Category Archives: Parenting

Thoughts on schooling

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Dear reader.

It´s Friday, end of the first week of school after the Summer holiday. Now all my three kids go to school, my youngest son is 6 and enrolled Tuesday. He is very happy. So all is well. Apart from getting up at 06.30 am every morning. It´s just not me!

The school hours are set so they work well for the old factory workers´ start of work early in the morning. And science now says that kids, especially teens, need to sleep later in the morning, to be able to learn properly. And they say that “B-people” (Scandinavian term for … sleep rhythm … “A-people” wake up early, fresh, and go to bed early. And “B-people” are more fresh in the evening, and sleep longer.) Well, science now says that B-people are the ones with the more natural daylight rhythm… Don´t ask me to explain why, I just remember the headline. Made me feel good. As a B-person, I´ve always fest second to the A. Haha…

Anyways. Let´s google it. And let´s hope the schools will adapt to the scientific facts sooner rather than later.

In my view, school should also change the things they teach. Instead of history of wars, teach them history of women, of equality, of prison, of racism. Of power.

Teach them psychology, about emotions and how to deal with them, about what identity is. Teach them self understanding, and social anthropology; to understand and respect diversity…

Teach them empathy. For crying out loud. Teach them about creativity and innovation. Brainstorming, mindmapping. Teach them music and drama, painting and dance. Teach them to express themselves and to love. Themselves. So they in turn can offer love to their surroundings.

Teach them co operation and breathing exercises. Tools to reduce stress levels. Ways to communicate wiser. Goal setting. And how to deal with their inner critic. Teach them loyalty. How to be a real friend. How to build and strengthen relationships. And to honor themselves and their inner borders, to stand up for themselves, and for others whome they can see need support.

Yeah.

This is a photo of my son taken in May. In his new hoodie, birthday present from my sister. I will do my best to make sure he feels as resolved and relaxed in five years from now. We all survive our school years, but. They are also tough. For everyone. I´m keeping a keen eye on my kids throughout these school years, working to keep and build trust between us, so they will come and tell me when things get hard, emotionally, for them. I see this as one of the most important tasks I have as a mother. Emotional support.

Other than the kids have started school (again), I too have enrolled. Into this web course I have written about earlier. Visionary business school. With Ryan Eliason.
It is… very… big…? A lot of stuff to learn. Mindset to work on. Inner barriers to break. Very exciting. Sometimes scary. But I do still know that it is the right place for me to focus energy right now. So.

I´m also waiting to receive more translation work, from Danish to Norwegian, the company I worked for in the winter/spring. Which is wonderful, lets me earn money whilst I study this fall.
Earn, so I can pay the course fee! And also, a retreat I´ve signed up for, a whole week in October/November. Masterclass with my teacher in vocal sound therapy, Githa Ben-David.

I´ve never been away from the kids for a whole week before! But I think it´s a fine challenge for us. And my husband has no hesitations, either, so. They will have fun without me, and we´ll get to miss eachother. Whilst I go 100% into “learning and inner growth mode” for a whole week!! It will be very good for me.
I miss my teacher. And this will allow me to catch up with the new things she´s discovered since my exam, december 2015.

Here is a film about her, in English. Made by her husband. Himself also a mystic, author, scholar, teacher.

& If you want to learn more about my work as a vocal sound therapist, using Githa´s method, join my facebook page “Kaltwasser Vocal Sound Therapy”.

Here´s the film:

Anyways. Just a quick hello today, from me. I need to get some breakfast, it´s 12.33 pm!

Big hug! Have a great weekend!
🙂

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Baby care in my single mother years

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Hello this … Thursday … morning. Half past 09. But. Still sleepy morning in our holiday rhythm here. Where kids get to bed 10-11 pm. Once the sun is down…

I´ve been asked in a comment if I can write something about being alone with a newborn child. Very good suggestion. And I should be able to, as I was a single mother with my first born daughter, from pregnancy until she was 2 and a half.

