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.

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”

 

 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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.

 

 

 

 


 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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.

 

 

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”.

 


 

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.
 
 

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.”

 
 
 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

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…?”
 
 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 12

Featured image

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).”
 
 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 11

Featured image

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

Featured image

 

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

Featured image

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!”

Conversation between brothers: Scene 8

Featured image

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

Featured image

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

Featured image

 

“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

Featured image

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

Featured image

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.”

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

Featured image

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

Featured image

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

Featured image
 
 

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

Featured image

 

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

Featured image

 

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

Featured image

 

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.

 
 

Feeling sorry

Featured image
 

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

Featured image

 

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

Featured image

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

Featured image

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.

Dreaming of dogs and cats

Featured image

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

Featured image

 

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

Featured image

 

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

Featured image

 

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.

 
 

Orange trousers

Featured image

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.

Real friends

Featured image

 

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.

 
 

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!
 
 

Happy childhood

Featured image

 

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.

 
 

Time stands still

Featured image

 

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.

 
 

Difficult question

Featured image

 

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.

 
 

No barriers

Featured image

 

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

Featured image

 

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.

 
 

Too much sweets

Featured image

 
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.

 
 

Missing passports

Featured image

It didn’t start well this time. The Indian Embassy in Berne didn’t approve our photos although we used the same as last year.

We had to retake these burglar photos without smiling and looking straight to the camera and sending them again to Berne. And I was so glad when I saw the envelope from the Embassy with my handwriting in my post.

Oh, dear! But I only got my passport back. The ones of my boys were missing.

I wrote in German. I sent the same mail several times. I didn’t get any answer.

Another weekend passed.

I wrote in English. I wrote in big letters and in red: Missing passports. I got the answer that I could fetch them at the Embassy in Berne.

Oh, my god! No time to travel. I wrote again. I told them to send them. They told me they couldn’t because they didn’t have any pre-addressed and pre-stamped envelopes. I wrote that I was upset.

No chance, I had to send them the envelopes. Another three days without a sign.

I had to call. And finally today, I had them in my mailbox.

I know what it means when passports aren’t valid anymore. I stood at the airport with my two boys, and the airplane would leave in less than an hour.

Or I remember how it felt in Paris to get a working permit but not having a passport. It meant lining up for hours, calling, writing, talking to the Swiss Embassy and so on.

But I didn’t know how it feels when visas and passports are still missing three days before taking off.

Deep-rooted

Featured image

 
 

Planting a tree is something special. It is like taking the decision to build a house or finishing the studies at university. It feels exciting.

The new tree is a sweetgum and shall mark the beginning of a new period, hopefully a sweet one.

Our sweetgum will be watching us every day through the kitchen and living room windows. It will be hearing us laughing or crying, joking or shouting.

It will be going with us during happy days and sad moments. It will see the boys getting adults in eight or ten years.

I’d wish to be this tree, seeing everything from a certain distance. It would make things easier.

Yes, I should more often change to be a tree, deep-rooted, and watching from outside.

 
 
 
 

Stolen postcard

Featured image

 
 

It was fun writing postcards two years ago in Italy.

Every postcard had been personalized: for grandmother Mémé, for auntie Raymonde and uncle Didi, for godfather Jean-Pierre and godmother Katja.

At the end, every postcard was a little piece of art that wanted to be stored for eternity before going on the big journey to Switzerland.

That’s why I started taking pictures of every one.

Fortunately, because none of the postcards got to the addressees.

Did their journey end in an Italian dust bin or in the collection of a Swiss postcard thief?

If I were a postwoman, I would have started collecting postcards, too, because who still will be writing postcards in ten years?

So, I would become rich selling my stolen postcards to the museum.

 
 
 
 

Rare species

Featured image

 

Sunday afternoon in the South Indian zoo of Trivandrum: there are hundreds of Indian families with their children and two Swiss boys with their mother.

We want to have a look at the lions, crocodiles, zebras, monkeys and their friends. All the local people have the same purpose.

But, as soon as they discover the two blond boys, the zoo animals completely lose their interest.

“Can we take a picture, please”, they keep on asking.

“Oh, I am glad”, says my small boy at the end of our visit, “that we won’t live in India all the time. It slightly gets on my nerves to pose and smile every five minutes.”

 

 

Hit puberty

Featured image

He’s got this bright smile on his face. It is promising.

Two years passed that I took this picture. So many things have changed. Now, my ten-year-old is discussing with me why I dare punish him by shutting down his iPod for a day; he is arguing with me because I push him to go to the Wing Chung classes on Tuesday and Thursday he wanted to sign on half an year ago or he doesn’t understand why I ask him to help me in the kitchen when he has so many more important things to do.

He is only ten years old but his hormones must do many somersaults per day. He starts crying when I treat him “unjustly” as he says. Three seconds later, he is looking at me as if I were a total stranger. Mum, he goes, you look awful, take off your glasses.

We will be having so many discussions in the future until he will reach majority. He has to strengthen his personality by finding out in which way he is different than me.

When we will get there, we will certainly laugh about these discussions we are having now and I wish he would still have his charming smile on his face.
 
 
 
 

A heart of gold

Featured image

I don’t know his name but I know his heart being wide open when boys start crying. He is a Nepalese waiter who left his family to earn some money in India. He saw Little-boy slipping, falling down and breaking into pieces his small, freshly finished soap stone artwork. He saw Little-boys’ tears running down his face. He had a look at the broken artwork and disappeared. Ten minutes later, he came back with a small shopping bag, sat down at the restaurant table and fixed the stone with glue without words.

Happy childhood

Featured image

Remembering happy moments of childhood… a hard thing when you get older and when you aren’t born as a digital native. Fortunately, there are some pictures like this one from my two boys fooling around in the bath tube.

Jules and Léonard

IMG_0287

Kids need a lot of love and care. Parents do their best. But nothing can be so powerful than a stuffed animal. Before Léonard was born, we bought Jules at the Christmas market in Zurich. And Jules became his best friend. Who got to know Léonard, met Jules. It became old and ugly. Some wanted to replace it by a more colorful, fresh animal. What adults forget: Kids stick to their best friends. They are real and irreplaceable.