little boy:     “Oh…. (still sobbing).”

Big boy:         “Come on. You’ll manage this.”

Little boy:     “Okay… (starts writing).”

Big boy:         “You see… it’s not that bad…!”
 
 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 10

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7.20 p.m. in the car after shopping

 

Little boy:     “…you still owe me a new gun.”

Big boy:         “It wasn’t my fault that it’s broken.”

Little boy:     “Who’s fault is it then?”

Big boy:         “I don’t’ have any money.”

Little boy:     “Why…?”

Big boy:         “I already owe Dad 50 Swiss francs.”

Little boy:     “But I don’t want to wait.”

Big boy:         “But you know I have debts.”

Little boy:     “This isn’t my problem.”

Big boy:         “You’re so mean.”

Little boy:     “What?”

Big boy:         “You’re pushing me.”

Little boy:     “I just want a replacement for my gun.”

Big boy:         “You’re making me feel so bad.”

Little boy:     “Why?”

Big boy:         “It’s not fun being in debt.”

Little boy:     “Well, this isn’t my problem.”

Big boy:         “You’re so mean.”

Little boy:     “Why?”

Big boy:         “You don’t know how it feels for me.”

Little boy:     “Yes, because I’m not always spending all my money.”

 

 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 9

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7.37 a.m. before leaving for school

Big boy:         “Can I borrow your headphones again?”

Little boy:     “Why don’t you take yours?”

Big boy:         “They’re broken. Can I?”

Little boy:     “No, I don’t give them.”

Big boy:         “Oh, come on!”

Little boy:     “You’re always breaking my things.”

Big boy:         “No, this isn’t true.”

Little boy:     “I remember very well.”

Big boy:         “Come on, just for today.”

Little boy:     “Buy you new headphones.”

Big boy:         “I can’t. School is starting soon.”

Little boy:     “Well, this isn’t my problem.”

Big boy:         “But you don’t need yours today!”

Little boy:     “No, but I don’t want to lend.”

Big boy:         “Oh, you’re such a coward.”

Little boy:     “And you’re always insulting me…”

Big boy:         “Yes, because you’re deserving it.”

Little boy:     “Stop now…”

Big boy:         “You’re such a snob.”

Little boy:     “Mom, he’s insulting me again.”

Big boy:         “Oh dear! …mama’s boy!”

Being two

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Having feelings.

Feeling loved.

But there is no space to be.

There is no space for love.

Feeling squeezed.
 

What stays are memories.

Memories of being in one world.

Having one future.

Being meant for each other.

Being one by two.

 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 8

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17.46 p.m. on the cycle ride under the rain

Little boy:     “I’ll take a bath when we’re back home.”

Big boy:         “Oh, good idea!”

Little boy:     “But I want to be alone in the tub.”

Big boy:         “Oh, no!”

Little boy:     “I like to chill and relax.”

Big boy:         “Okay, no problem with me!”

Little boy:     “But you’re always disturbing me.”

Big boy:         “Come on…”

Little boy:     “Mm…”

Big boy:         “I want to chill too.”

Little boy:     “But we don’t have enough space.”

Big boy:         “Come on. Let’s try once more.”

Little boy:     “You always want to do the same things as me!”

Big boy:         “No. This isn’t true.”

Little boy:     “But it is…”

Big boy:         “It’ll feel great in the tub after this rain.”

Little boy:     “Sure. But you can take your bath after me.”

Big boy:         “But we could chill together!”

Little boy:     “Mm…”

Big boy:         “Okay?”

Little boy:     “Oh… okay!”

Big boy:         “Thank you… little brother!”

Conversation between brothers: Scene 7

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7.05 p.m. in the kitchen

Big boy:         “Good morning, my sweet little brother.”

Little boy:     “Mm…”

Big boy:         “Come to me, I’d like to give you a kiss.”

Little boy:     “What’s going on?”

Big boy:         “Why?”

Little boy:     “You’re never in such a good mood.”

Big boy:         “Aren’t you happy when I’m like this?”

Little boy:     “It’s totally unusual.”

Big boy:         “So what?”

Little boy:     “I cannot believe it.”

Big boy:         “Well…”

Little boy:     “You seem so artificial.”

Big boy:         “And…?”

Little boy:     “What’s the reason for your good mood?”

Big boy:         “I feel great today.”

Little boy:     “Just like this?”

Big boy:         “I’m looking forward to my school night walk.”

Little boy:     “Aha…”

Big boy:         “Aren’t you happy with me?”

Little boy:     “You should be going on a night walk every day.”

Big boy:         “Why?”

Little boy:     “I’d be so much more comfortable with you…”

Sweet VIP box

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“Mom, where did you put my swimming suit? Where did you put my wooden gun and my fishing net?”

Every half a day, I’m looking for something I put away a few days ago or more.

Two teenagers drop a lot of items at places where they’re not meant to be. And one has to be consistent as the boss of the house.

Living two weeks in this tiny hut in South India is a real salvation for a mother. First, there isn’t a lot of space to spread out things; and second, the number of belongings for the vacation is extremely reduced to the one at home.

I’d wish I could spend more weeks of the year with fewer items around my boys and me. I’m sure one could concentrate on more important things than looking for our belongings.

I admit it doesn’t have to be the monk style, but just a little bit more concentration on the essential of life.

