Category Archives: Parenting

My parents´shoes


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.


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:


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

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:


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.  🙂





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. 🙂


On “The Dane-Boat”


Greetings and Nanu Nanus from Bergen, on the Norwegian westcoast, the beautiful city between seven mountains.
This is our here. Day after tomorrow we head south to my mom’s on an island called Karmøy.

But here and now I just want to tell you about our transporting ourselves up here.
With three young kids and two weeks’ luggage for five people, we chose to go by car. We drove for 3,5 hours from our home to the harbour of Hirtshals. There we boarded the big ferry, that sailed us from 8pm, and spat us out in Bergen 1pm on the following afternoon.

It is a very relaxing way to travel with kids. We had a cabin, left our luggage therr and went up to the disco bar. There was live music, and lots of children were dancing and running around, so I joined them. Great fun.

A couple of hours later the two youngest kids (5 and 3) were asking to go to bed. Exhausted from travelling and dancing we had a good night’s sleep rocked steadily by mellow waves.

Next morning we ate breakfast, and the kids hung out in “the ball room”, you know those spaces with a slide in a room full of colourful plastic balls…? Us grownups could just sit and relax, have a stroll on deck to enjoy the sight of thr amazing Norwegian coastline…

My eldest daughter, who is ten, made a video to show the ferry to her friends, and I have been allowed to share it here:

She edited out the parts where we see her face as she talks into the camera. Which I think is a shame, but. It is her film, so of course she gets the final cut.

Here is a piece I shot from the sun deck:

And here is one more. Which I want to edit and use as an element in a video poem some time…

Yeah, a pleasant journey in spite of the lack of sun for sun deck sitting. We had a look around the tax free, but coming from Denmark, the prices were only cheap to Norwegians…

We arrived safely and soundly, rested and entertained in Bergen, and drove up the hillside where our friends live. We are stwying at theirs the whole week. Wonderful to be with them again.

So. Yes, the ferry, that us Norwegians call “The Dane-boat”.
A recommended mode of travelling with children.


Recipe for getting good kids! :)


treat a kid good to get a good kid

Treat a kid good to get a good kid.

heal your own stuff for your child

That´s what they call ridding oneself of karma. When you break a pattern.
Stop passing on things your elders did to you, and that hurt you.
If one is hit as a child, most likely one will also hit one´s own children.
But it does not have to be that way. We can heal our shit from the past.
And get rid of karma, and not pass neglect and hurt on to our offspring.

forgive for me

Forgive and put down that heavy luggage. It is not yours to carry.
What others did to you, put it down or the burden will weigh you down.
Doesn´t mean you have to forget. Forgive for the sake of your own inner peace. Throw it away.

child care dont compare

And one last little piece of nudge in a positive direction, maybe the best thing we can do for ourselves if we want more energy, more calm, less aggression and other kinds of stressing:

sit in nature


First Summer Holiday Day, Hurray!


selfie in hammock

This is me in our new hammock, about a week ago, one of the far too few hours we have had so far where the sun has been shining warmth down on us light-thirsting Scandinavians. Summer comes very late here this year. And as soon as we get a day of warm weather and we think that now it begins, next day an autumn like storm wind is whipping our sorry backsides… BIG SIGH…

Anyways. Couple of weeks ago we were also lucky one afternoon when we were going to friends´ in the neighbouring village, for dinner:

på cykel til Rindby

Denmark is famous, like Holland, for their bicycling everywhere, there´s path lanes made especially for bikes. In Norway we don´t have much of that. Easily explained; Denmark and Holland are flat savannahs, whilst Norway is built in the mountains.

On Fanø, the island where I live, the tourists rent a bike when they are here, and go everywhere on it. Beach, woods, and between the three villages. Lovely mode of silent transport, when the warm wind gently carresses one´s skin on one´s way from A to B.

We have a wonderful garden. High hedges give shelter from the world, it is a completely private space.
Took this one the other day; called it “One snail and two siblings”.

snail and siblings

Here is another shot of the garden, from last summer, I think:

two garden umbrellaholders

In some weeks we will go visit family and friends on the south west coast of Norway.
First a week in Bergen, where I lived for 15 years, going to uni and having jobs. Wow do I look forward to seeing my girlfriends there! One of them I haven´t seen since 2011, when I was pregnant with my youngest child! We have gone through thick and thin together, shared our twenties… In Bergen we will also visit the old sardine factory turned into culture house down by the waterfront, for a walk in its gallery and some prawns in the café outside on the dock. We will visit a museum or two, and of course the playground with the trolls up on top of Fløien, one of the seven mountains in the city centre… hopefully there will be weather for picnics and barbecues.