It was a shock to have the first child. I think it must be for every mother. A mother is born as well as a child that day. I remember saying to my aunt, that it felt like having my heart taken out of my body, holding it in my hand, knowing that from now on, every moment, I have to look after this inner organ first, before I tend to the rest of me. 🙂 Everything else goes on hold. Espccially when you are the only caretaker in the home. Forget about that sleep. It has to wait. And clean the house?! I had a girlfriend help me go shopping. She bought foodstuffs to cook with, and then instant energizers such as yoghurt. So that I after breastfeeding could get some energy in me, so I could face the work of cooking…

It was hard. My daughter had colic. Every single day from 0 to 3 months of age, she would cry and scream and cry. I had to lay her down on our bed some times, leave the room and go into the other room of the flat, to get half a minute´s time to breathe. Fantasies on throwing the baby out the window, thank Goodness I had read this is normal, or I would have felt extremely frightened and guilty by my own thoughts and feelings in those moments…

Well. Once she was 3 months old, life became extremely peaceful. I could actually sit down in the evenings with her, instead of walking, carrying her, hour after hour. We had a cat. He´d been born same date as my daughter, in my flat, one year prior to her. He would lie in bed with us whilst we were breastfeeding, holding one paw on baby´s head and the other paw on my shoulder, spinning, watching over us. So sweet.

I felt with my newborn, like a lion mother. This was the image that came to me, in the hospital, I remember. Just so protective, and filled with new, or blossomed, instinct, to protect, to make sure everything´s okay around us… I felt to be in the innermost corner of a cave with my child, the most safe place, undisturbed by aggravating noise from half present, unaware people, talking about things that don´t matter. Chit chatter.

Well. I became a mother, all of a sudden, and. Though it was hard, it was also the best thing that had ever happened to me. I was needed, and important, now a leader. Deeply loved. We were twosomeness. Communication. Emotions. Empathy. These “things” that mean the most to me. Now it all came in handy, not just burdens of my personality, standing out as weird and misunderstood, but central character traits in me that were a blessing, and a need, for my child.

We did everything together. Were everywhere together. Of course. We spent a weekend a month at my parents´, who lived 3 hours further down the west coast of Norway. But even there, though we had company, it was still me and her that were connected at the hip, so to speak. Because I was her world. And she was mine.

It just felt natural, to be honest. I got used to managing things alone. For example I remember being in a cafe with her on my hip, big babychair in the other hand, and then pushing a door open with my elbow and shoulder for us to get through. Some stranger came rushing to open the door for us. Only then did I realize that I could have asked for help. But in a home with a baby and only one adult, there´s no one to turn to. So you get used to just fixing everything moment to moment, as best you can. And you realize that you´re capable of fixing the strangest, most difficult stuff, with just one hand, baby on your hip. 🙂

I had a beautiful baby basket hanging above the foot end of my bed. The bedroom was small and the roof slanted. She slept there a couple of half nights, but I realized that I took her up to feed her in my bed after a couple of hours anyways, so she just moved over into my bed and we used the basket for swinging in the daytime. We also had a jump harness.  I strapped her in, it was attached to the ceiling, I put on some happy music and we danced and jumped about together, every evening for months and months.  Laughing and joking. Very fond memories.

We created routines together. I had not been much for routines before her arrival. But with my daughter came a set rhythm of mealtimes, playtime, let´s go for a walk-to-the playground-time… Every morning started with us going downstairs to let in our beloved cat, Puma Pyjamas. (He was orange and grey in sand beachy stripes, looked like a pyjamas when he was tiny and thin inside his skin…) As an adult, he was a strong, half Norwegian wood cat, very handsome and extremely gentle and loving. I remember one time, my daughter was crawling after him to pet him / pull his ear, and he leapt up and left just before she reached him… he did it once, twice, three times. The toddler just thought it was a game. He was tired after the long night outside. Then he sat down, mid floor. My daughter crawled over to him and pulled his ear. I could actually see on his face he was fed up. He lifted his arm, claws well pulled in, and hit her one on the top of her head!! She stopped in her tracks. Didn´t cry. But I could see the message was clear. No more! Stop this! She never chased him again. Nor pulled his ears. Big brother had spoken and she got it, loud and clear!