 

 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 6

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5.15 p.m. on a Saturday

Big boy:         “I’m bored. Let’s do something.”

Little boy:     “I’m busy now. I’m playing with my Legos?”

Big boy:         “Can I play with you?”

Little boy:     “No, you’re always disturbing me.”

Big boy:         “Come on. I want to play with you.”

Little boy:     “Don’t touch my Legos.”

Big boy:         “Don’t be so mean.”

Little boy:     “I’m so happy on my own.”

Big boy:         “Please, give me a chance.”

Little boy:     “Oh, no…”

Big boy:         “I always let you play with me.”

Little boy:     “No, that’s not true.”

Big boy:         “You’re lying.”

Little boy:     “Give me a break.”

Big boy:         “Come on, one chance.”

Little boy:     “Okay.”

Big boy:         “Okay, we should build this in a different way.”

Little boy:     “You’re not the boss.”

Big boy:         “But I want to help you.”

Little boy:     “I don’t need your help.”

Big boy:         “You’re such a fool.”

Little boy:     “Mom, my brother calls me a fool…”

Conversation between brothers: Scene 5

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7.31 p.m. at the breakfast table:

Big boy:         “Who is your best friend at school?”
Little boy:     “I don’t have one, I have several?”

Big boy:         “But if you have to choose one?”

Little boy:     “Oh, this is difficult. I like many.”

Big boy:         “Come on. If you have to choose right now!”

Little boy:     “Oh, you ask difficult questions…”

Big boy:         “It isn’t difficult at all.”

Little boy:     “I’m different than you.”

Big boy:         “But do you have friends?”

Little boy:     “Sure. I told you.”

Big boy:         “So, can you name just one.”

Little boy:     “I like them all.”

Big boy:         “If you have to invite one.”

Little boy:     “I wouldn’t know.”

Big boy:         “Come on.”

Little boy:     “Okay. Maybe L…”

Big boy:         “Aha…”

Little boy:     “Or M…”

Big boy:         “You cannot make any decision.”

Little boy:     “How about you?”

Big boy:         “I know. It’s definitely A…”

Little boy:     “Okay. I knew… and you’re so snobbish.”

Hot chocolates in Delhi

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This is India, too. You won’t believe that this picture hasn’t been taken in London, Paris or Rom. And it wasn’t a five star hotel. It was a coffee shop in the quarter of the Tibetan colony in Delhi.

How come that this coffee shop knew what is modern art in serving things?

I don’t know. But I know that I don’t like to get the same things all over the world like cloths or coffee shops.

I like to drink my coffee or chai for example at Clafouti in Varkala in a mug, which has always another color or shape every day.

The variety makes my day, not the sameness. How about you?
 
 

 

Enjoying the moment

 

Spending two days in an Indian train might be unimaginable for Swiss people, and this with two kids who like to move every minute.

But no worries! There is so much going on in such a train: So many different people getting in and out, so many sellers of various sweets, drinks or different curry, so many breakfasts, lunches, afternoon teas and dinners.

And there was plenty of time to just be together and have fun with our Tibetan friend.

The moment itself became important; and one forgot the many hours to still be on the train.

If I lived my days in Switzerland like this, I’d be less stressed by the exigence of life…

 
 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 4

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Dinner table at 18.31 p.m.

Big boy:         “Which movie shall we watch tonight?”

Little boy:     “Do you think Mom will allow us this?”

Big boy:         “Sure. She already agreed.”

Little boy:     “I didn’t hear it.”

Big boy:         “She will certainly say yes. I know.”

Little boy:     “Last week-end she said: no movies anymore.”

Big boy:         “Come on. She was angry with us.”

Little boy:     “Yes. I know.”

Big boy:         “She will change her mind.”

Little boy:     “I’m not sure about this.”

Big boy:         “Which movies do you choose?”

Little boy:     “I’m sure she won’t allow.”

Big boy:         “We’ll convince her.”

Little boy:     “You won’t succeed. I know her.”

Big boy:         “Come on. Don’t be so pessimistic.”

Little boy:     “Okay. You try to convince her.”

Big boy:         “Why always me?”

Little boy:     “You wanted to watch a film.”

Big boy:         “But you do like watching, too.”

Little boy:     “Sure. But it was your idea.”

Big boy:         “My brother: you’re such a kill-joy.”

Little boy:     “Thanks. And you’re so boring with your ideas.”

 

 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 3

Boys daily life 3_www.esthersviewpoint.com

Bathroom at 17.31 p.m.

Little boy:      “Hey, you put on my grey track pants.”

Big boy:          “No, this isn’t true.”

Little boy:      “I am sure they are mine.”

Big boy:          “Come on. You don’t know yours.”

Little boy:      “I am sure I always put them at the same place.”

Big boy:          “No, no…”

Little boy:      “Take them off. Now.”

Big boy:          “That’s what you want.”

Little boy:      “Yes, right now.”

Big boy:          “They are mine.”

Little boy:      “I am sure you put your pants somewhere else.”

Big boy:          “No, no…”

Little boy:      “Take off my track pants!”

Big boy:          “Tell me where are mine?”

Little boy:      “You are such a messy.”

Big boy:          “Don’t blame me.”

Little boy:      “You might have put them in your room.”

Big boy:          “Okay, show me.”

Little boy:      “I’m not that stupid to look for your things.”

