Childhood memories

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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 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!”
 
 

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.

 
 

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.

 

 

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.

 
 

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.

 
 

Hit puberty

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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.
 
 
 
 

Having breakfast in pans

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Being a good friend to children means doing things you never wished to do.

One thing was camping at 50+.

Financial reasons brought us three to the camping site in Italy for two weeks.

While all our friends of the past years were living comfortably in their apartments on the seaside, we had to bring up all our stuff to the hill under the big tree; we cooked spaghetti or fish with the small gas cooker and we ate sitting on the floor with a lot of ants and other insects.

It wasn’t always fun but most of the time. Discussions about washing strongly smelling feet at midnight with my teenager or organizing help for a leg with a sticky fishing-hook had been annoying situations.

We won’t forget them as well as the easy-going life like having breakfast with cornflakes and milk in big pans because the cleaning-up of the dishes had been forgotten the day before.

We will go back camping next year. Our dear old tree on the hill is definitely looking forward seeing us.

 

Happy childhood

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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.