It was amazing to be the three of us. Puma was also very useful in teaching her empathy. To be careful. Noticing others´needs. Every time she approached him, for weeks on end, I´d say “careful! A-aaah….”, showing her not to pull at his fur, but to pet him gently, helping her practice stroking his back, until she had mastered the gentle touching. Then one day she was crawling towards the edge of the bed, I shouted “Careful!”, and she immediately replied “A-aaaa”, and stroked the bed gently! Hahahaha….

I remember once we were in this church, where they had organized playtime for single parents with kids. They had this massive floor space with toys, and they gave free lunch at the end of the play session. We had to join in the singing of some christian songs, but I could live with that in exchange for some social hours with other adults! Plus my daughter was too young to get the fear inducing lyrics of some of the songs.

Point is, one day there was this Russian mother there with her twin sons. She spoke no Norwegian and hardly any English. She was clearly exhausted, and the boys were acting out, very hard to keep up with. All of a sudden one of her boys had scratched my daughter so she was bleeding from quite a deep scratch on her nose! She cried, and I comforted her. Then the Russian mother came over and was so upset, apologizing in her very limited English…. My daughter, age 18 months, looked at her and went over and gave her a long hug!! The Russian mother teared up. I shall never forget that moment. I realized my daughter´s empathic skills were top notch.

What more can I say… I just always followed what felt natural to me with my kids. Followed their lead in many ways. Gave them what they needed. Breast fed for years. Carried them. Shared my bed with them. Still do some times, and they enjoy sleeping with each other. Tons of free quality time to be gained from co sleeping. Helps us all feel connected, safe, emotionally secure and loved. Actually people who co sleep also move in and out of REM sleep together! I´ve read… I also read that my natural instinct methods are probably aligned with what they call Attachment Parenting.

Gave them what they needed. Not what they wanted. Not sugar, and too late bedtimes. Not every toy, and candy when we´re out shopping. One of the most important words to teach them, is “no”. To accept it and move on with grace. A gentle no, but a solid one. Followed up by “when mommy says no, it´s no”. Until that second sentence is no longer needed.

A “no” that comes as rarely as possible. I only use it when it is necessary. If I can, I say yes, or “maybe later”. I stretch for my children´s will, and that has the nice consequence of them stretching for my will, too. What I show them, they copy. They are so eager to co operate, it´s very moving. All they want is to be seen, understood and loved as they are. And leading by example, I receive the same from them, they try to understand me and love me as I am.

Apart from the magic of a steady, rare, but calm and solid “no”, there is the word “thank you”. Very important word. And then “I´m sorry”. Once there´s siblings, especially. “I´m sorry” doesn´t necessarily mean you did something wrong, but the recipient of what you did, feels hurt by it somehow. So you just say “I´m sorry”, because you did not mean to hurt her/him. I want this phrase to come automatically and easily, like it does from Brits in the supermarket. “Oh, I´m sorry” they will say if they bump into you whilst reaching for the milk. I like that. It creates smoothe social interaction, and stops friction. People need respect.

Another word that is important to teach them, I realized once I got the two youngest children, who are only almost 2 years apart… is “STOP!” Not necessarily shouted, but said very very clearly. And then followed up by a parent looking up, saying “She said stop! Did you not hear it?” if the behaviour continues. And then if still no respect, to walk over and remove the non listening child and say “It is very important to stop when someone says stop, because you also want your sister to stop when you say stop to her. If you don´t stop when she says it, then she will also not stop when you say stop.”

I mean it. I have used short explanations like this again and again, for phases uf their upbringing. It took ages before the youngest would stop biting his siblings! For example. Doesn´t make him evil or stupid. Makes him natural for his age.

Bad behaviour that can be ignored, I ignore, and it stops. Good behaviour gets tons of positive attention, and hence is strengthened. And then there is the biting etc. Which, before “stop!” can be used, is handled by taking the troublemaker, sitting her/him down and looking into her/his eyes, our eyes level, saying “no”  in a basetone voice. They get it. From day one.

Then follow up with “Look! She´s crying! Pooooor so-and-so… That hurt!”