Big boy:          “Well, then I keep your pants. Okay?”

Little boy:      “No. You’re so mean.”

Big boy:          “If you want your pants, you’ve to get them.”

Little boy goes to big boys’ room, gets his pants and comes back.

Big boy:          “Don’t throw them at me.”

Little boy:      “These are your pants and this is the last time.”

Big boy:          “Okay. Okay. Professor. You’re so smart.”

Little boy:      “Mom. He is so mean to me.”

Big boy:          “Ha, ha… you’re such a sneak.”

Mother:          “Stoppppppp!”

 

 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 2

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Kitchen table at 12.16 p.m.:

Big boy:          “Do you have a girlfriend?”

Little boy:      “No, thank you.”

Big boy:          “Aren’t you in love with J.?”

Little boy:      “You’re crazy.”

Big boy:          “Come on. Tell me.”

Little boy:      “No, leave me in peace.”

Big boy:          “But I’m sure about it.”

Little boy:      “Come on. Stop. I hate girls.”

Big boy:          “No, you don’t. I know.”

Little boy:      “Perhaps you are in love with E.!”

Big boy:          “What? E……..?”

Little boy:      “Yes, you put perfume when we met her with her mother.”

Big boy:          “Are you crazy?”

Little boy:      “Mm…”

Big boy:          “She’s got already a boyfriend.”

Little boy:      “Aha…”

Big boy:          “But I saw you yesterday during the break with J.”

Little boy:      “You’re crazy.”

Big boy:          “I saw you.”

Little boy:      “Stop. You’re telling lies.”

Big boy:          “I just wanted to tease you. I admit.”

Little boy:      “But you’re in love with E… ?”

Big boy:          “Stop. She’s already taken.”

Little boy:      “Oooo…”

Big boy:          “Stop teasing me.”

Little boy:      “You started this.”

Big boy:          “No, no…. you started!”

Little boy:      “Oh, you don’t remember what you’re talking.”

Big boy:          “Sure I do. You don’t remember. You have Alzheimer’s.”

Mother:          “Stoppppppp! Eat and shut up.”

Conversation between brothers: Scene 1

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Bathroom at 6.45 a.m.: 

Big boy:          “Why do you look at me this way?”

Little boy:      “What’s the problem?”

Big boy:          “Stop starring at me.”

Little boy:      “Did you get up with the wrong foot?”

Big boy:          “You look terrible today.”

Little boy:      “You’re in such a bad mood.”

Big boy:          “I was in good mood before I met you.”

Little boy:      “I don’t believe you. You started this.”

Big boy:          “You don’t know what you’re talking about. Get your hair brushed.”

Little boy:      “Leave me in peace.”

Big boy:          “Your hair looks awful. Didn’t you look in the mirror.”

Little boy:      “Get out of the bathroom. You’re disturbing me.”

Big boy:          “You’re disturbing me. I was in first. You have to leave.”

Little boy:      “Oh, you’re in such a bad mood.”

Big boy:          “Leave me in peace. Otherwise I show you the way out.”

Little boy:      “Let me go. Don’t touch me.”

Big boy:          “It is your fault. You started all this.”

Little boy:      “Shall I show you who is the stronger of us two?”

Big boy:          “Stop beating me.”

Little boy:      “It is your fault.”

Big boy:          “No, it is all your fault.”

Little boy:      “No… ”

Big boy:          “For sure. Yours…”

Mother:          “Stoppppppp! Come on… Breakfast is ready!”
 
 

The world belongs to him

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When I was as old as my little boy, nine years old, I was a quiet, timid girl being very afraid of talking to other people than my family and blushing when I had to talk to the teacher during the classes.

I don’t know how I survived so many displeasing situations in the public because I was so shy having tears always quickly at hand, which made me more timid and I hated it so much.

How did I become so courageous to speak out in public and to write critiques for newspapers?

Little boy won’t have any problems. The world belongs to him.

Fortunately.

Some people get this capability for free; some people have to work for it hard as I had to.

I am happy for all the people who are like my little boy.

 
 

Exciting life abroad

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Returning from India we stopped for a few hours in Abu Dhabi. This airport is a melting pot, which I think is very enriching: you can find so many nationalities, so many ways of dressing and so many different faces.

My boys feel very comfortable in such a surrounding. And I hope they will be without prejudice facing other cultures in the future.

As a kid I got to know a few Germans in Germany close to the Swiss frontier. They spoke, dressed and behaved like me. This wasn’t rather foreign.

When I finished school, all I wanted to do was going abroad. I spent one year in Paris, some month in England and in the States. I always dreamt of living abroad.

But I am still in Switzerland. I don’t know why. Perhaps it is my task to show my boys how to travel to other countries and to open their minds for other cultures.

Maybe… and maybe we will be taking off all three together one day. Who knows?

 
 

Jealousy

Sunny boy_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 
 
Little boy is a very sunny, caring and clever kid, and his self-confidence is big. I often tell him how great he is.

For example, during his violin lesson he is talking without fear telling his teacher why it has been difficult to rehearse, why it has been easy to play this way and why he is excited about this piece and what he would like to play and what he doesn’t like and so on and so on.

It isn’t easy to cope with a child like this. His violin teacher as well as one of his schoolteachers is very fond of him and his attitude. His second schoolteacher can’t cope with him.