Empathy is a learnt character trait. Scaringly enough. These days with kids going into institutionalized care from 8 months of age…. who teaches them this one on one coaching that they need, to learn empathy and respecting others? It takes so much time and close attention. It CAN NOT be taught in a big group to the level it can in a twosome adult-child constellation.

My kids started kindergarten age 2. I could then feel they needed more stimulation than I managed to give them. They were safe and sound, ready to explore wider horizons. Great! They have all had half day care only. 9am to 1pm. And when I picked them up, they were tired and needed to come home and rest. Their ears, eyes, minds. Life in a big group of peers and adults is stimulating and fun, and also stressful, demanding.

So now they are age 13, 8 and 6. My youngest starts school after this summer holiday. I will really miss walking into the kindergarten in the mornings, greeting all the children there, having conversations with them all, learning their names. I love children for their openness, honesty, vulnerability. Loving hearts. Trust. Laughter. They are my favourite kind of people. 🙂

I think I will have to find a way to work with children. Not as a teacher in school, but. Maybe through the sound therapy or hypnosis. I don´t know yet. Time will tell, though. I rest assured.

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Manifestation Time

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Hello there, from my flying carpet, as I have started calling my beloved double mattress on the floor. 🙂

Summer hols mode, my young kids (6 & 8) went to sleep as late as 11 pm, poor little mites. We spent the whole day in Esbjerg Museum of Fishing, with the aquariums and feeding of seals and. Nice place. Picnic on playground. After a quick coffee / icecream to end the session, we went to a BILKA (mall) and lo and behold we found a cheap bicycle for our little boy. He needs the next size up. We have inherited and old one, but it will take both money and working hours to get that one running. So we got this new one instead. Demo model. Last year´s fashion. Hence cheap. Perfect. 🙂

I´m very excited and busy these last few days. My new expensive course has started. Ryan Eliason´s Visionary Business School. (Plus another one I also enrolled in, a pilot project hence not so costly, by Malene Bendtsen. Also very interesting).

I have so much to learn! It is quite… I won´t say overwhelming, but. One thing is the technical stuff I have to learn, about platform and funnels and. But then I will have to learn to love marketing. And using myself as my brand. Or. To be the change. Which involves working on mindset. Which is not new to me, I am a trained hypnotist after all. And have done a course with John Assaraf as well, and listened to Esther Hicks for years…

But. Still. Revolutionary success.  It takes all my courage. My mind brings on waves of doubt, fear… And my homework is to present my purpose, mission and vision…! In our facebook group, with a team of coaches cheering us on, giving feedback…. Fuck, I´m loving it! I´m scared by it all, and I´m loving it immensely at the same time. Just like the teacher predicted. I´m in good hands. Of this I feel certain. And when that part is certain, all is well, really.

So I will be doing intense studies this autumn. On several fronts, but all shedding light on the same issue; the digital economy of online teaching.

Learn to integrate all my passions, life experience and education, into sellable packages of information, as well as services like conversations, sound therapy and with time hypnosis. Can´t wait to get to understand how the … to create this!

But I have to take a break from the studying the next 3 weeks. As we are approaching the date for my eldest daughter´s confirmation. 60 guests in the community hall. Hired chef, got a speech to write… tablecloth and table plan (who sits where) … the full monty. She confirms her choice of not belonging exclusively to the church/christianity. She believes in Jesus AND Buddha. And wants to keep an open heart and mind, doesn´t feel ready to choose to belong to only one religion. So. I have had conversations with her throughout the year, about human rights, humanism, sexuality, growing up in general, different spiritual practices… we have been together at a fullmoon ceremony on Bornholm (island east of Denmark) with a shaman from Greenland. And we have been together for a workshop about the healing power of sound. Tibetan singing bowls and vocal sound therapy. In a church.

So now it´s time to do the last preparations. Write the speech. It will come. I expect to wake up in the middle of the night soon, words running in my brain like a river.

(Right now she is actually in South-Africa with her choir, and they won gold in the World Choir Games!!! 60 young girls. BRILLIANT conductor / choir leader, a lady. It is just. UNbelievably wonderful and touching. Tomorrow she has breakfast at 6 am and they go on safari! Imagine being 13 years old and receiving such an experience. I am very grateful for her. And proud. She has been working hard, they didn´t get gold for free, so to speak, they have worked real hard, on the songs, and practicing African choreography dance moves… It has paid off. It is a most wonderful life experience for her).

I´m also about to renovate a room in my house, by the way! My goodness! It has to be emptied of stuff first. I don´t have a clue where to put it all, even! But. I will do that before the big party. So that my family members who are coming in from Norway, can help me continue the process of getting it renovated.

I am exhausted just thinking about all of this!

Watched my video installation tonight, that I made for an exhibition in 2011. It is actually rather good for slowing down my breathing… A meditative tempo in these 15 texts of mine, mixed with visuals and 5 of them also with a melody. I´d like to do more videowork like this. Slightly better quality technically, but this was before HD, it´s shot on dv-tape, 16:9 format.

Anyways.
Yeah, I just wanted to check in on you here in my blog space.
Check in on myself at the same time. I do love to reflect on my reflections. 🙂 Gives me inner calm to express my thoughts and emotions in writing. Found out recently it´s called scripto-therapy! Done it all my life. Journaling.

It´s kind of hard for me to write about stuff other than what is filling my heart. What matters to me on heart level. Coz those heart matters do matter, the most, even. To me.

In a couple of weekends I´m gonna go blogging, from the Fanø Free Folk Festival, as I do every year. (Or. It´s the 3.time I videoblog about the festival, but I´ve attended it for 8 or 9 years, from it began).

So then there will be some great gig clips to be seen here. On my youtube channel (in my name), and then linked in here, in blogposts.

This said, my arms are a bit achy after too much typing lately. So let me go to sleep oh my God it´s almost 01 am!!!???!!!

Feel to leave u with this lovely tune. Enjoy and good night, friends. Lots of love from me here on my flying carpet. 🙂

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Straight for a Change

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In this Fanø house from the 1760s, is where I spent a couple of hours today, together with my 12yearold, and the kind, sweet lady who lives in the house.

We spent the two hours in her bathroom! As we came to receive her help with making a “relaxer treatment” on Lava´s hair.
I have asked everyone who crossed our path in all these years, for help with her hair. Half Norwegian, fine hair, and half Caribbean.        A eufro, I named it.
Not easy to comb, and it always grows upwards towards the sky, not downwards towards the earth.
But Birthe, as her name is, has lived in several African countries working for Unicef, and she has two daughters with African hair. So she simply went and got us a superb product in an Asian shop in Esbjerg, and today she showed us how it is done when one relaxes hair…!

First, separating areas of hair, so one can do one area at a time…:

Then…:

15 minutes later….:

Then letting it stay in for 20 minutes…

Rinsing with one type of shampoo that turns the water pink until all the “stuff” is rinsed out…:

Then another bag of stuff, to make it soft and shiny and help it “heal” from the straightening stuff…

And then to just leave that in for 10 minutes…:

Lava´s sister came by and joined us, as she didn´t want to go with dad and her brother to the forest playground (!) … :

Then another rinse…:

And a round of special conditioner as the last step.
Result: One very happy girl. Imagine it can be like this!!!

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Growing grownups

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u have the e of the sun in u Rumi

“You have the energy of the sun in you. ”
– Rumi

I´m tired. And I have a cold. So I´m off to bed in a sec. Just feel like saying hi to you my blogreaders.
From the bedroom underneath my feet, I can hear my eldest daughter and her three fellow 11-yearold girlfriends chattering and giggling. So sweet, they truely are. I feel honoured that they ask to come stay over at ours. I very much want my kids to bring their friends home. Where I can get to know their friends, keep a distant eye on them as they approach puberty… not intimidatingly. I´m neither a curling mom nor a helicopter mom. Far from it. My goal is to grow independent self reliant children. They have to be given freedom in order to make mistakes they can learn from.
But by giving them space to hang out in my home, I get the priviledge of them turning to me from time to time, with an important question, or a story of how life is treating them. And that is an openness and a level of trust I appreciate and work towards.