Little boy told me once: “I’ve got the impression that Mrs. B. doesn’t like me. Do you think I am wrong?” Unfortunately, I had to confirm his presumption because as I know Mrs. B. I am convinced that in her childhood she couldn’t be the child she wanted to be and she didn’t get the necessary acknowledgement by her parents.

Seeing little boy with all his enthusiasm and positive radiation she must feel jealous of his entire positive attitude to life and people.

I feel sorry for my boy as well as for his teacher.

 

Motherly love

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It took me quite a while to realize what it means being a mom.

My own mother told me so many times that I’ll be remembering her when I’ll be having my own children. She used to say so when she was upset with me. And as I remember, she was it very often because I wasn’t the girl she wanted me to be.

I always translated her threat this way: Being a mom isn’t a very nice thing to be. It brings you a lot of frustration and worries, and children aren’t grateful for all the work you do for them. And I believed her because I saw her feeling disappointed by me so many times and because she never told me that having children opens your heart and your mind.

When I look at my two boys today, I realize what my mother didn’t feel.

I appreciate so much that the boys came into my life. I am proud of being their mom. My relationship with them is the most special one I ever had, and I finally feel the tie, which will always be between big and little boy and me: it is love.

 
 

Meeting the old lady

Olga Charova_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 

She is an 86-year-old lady: proud and brilliant. Her body is fragile, but her mind is rather strong. Before I met Olga Charova, she has been lying in bed for three months, being very sick and loosing a lot of weight.

I didn’t expect her to leave her home and to come to the restaurant to meet, but she wanted it this way. I expected her feeling very shaky. The woman who has been working all her life as a dentist in Sofia showed me something else.

She was smiling, telling jokes and describing how she wants to go back soon to the court arguing with the lawyers to get back her property. Her eyes began to shine, and I was looking in a beautiful face.

I am so glad we met. She told me what it means to be young even if your body tells you the opposite, and she showed me how you can be strong in your mind even if you feel weak in your bones.

 

Feeling sorry

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I feel so bad. We went to the hairdresser today, and as their father always tells the boys to cut their hair shorter, we did it.

Little boy is now running around with his winter woolen hat. He is so ashamed of his look. The picture shows the situation “before”, and it will take me a big while to be allowed to take another picture of little boy.

I remember when I left the hairdresser with curled hair many years ago, I went home crying. It felt as a robbery to my identity. And that’s why I can feel with little boy today.

I wonder how I can repair it. He will be telling me everyday, and I will be feeling sorry for a long time.

 
 

Being brothers but different

 

Brothers_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 

Two brothers – but two totally different persons – by character and behavior.

The older one is an early bird, gets up at six o’clock and starts yawning long before nine o’clock at night. He falls at sleep in the circus, when we have guests or when his little brother feels totally in shape and wants to play with him a round of poker.

The little one spends hours on caressing the cats, he invents games with a simple rope or he folds his cloths to a nice pile during vacation.

Meanwhile, the older one throws his cloths in a corner of the hotel room floor. On the other hand, this boy has got hundreds of ideas what he’d like to construct: a rat house, a wooden gun, a soapbox, and a hot-air balloon or he tells me every detail of the video he saw with his father.

I ask the small one to do me a favor and he does it. I beg the other one, and since he can talk, he always answers me: what do I get for doing it? The same boy gets angry when he asks his brother a chewing gum, and he doesn’t get it. But whenever he is asked to share, he stuffs all the sweets at the same time in his mouth in order to avoid sharing.

The older one has never got enough pocket money. There are thousand things he’d like to buy. He always borrows and keeps paying back. The little one should be banker in the future because he already knows how to deal with money.

The list of different behavior could be endless. Isn’t it the difference, which makes life interesting, and not the sameness?

PS. The picture was taken four years ago, and the two world conquerors were five and seven years old.

Dare in the circus

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Circus means childhood. And I wanted to go back to KNIE, our big, almost 100 year old Swiss Circus – the first time with my two boys.

I was seven when my German grandfather wanted to go with me to KNIE. As I had already been with my mom two days ago, I knew the solution of the games they played with children before starting the show.

So, I stood in the big arena, with the smell of the sawdust and wild animals, and answered the question of the quiz by my shy, small voice and won a red piggy bank with five Swiss francs in it.

My grandfather was so proud of me. He fed my pig right away with another five francs, and back home, we had to convince my mom of the story. She didn’t want her daughter being so clever.

Today, I am so proud of my two clever boys, and we three enjoyed the circus show very much.

 
 

The gift of friendship

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Being together with some friends means enjoying life. I don’t need to be very intellectual or very funny. I am just the way I am.

I remember when my parents invited their friends, my family had to spend some very dumb hours. My father tried to talk as intelligently as possible. My mother tried to tell funny stories about our pets and about my brother and me.

Very often, my father was making fun of my mother and vice versa; and the guests tried to help the one or the other in order to prevent a big scene.

When the invitees left, the invitation always ended in a nasty fight between my mom and my dad. I don’t remember it without it. Never.

Nowadays, when my friends leave, I feel nurtured by love. It is as if I received a great gift.

 

 

Talking like a fish

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First, he didn’t want to talk. He was three years old when the doctor asked me rather worried whether he was talking at all. I didn’t notice much his incapability because he was the first child.