Anyways. They are downstairs, and I´ve told them I´m off to bed and to ask dad if they need help with anything. And that the only promise I want them to give me, is that they will brush their teeth before they fall asleep. Which they´ve promised. Bless them.   🙂

Let me share some of the slogan posts I have gathered in my Facebook stream lately , all to do with parenting, or children…

childrens feelings

 

Nice one to keep in mind…  Here is another one…

 

feelings are ok

Yeah… if only children were taught this. That any emotion is okay. And  that shaming people for showing feelings that feel unpleasant to the surroundings, is not okay… This is actually a big problem in our society. Suppression of feelings. Sadness, anger. Until it boils over. Or explodes…

Another one:

finnish school system

Interesting, isn´t it? The Finnish system and its results… I wish other countries would go research and copy the stuff that works. That would be intelligent.

u are worthy always

Imagine if this is what our kids learnt in school. I think that how to tackle life´s challenges, should be the primary thing for them to learn. Psychology, communication, empathy, how to build good, positive networks, how to think positive, how to build trust, how to love oneself…

Oh. I could write a lot about this. But not right now. I´m really knackered.

One last poster and off to bed with me.

Here you are. A great piece of advice for any human, big or small.  🙂

before u sleep think happy

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Puppet Theatre in Budapest

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We spent a week in beautiful Budapest, 1.-6.of November. In super sunshine. Check out my post http://kaltwasser.dk/janos-mountain-budapest/ for the story on our first day there, on a walk around the Janos mountain.

The following morning, we had booked tickets for The Magic Flute by Mozart in the city´s house for puppet theatre. I don´t remember the name of the place (Hungarian names are hard to memorize, it´s a very unique language and not an indo european language like most other European languages are…)

Anyways. They have a puppet theatre performance every day in that house!

For the five of us, we paid about 500 Danish kroner, or abouts… 8o euros? Not expensive compared to in Denmark.

We were told to arrive early. And then spent about an hour waiting around in their lobby. Luckily there were many fascinating things to look at there… :

dukke i foaje mand

dukketeater pirater i skib

monter puppet shows

dronning dukke

brillejente dukke

jungelboken monter

Puppets from different plays… The Jungle book I recognized… and a queen?

The Magic Flute was a 2 d show, where the dolls were made of paper, on sticks… we were not allowed to take pictures during the performance. But I did take this one before it started:

dukketeater total

I felt so moved when I walked into that room… something about puppet show setups really get to me, I don´t know why. In my favourite film as well; “La belle histoire”, French from about 1992… there are scenes from a puppet theatre… and it totally makes me feel all… I don´t know what to call it.  Moved.

On our way out from the theatre again… I hope next time we get tickets for a show with the normal 3d puppets… and that there are no school classes that get to sit in all the front seats… I´m really looking forward to going back there one day. Unfortunately all the other shows that week were sold out.

montre på vej ud

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On Creativity

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 Been a few days since I updated my blog now.  It´s because I´m still struggling with this cold, feeling tired and deflated. Plus I´m attending this 30 day long workshop through email, where I do psychological / spiritual excercises an hour every day. It´s free. Her name is Katja Strandgaard, website called Life in Spirit… hereby recommended. 🙂
I found this vid the other day. Love it truely. Hope you enjoy it:

https://youtu.be/goAIXgYB3xM

Creativity. I´ve read heaps of books about it. How to stimulate it, help it flow, help it grow…

u cant use up creativity

Like flexing a muscle…makes it stronger…
I could tip you on a few great book titles. But then I have to find the books, behind the sofa… it´s an hour long project to find the books I´m thinking about, even though I know their whereabouts…

I´m too tired for that right now.

showered cat

Hahaha…. this photo is proof of quite a creative cat owner… probably a young one…?    🙂

Creative is to make up. To spot that a cup can also be a hat. And a musical instrument. And a house for a mouse. Or ornament for a christmas tree…

lesegyngestol

The person who made this chair, had a pretty creative mind…    🙂
We all want one of these chairs, don´t we?
He or she could make millions, selling these.