We had to see a speech therapist every week. My boy didn’t like it too much but he went there bravely.

Two years passed, he spoke a little bit more but not as the others. He seemed happy and we always understood what he wanted to say.

When he had to go to the kindergarten, his situation slightly changed because his teacher and the other children didn’t get always what was his point of view.

The speech therapist told us that she couldn’t do more and she sent us to a psychiatrist.

My boy was very brave. He went there three times a week, although he didn’t like it again very much.

Suddenly, we noticed that he had a tremendous passive vocabulary. He started explaining difficult words to his little brother. From time to time, he still mixed up the order of the words in his sentences. But everybody understood him.

And today? He speaks like a boy of his age with a surprisingly bigger vocabulary than his brother or his friends and with as much swearwords as his schoolmates. Everything is fine with my small slot ear.

Long-term investment in a friendship

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They didn’t know each other. One came from Spain, one from Switzerland.

One wanted to be close to the other, the other one hated it. Black Tomcat always stood up and left the place when Tigress, the Spanish cat, came in its neighborhood.

Tigress stayed at home on the sofa, during Tomcat was chasing mice and enjoying long walks. Tigress always stood at the door when Tomcat came back.

A few months ago, Tigress was meowing very loud in the cellar. I didn’t get the point. She didn’t stop until I realized that Tomcat was locked in one of the cellar rooms.

After a year of sharing the same household, Tomcat obviously started to be friendlier; from time to time, he licked Tigress when she was very demonstratively standing in front of him and wished to be caressed. Or, Tomcat shares now their cat basket without meow.

A few days, they started fooling around, playing, turning and rolling on the floor. And after that, it seemed as if they were playing hide-and-seek.

What did I learn of Tigress?

Patience is a long-term investment and is certainly valuable for all sorts of relationships.

 

 

Dreaming of dogs and cats

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While taking this picture of my younger son today, I remembered when I was his age; and we had summer vacation. I felt so happy and free of all school stuff.

I spent some weeks with my grandmother and was playing all day long with my cousins. Only at mealtime, I had to go home to eat together with my grandfather and my grandmother.

For the rest of the time, I was hanging around in the backyard, riding my bicycle for hours, taking care of my grandmother’s rabbits or visiting the few week old kittens on the pavement of my uncle’s company. And I wished to have my own pet. A dog or a cat – that was there just for me, to sit with, to talk to and to caress.

My turtle I had since I was five wasn’t actually my thing. I wanted something furrier.

Then, my mom allowed me to have a guinea pig. But my dream of a dog or a cat stayed.

 

 

Kids change your thinking

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The point of view changes when you have kids. I didn’t want to recognize for a long time because I didn’t want to feel different than people without kids.

When I didn’t have kids yet, there were two points of reference: my parents and myself.

Since I am a mother, there are three points of reference: my kids, myself and my parents.

It is so much different because there is the responsibility.

Whenever I think at myself, I’d rather remember first my kids and in a second point myself.

I don’t count anymore as it was before.

I think this is okay because it is always helpful in life when one can step aside and let other people be in the center – even when they aren’t your own kids but acquaintances, colleagues from work or friends.

 

 

Time stood still

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Normally, he is talking like a waterfall. But then, he was lying there.

The little surgical intervention with a general anesthesia went well.

I sat at his bed and waited until he woke up. I was looking at his chest, following his breathing.

I was looking at his face during hours, studying his little eye movements.

I’ve never looked at my child so intensively and for so long. It was a very special moment I’ll never forget.

I didn’t think much. I was just wishing he would have not too much pain after all and I kept looking at him.

For one hour, for two hours… and after three hours, he decided to leave his dreams and come back.

The waterfall took some time to come back but it is again here. And I am so glad.

 

Attraction

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Clouds are like humans or humans are like clouds. Some are attracting each other like in the picture and some try to stay away from each other.

Today, my younger boy and me met a doctor at the children hospital and felt both the same way very attracted to this young woman. She explained to my boy how they would be doing the anesthesia when he will be operated in two days.

She did this in a simple way, very empathetic, looking and talking to the kid as an adult. And my boy smiled and opened his mind and felt very at ease.

“What a friendly person”, we both said when we left her room.

It has been a very short meeting. But my boy won’t forget it. She even taught him how to listen to his own heart beating.

Attraction is a very mysterious thing. It just happens between humans, very subtly and unintentionally.

 
 

Little universe of thinking

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It is a small world, my little mossy universe of thinking.

A lot of tiny thoughts are turning their rounds; some are coming and disappearing as soon as they arrived. Some are turning and going round and round and round.

It is difficult to have the big picture.

I am crawling, moving my arms and legs and breathing every third movement.

At the beginning, my thoughts are wild, a total disorder; after some hundred meters, they start to slow down and become more clear. And at the end of my crawl session, there are just a few, but very precise thoughts. What a relief!

 
 

Playing myself

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My kid played the role of the Puss in the boots. It is a wonderful fairy tale about having nothing and getting everything. The only condition is to play well your role.

Well, I admit this is a rather simple interpretation of the story. But it seems to fit to a program I encountered rather often in life.

It is important how I play my role. The better I play the more I get. But playing well means to me playing my own role and not the one expected by my parents, teachers, superiors, colleagues, partner or my children.

And this is the most difficult. Being connected to the person I am and to what I am feeling isn’t easy to play in a big theatre like our world.