vegan sushi

Pretty creative looking sushi maki rolls… purple… ! …
Actually, today I made “sushi salad” for dinner. Which was invented by my grlfriend Katarina in Bergen this Summer. Sushirice, wasabi, ginger, salad leaves sprinkled with sesame oil… fish /prawns… avocado, brussel sprouts, corn in butter… It was a feast. We made packages, wrapping our favourite ingredients in sea weed. Mmmmmm…. I´m really full. And so are the kids actually!

teach gardening

There´s creativity in gardening, cooking, sewing, painting, there´s creativity in any activity where we use our sense of fresh vision, to see things anew, from more angles than the agreed upon one, the conventional…  making something that wasn´t there before we started…

Yeah.  And now I will sort out the spelling mistakes of this blogpost and publish it and take my little son to bed and fall asleep together with him! It´s half past 7 pm and I am just… knackered. Utterly and completely knackered. This day has been good, but now it is long enough.

Give me some of this!

like cat and dog, peaceful sleep

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Danes are born with bikes! :0)

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So I finally got a chance to film my tinytot riding his bike, this morning. Normally I am busy holding his seat while he gets up on his pedals. But today his dad just suddenly taught him to start on his own too, so… YEAH!

Like I wrote underneath the video on Youtube, Norwegians are said to be born with skis on their feet. And I reckon one could say that Danes are born sitting on a bicycle! 🙂

Wonderful to watch them learn new, difficult skills. Mastery. Success. Like jumping from the kitchen table to the floor. Or floating in a pool without being held by a grownup…

Kids learn to bike real early here, and the flatness of the landscape has some of the honour for that. In addition, there´s the trend of giving toddlers “running bikes” to ride when they´re 18 months old. On those bikes they learn to balance. And then, getting up on the pedals is not as big a challenge as it is if one has not been on a running bike first.

Anyways. Just wanted to share this proud moment with you. Of my youngest one, biking to kindergarten through our hood this fine, sunshiny morning.

I wish I had been more aware whilst behind the camera. I should have told his sister there, that I wanted to film her brother because he just learnt to ride himself, and that she is very good at it too! I kind of tell her to move out of the way so I can film her brother! Hahaha…. but I´m sure she understands my focus. She gets a lot of praise as well, all the time. So.
Nothing as guilty feeling as a mother, huh?! We never feel quite good enough, do we?!

sark on how to love kids

I dig SARK. She´s got books and posters going on. Excellent stuff.

Well, I must dash now! Sees y´all later, gators!

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My parents´shoes

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There is this feeling. That I get when I put clothes on in the morning and find myself wearing my mom´s cool cardigan that she let me inherit, the nice skater shoes that were too small for my sister, and jeans my soul sister girlfriend used to own… It makes me feel closer to them all in some peculiar way.

20141227_183505

This is a painting of my “farfar”, father´s father. Whose house I grew up in, so I could actually climb the stairs up to his flat before I could walk! He was my daycare; when all the other adults in the house went to work, him and I hung out playing pirate ship underneath his frontroom table, playing Ludo with 12 dice (and I always won), picking plums and apples in the garden, mowing the lawn and weeding, taking naps on the sofa together, going out in his car to pick up grandma from her job in the telephone central…
He made me a doll´s house once, and stilts, and a wooden gun that could shoot rubber bands for real!
He was my superhero. With a capital S.

I also have an item of clothing after him, a dark blue and white knitted cardican that he wore a lot.
I have clothes after my dad as well, who left us in 2010. His red hand knitted woollen jumper that my mom made him, and the last pair of Ecco shoes that he bought for himself. I wear them for a month or two every autumn/spring.

Some weeks ago I was visiting my mother for Summer holiday, and I was in my car driving alone, whilst wearing a pair of expensive sneakers she´d just given me as it hurt her feet to wear them. Suddenly I had the urge to write these words on a scrap of paper:

Inheritance

My parents´ shoes are only
one small size too large for me
they fit me rather comfortably
both physically and metaphorically

I´d rather that their footsteps be
a size I can´t fill easily
an example to follow gratefully
to grow into step by step

glass refillable

With that poster I aim to move into saying that by no means were my parents perfect in my childhood. They were human, and they did the best they could. They have openly told me a bunch of times how they didn´t quite understand how to deal with me when I was little. I was just different to the other kids. I didn´t play in the sandbox, I watched as the others played… stuff like that.