Sometimes, I’d prefer to be my cat lying on my sofa all day long and being myself during doing nothing.

 
 

Orange trousers

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When you have to start your day with a discussion about orange trousers, I guess you have pubescent teenagers in your household, too.

If you don’t live with kids, I guess you imagine this discussion rather funny.

But I tell you: it is not funny at all. Big boy puts on his younger brother’s trousers because he thinks them being so much cooler than all his collection of jeans.

Little boy doesn’t have a big collection of jeans but just two pairs of trousers and only one pair washed at the moment: the orange ones.

Big boy being pubescent thinks that he couldn’t go to school this day without orange trousers.

I guess you think it will be easy to handle that this pair of trousers will be handed from Big boy to Little boy.

No, you are wrong because you don’t know how teenagers are functioning.

They want to argue half an hour, they want to check out the limits and nerves of their mothers. And as their mother you have to argue if you want to or not.

Today, three days after the discussion, I am already laughing. But I tell you: honestly, I was so angry and felt so powerless that special morning.

Progressing

Painting_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 

When I was a teenager, I used to write down my thoughts in a diary.

Those moments were very important to me, lying on me bed and trying to describe how I got along with my parents, teachers and friends.
But re-reading my diary after weeks, months or years was even more important to me.

Because I could feel again how I felt when I wrote it down. And it made me feel more mature looking at me from a certain distance.

It made me believe that I was progressing.

Nowadays without diary, I feel I am turning around.

There are always similar reflections and deductions.

And there is no final conclusion.

 
 

Real friends

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We didn’t have a lot of space in our friend’s kitchen because it was their living and sleeping room at the same time. But it felt extremely cozy and my boys loved it.

Nobody’s kitchen tasted better than Karma’s. Was it because the preparation and cooking took hours while we were talking, playing games, joking, laughing or singing?

We wouldn’t like to spend so much time on such a tiny space with our family. We’d very quickly get on our nerves.

It is wonderful with friends. You can choose them yourself and decide how much time you’d like to share with them.

And real friends don’t care either whether you live thousands of miles across the ocean. And they aren’t upset when you don’t call them every week.

 
 

Here or there?

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I am standing in front of the gate but I’d like to be on the other side.

I imagine it to be more interesting over there but it is only in my imagination. I don’t have any real experience.

So many times in life I find myself dreaming of being elsewhere.

If I try now to imagine being on the other side of the gate and looking at me from there, it feels surprisingly good; I see myself with other eyes and I wished to be over there with me.

Again, many things are just a matter of viewpoint.

 

 

 

Being prince and princess

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This is my prince I want to kiss. Will he be my man?

He will be bright, beautiful and sensitive. Very simple, isn’t it?

Kissing the frog and starting a relationship is very easy, too. What seems to be more complicated is certainly all what comes after.

I wish my prince to be different than he is because I imagined him more caring or selfless.

But the frog stays as it is and I cannot give him back.

Am I the princess I imagined to be?

 
 

Laughing

Boys laughing_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 

Fortunately, my two boys are rather bright.

Even too bright when I want them to spend less time on their computers or smartphones and when I want to lock them for a certain time.

They are hiding their machines telling me totally innocently they haven’t seen them for a while.

But it is great to have smart kids. They will be teaching me a lot: how to use all the future machines which will be developed in the future.

And one other important thing: they are teaching me to laugh; at myself and at all things I use to take too seriously.

Thank you, boys!
 
 

Too many pictures

Myself_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 

I see myself from the outside; I see myself from the inside.

I am standing in between.

It isn’t me what I see. I am different.

You look at me and you recognize me.

I am trying the same thing: I would like to recognize me.

But I always get a different picture.

I’d like to be like you: I wished I could see me as you see me.

In one clear picture.

Otherwise, it is so confusing.

 
 

Big picture with holes

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Is it better to be concentrated on the moment and the details in life? Or is it worthwhile to have the big picture in mind?

When I see the big picture, I see all the details which aren’t the way I would like to have them to be. It is like a Swiss cheese landscape with holes.

When I try to concentrate on the moments in life, I am stuck to the details which are annoying me by their imperfection.

So, what is the best way to look at things?

I guess it needs a solution in between.

Difficult.
 

 

A long tightrope walk

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Being a member of a society, being part of a team at work, being a member of a family, being a tiny part of a bigger organization means adapting oneself to the others.

If I don’t feel like doing it, the sooner or later I get the information, I am not accepted by the group.

But where is the line between being different and adjusting to the rest? To which extent I am aloud to think, to talk, and to act differently?

Sometimes, it is difficult to find the right amount of being different.

Sometimes, it is easy to adjust.

It needs courage to be oneself and different than the others; it is like a tightrope walk.

If it is worthwhile, one hardly finds out during lifetime.

 
 

Happy childhood

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I don’t have a lot of memories of my childhood playing together with other children.

Maybe, it is because my mother wanted us, my brother and me, to be around her when we came back from school.

Maybe, she was feeling so lonely at home when we were at school and she was happy to have company when school was off.

She was upset when I spent the whole afternoon on my bed in my room reading books.

She wasn’t happy when I brought my friend with me and when we were knitting pullovers and drinking tea during our free afternoons on Wednesdays.

I should have been my mom’s unique friend.

What a destiny: Being born for replacing her difficult childhood during World War II by a happy motherhood.

 
 

Fine mustache

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Apparently, springtime means mice time, and black tomcat started its hunting season yesterday.

It was meant to be a big gift: a mouse on the step of the staircase.

Two eyes, a nose with fine mustache hair and a small mouth were looking at me when I came home.

The rest of the body has been eaten.

Thanks; Tomcat, I am very proud of you. But have you seen the sweet mustache of your predation?

Right. You saw it. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have left it on the steps for me to see when I come back from work.

You are very soulful. I appreciate.

 
 

Feelings in stock

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Sometimes, pictures express the perfect moment.

Perfect because everything feels all right. It is like a moment of meditation.

I am feeling totally connected to body, mind, and myself and to the outside, dusk and moon.

Fortunately, the picture is stored in my photo library as a proof of this perfect moment.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist a library for feelings where I could get quickly a pile of nice feelings during imperfect moments.
 
 

Caring

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Two days on this Indian train. An exciting journey from New Delhi to Kerala.

So many different people, old and young ones, talkative and silent people.

Being busy with themselves or interested in getting to know others.

The most touching picture I took with me was this flower garland. Someone fixed it to protect the travellers and to wish them a safe trip.

It is just one of these multiple beautiful rituals in India of caring, blessing, doing good to their beloved ones.

 
 

Instruction manual for life

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There is this little smile, shy but secured because of the glass wall in-between.

It is like her parents are protecting her fragile childhood.

So, this little Indian girl can grow and ripe and getting prepared for the future.

The glass wall will be disappearing more and more. She will get into contact with classmates, teachers, neighbors, and her parent’s friends.

More and more, she will get responsible for protecting herself of displeasing things and people. Nobody will be able to do this for her.

One can hope, that her parents will provide her an elaborate instruction manual for life.

If not, I know how it feels. One has to find out so many things by oneself, and it will be an agitated journey.

 

The art of being creative

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Aren’t they wonderful?

Three pieces of art.

But what is art? When it hangs or stands in the museum? Or when it is exposed to the public in a school building?

Being an artist is another discussion. Where does “being an artist” begin? When someone dresses, behaves like an artist? When someone creates an artificial piece of shit and sells it as art?

Being creative means to me transforming something obvious into something different.

Thinking can be creative, too.

I am thinking I am an elephant or a tree. I can feel the thick thin or the deep root, and it feels great handling difficult situations.

 
 

From far away

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There are pictures, and there are stories. I look at the picture and I see the story, which wants to be told.

I am standing with my naked feet in the sand on the beach. It is a very early morning. Nobody is already up.

It is this time between the times: between being awake and totally busy during the day.

There is much space to be filled in with floating pictures, memories and thoughts in my head.

There is much quiet to look at my life from very far away.

And there is time to find new combinations how my life could run in the future.

It would be nice to have such a moment every day, feeling the naked feet on the ground before starting into the daily hassle.

 
 

Time stands still

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It is a rainy day; school is off. The kids are playing, but not playing together; rehearsing a own play to invite their mothers to come and see.

They close the shutters because there has to be special light. They organize popcorn and syrup. They write an invitation card for theirs mums; they even create a form, which has to be personally signed by the invitees.

It is amazing how creative children can be. They give themselves names like Max or Alina instead of Leonard or Ellie.

In the play, they talk to each other as if they were adults.

It is wonderful to be part of this play and even more as spectators.

Time stands still.

Memories of the own childhood pass. It also has been a rainy day.

The three kids laugh and take me back to their play.

In thirty years, this moment will be part of their memories.

 
 

Smiling colors

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There are colors everywhere in India. I love it and I often find color combinations, which I had never dreamt of in Europe.

Wherever I walk, I’d love to take pictures and catch those colors. They are smiling at your face and you cannot do anything but smiling too.

Here in Europe, everything is grey in grey at the moment. It is wintertime. People dress in black, brown or grey; people look grey.

Sometimes, we smile a little bit. I try to, at least. Sometimes, someone smiles back. For a few seconds. And then, it becomes grey again.

Why don’t we live all in a colorful world?
 
 

Difficult question

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Children don’t need a lot. A hot noodle soup in a tiny Tibetan restaurant in India makes them more than happy.

Back in Switzerland, it is much more difficult. There are so many more things. There is a school friend who has got his own iPhone; there is another friend who has his own computer in his room or there is even another one who has got already his own television.

It is difficult to teach children that one can be as happy as the others without these things.

In a lifetime, it takes many hours of discussions and re-discussions.

Probably, being a good example as an adult would be more effective but even more difficult.

Can I be happy with fewer things?

Difficult question.

 
 

Point of view

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Green isn’t the color I like very much. But when I saw this lamp in India, I changed my mind.

It doesn’t often happen that I change my mind. I like to stick to the things I am used to.

Since years I keep this painted wooden elephant from India in my kitchen, the colorful metallic bird from Indonesia in the living room or the funny cotton camel garland from Egypt at the entrance door.

Do you know the feeling when you come back home from some weeks of traveling and you look at all these things you were used to before?

Don’t you have the impression, you look at them from outside even though they have been your close friends since a long time?

Changing the point of view, changes many things or views.

Sometimes, it is helpful to get a healthy distance to habits, too.