My mother taught me to read age 4 and a half.
I read a lot ever since, and wrote short stories from age 5. (About how Santa cancelled xmas, for example, because the humans were too materialistic about it, all they wanted was new things).
They got me a piano. Which I played with a teacher for 6 years. So those were two very good things I am grateful for.

Although in some ways they were too strict,  too controlling and didn´t see my sensitivity or intentions…  they always meant well.  I don´t think there are many of us who don´t have issues we need to digest and forgive about our upbringing.
It´s a natural thing between parents and children, where one party has all the power and the other party is forced to obey… to say it in black and white, of course there are always many shades of gray in everything.

I told my dad on his deathbed. I thanked him for always trying his best for me.
I recognize his good intentions. He did really well in some ways, and less well in others. A man of his time and of his own life conditions. For example, he saw his own dad for the first time when he was 3 years old!
As his dad had been out to sea for that long. They did, back then, where I come from. Sailed to China, and Cuba, gone for years at a time… my mother´s dad was a sailor as well. Both were chefs on board their ships.

My parents had a traffic school that they ran together, and it was very successful. All the local 17-18-yearolds got their driver´s licences through them, and they always came and told me how wonderful my parents were. Caring and funny and helpful, both my dad in his car and my mom in their office. My dad touched a lot of people´s hearts whilst teaching them how to drive, to believe in their own abilities, to forgive themselves for making mistakes, to be relaxed yet alert at the same time…stuff you need to learn to master driving.
In his spare time when I was little, he started the first soccer team for girls in my hometown, and I played soccer there from age 8-16.

I´m very proud of them both.
And could tell you a lot more they did and do, that makes me love them so much.

I could also give a lot of examples of times I was hurt by their words or actions.

As  probably all of us can, about our parents.

I wonder how my kids will talk about their upbringing when they become grownups.
All I can do is to try my best for them. And hope that the wounds I cause, will be healable with the help of them knowing that I love them with all my heart.

broken men

But.
Broken (wo-)men can be repaired. The glass is refillable. We develope and grow and change all the way thoughout our lifetimes.

The Japanese have this really nice concept in their thinking, look:

image

And with that, I finish this post. And wish you progress, in whatever area it is you are choosing to grow at the moment.

May the force be with you.  🙂

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Goodness

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self-help

Not the worst advice I have heard in my life TIME… 🙂

Just sifting through my collected Facebook posters tonight, seeing if I can gather some that will all fit under the title “Goodness”… Let me see…

saudi street fridge for needy

This for sure is goodness. Some moslems really know how to take care of the not so lucky ones in their community. I remember when I lived in Bahrain, I realized that the mosques were places that served soup for the poor people several times a week… Much like some churches do in Norway… But not all churches… I don´t know if all mosques do, either. But this idea of this man, to put a fridge up outside, for people to put their leftovers, so others can help themselves to some food if they want… Big heart, innovative mind. I salute you.

be a good person

Moving image. Could we not all do a bit more of this? We could, couldn´t we, most of us…

children catch your inconsistency

Hahaha, I LOVE posters like this one, pointing the finger right back at the parents… Such a tremendous challenge, parenting. A task full of opportunities to realize how much you have yet to learn! 🙂

like cat and dog, peaceful sleep

Inter-species goodness. Love is love. Heart melting.

a good relationship

So much can be said about what makes a relationship a good one or a not so good one. These words say a lot in a small space. An artform in itself. Crystallized messages.

what is poor

Oh. A political leader like that. Wouldn´t we all want one? I admire him. Big heart, innovative mind.

your light lights the world

This goes for each and every single one of us. We just tend to forget.

money cant buy

Goodness is not primarily about material surplus.

train your mind to see the  good in everything

Yup. Train your mind. “Free your miiiind…..and the rest will follow!”

Which makes me HAVE TO finish up with this ace song from my younger years… 🙂

“Be colourblind….don´t be so shallow!”

“Before you can read me you must learn how to see me!”

I have danced wildly and self-liberatingly on many a dancefloor to that tune.
Pure Goodness. Amen. 🙂

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