 
 

No barriers

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They play around; they have big fun.

The little one grew up in India, the older one in Switzerland. The one speaks Tibetan, the other one Swiss German. Both know a few words in English but not much.

The little one is living in a boarding school in Dharamsala, the older goes to a Swiss public school. The older one has around stuffed animals in his bed, the little one cannot imagine what this means.

The little one doesn’t have any memories of his mother because she left him when he was two years old; the older one calls about fifty times a day “Mama”.

Maybe, the older one will be traveling again to India as an adult with his girl friend or his brother. Maybe, the little one will be living in the Tibetan community in New Deli and running a travel agency.

Both boys will be having friends and no barriers to share time with foreign people.

 
 

Stored pictures

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Three weeks in India, four weeks back in Switzerland: four weeks of school, homework, getting up at times when one likes to sleep. Tough times.

But there are all the memories of our traveling in India.

Memories of rich experiences, of living two days in an Indian train, meeting so many different people, playing games on the mobile phone and eating ice cream with an Indian boy.

Or joking around with Tenzing, our “big brother” in a small hut which serves as living room, kitchen and sleeping room at the same time.

It is great to have all these pictures stored in our memory when daily life is difficult to stand.

 
 

Going somewhere

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I am standing here and looking into the future. It is an open space. There are no frontiers; there are no roads.

I am thinking and hoping for bright colors. It is bluish and watery. There are no images; there are no sketches.

I am crying and following my disordered feelings. It is high and deep. There are no structures; there are no traffic lights.

I am writing and knowing nothing.

 

 

A lot of possibilities?

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Maybe this Indian boy hasn’t seen any Europeans before; maybe he is shy by nature. His father in his traditional dress took him to town to buy a few things.

Which world will he be living in in 20 years? Will it be the modern India? Will he be doing the bookkeeping or will he be developing computer programs for Swiss companies?

Or will he be living with his kids and with his wife in a small hut, with a water buffalo at the backyard?

Is it already defined how his future will be? Or are there many paths with a lot of junctions and side ways?

Many questions and many possible answers.

 
 

Too much sweets

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Tibetan medicine was completely new to me. But as the Tibetan doctor had his location just one floor below to our Tibetan hotel, we didn’t hesitate to ask for an appointment.

Little boy had a health problem, which could have easily turned into a big one without medication.

The Tibetan doctor helped very quickly and could even tell where this problem came from: too much sweets and unhealthy beverages. I was rather surprised because I tried already so hard to make little boy eat more fruits and vegetables.

I was even more surprised when he did a short check on me by pulse diagnosis and when he told me without knowing anything about me what were my major health problems.

But the most surprising was that little boy’s pain was gone after two days without antibiotics – just with these brown and black pills you see in the containers on the picture.

 
 

Flexible mind

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Three years ago, Ramesh was selling his beautiful stone carved statues and buddhas. One year later, he was running a yoga school, and this year, besides giving his daily yoga classes, he is earning money with a little resort in a marvelous garden – together with a friend.

For me, he symbolizes flexibility, and whatever he does, he does it with conviction, hundred fifty percent engagement and dedication.

One of his small bamboo huts was our home base in Varkala. It was simple but comfortable, including some lizards, cockroaches and ants.

Next year, Ramesh will expand his green resort. It shall include an Ayurveda treatment center. I am sure, he will keep on going his way, step by step, with the same dedication.

 

 

Five stars noodle soup

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The best noodle soup we ate at her place. The Tibetan lady had opened her restaurant in New Delhi a few months ago. She cooks while her son takes care of the talking with the people because she doesn’t speak English.

Unfortunately, she did not want me to take a picture of her in the kitchen. It would have been a fabulous one, with her in this beautiful dress standing at her cooking pots, surrounded by her co-workers, vegetable cutters and momo makers.

Her restaurant was a small, modest location. It didn’t really fit to her. But it felt cozy and comfortable. I am sure, as soon as she has owned enough money, she will renovate her place.

And her delicious noodle soup will be mentioned with five stars on various travel sites.

 
 

Never too old to travel

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I met her again: the 92 year-old Swiss lady Pia Steiner. She was still on the road on her own, and we had a nice India dinner and an even more interesting conversation together.

I could hardly believe that she still didn’t have any other companion than herself during her stay in India for seven weeks.

Her hearing keeps going badly but her mind is brilliantly awake. She had some small health problems a few days ago but she was taken care by an India doctor and the hotel staff.

After her visit to our village, the very sunny and holy place at the seaside, she went up into the cool mountainside because of the climate. This was another taxi ride of several hours alone.

I am amazed: she doesn’t feel fear. She believes that everything goes as it is meant to be.

Pia, keep going to be my inspiration!
 
 

Nothing for fearful people

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Three o’clock in the morning… and we started our third Indian trip, we three of us. Many hands wanted to carry our three suitcases, and even more wanted us to drive to our first destination: Varkala. We decided to take the driver who did not push so much.

With the first suitcase, the taxi was already half packed. With the second piece, we could hardly sit, and the third piece did not have any free space any more. But the driver found a proper solution, on the roof, well fixed with a thick string.

The adventure could begin. And there was again this smell of India in the air which always strikes me and makes me feel at home. And the taxi brought us, two sleeping beauties, and one too excited traveller safely to our Tibetan friend who was still sleeping because we arrived much to early.