Here we are on top of the mountain Ulriken in 2010. Majestic.

ulriken 10

And here are some of my friends, last time we were there, in 2013. We went to the museum for “nature´s history”, where all the kids could run in long hallways filled with stuffed, real animals, a whale skeleton, anything from butterflies to snakes, monkeys, moose, giant hedgehog, a snake, bear… the birds´section, the geology section… a brilliant place for adults and kids alike.

bergen friends summer 13

After a week there, we drive 3 hours southwards and come to the island where I grew up, Karmøy. There we will stay at my mom´s for a week, catching up with all our lovely family members, and again some outings into nature and possibly the local little zoo which we enjoyed so much last time, a couple of summers ago.

torvastad zoo 10

(Actually it was way back in 2010, I now realize)!

We go to Norway every two Summers. Though in 2012 we didn´t, as we got married, so all relatives and friends came here to us instead, for our big wedding party in the woods. Hence it became 2013, and now this year again.

Many times we go to my uncle and aunt´s place, at the end of the Aaker fjord, where they own Norways biggest waterfall, actually. Hahahaha…. so funny to say that out loud. As if human beings can own mother earth. But there you go. Such is the human illusion of ownership.

I will write a different post about that place later. They have built a tourist welcome centre there now, so cruise ships come in and get a local traditional meal, and are transported with tractor up to the top of the mountain to see there they kept goats in earlier times…

I´m afraid we won´t get time to visit them this Summer, as we have promised the children to go see Captain Sabertooth Kingdom in Kristiansand. All Norwegian kids go there, including my kids´ cousins, so.
It´s a rite de passage. Gonna cost us anarm, a leg and then some, but. What to do. It must be done.

“Heev ohoi, soon the treasure is ours, and we can take it easy the next one houndred years…”

On our way to Kristiansand, we stop at one of my best friends´ place in Flekkefjord, where she has a house in the woods by the sea. As the drive from my mom´s to Captain Sabertooth´s takes about 6 hours.
So we make a stop and stay over at my friend´s there, whome I used to study anthropology with and live together with in Bergen, 95-99 I think it must have been. Her daughter will be there too, with her babygirl who was born in South Africa and is a year old now, so I finally get to see her! They have been living in Cape town to do a phd in criminology. Haven´t seen them I think since I moved from Bergen in 08. Looking very much forward to catching up with them too…

Yeah. So that will be our main trip this Summer. 15 days in Norway. Sailing with the big ferry, which is an ace way to travel with kids. And their luggage. Packed in a car, so we can easily get from town to town on the coast there. Where ferryrides lie close, for crossing fjords, and there are no trains and buses are scarce.

Apart from our roadtrip, I hope to spend some time in my listening hut in the garden, meditating, reading for my exam in August, and updating my blog. Here is the view from the hut the other day:

view from listeninghut

And then I hope we will be lucky and receive some visitors from here and there, family and friends, for some barbecues and wine bottles and guitar singing sessions into warm summer evenings in our garden.
And maybe a party or two in other people´s gardens as well. And the street theatre festival first weekend in August, which is the annual event we always attend to here on Fanø.
Plenty of entertainment on Fanø in the summertime, so I´m sure we will find things to do, and if not, we can always go for a bikeride and camp for a couple of nights… We take it as it comes. As few plans as possible gives the best holiday feeling for us. Room for improvisation, spontaneous happenings.

So school holiday starts today. And we are really all just very tired, because dad has been away all week making exam parties for his music students at the college university where he works. He´s going to work today as well. And I need to find something to do with the kids. It would actually be nice if the day developed like the afternoon when I took this photo of my son after he came home from kindergarten:

Linus sover med dvd i hånden

Happy holidays´ people!
Get some rest in, and some fun and some lovin´,
and some new nice memories to keep our hearts warm through the next long, dark and cold wintertime…!


Robin Hood in the Danish forest


Robin Marion og de tre små Galeasere

Here are my three kids, together with Robin Hood and his Marion, a Saturday in June, in the woods outside of Esbjerg in Denmark.
Every Summer, the town´s Children and Youth Theatre Group set up a play in a big tent in the forest.
We have been to see it the last three of four years. This year it was Robin Hood.

Theatre tent

More than a hundred people participated on stage!!! And popcorn, candy and juice cartons were sold at friendly prices. I think tickets are sold out for every show, it runs maybe about ten times.

It´s my daughter Viola we see here, watching the show with great interest:

“Little as in my little pony…” hahaha…. that´s what I call intertextuality on a high level. 🙂

“I want power…I want to be a millionaire, want to be feared by everyone, want a hot wife next to me on the throne, the power must be mine…!”

The show lasted for about an hour, I think. Many songs, dancing… great stuff.
When it was finished and we left the tent, we found the king´s throne outside…

tronarvinger i sherwoodskogen

We had a picture taken with Robin and Marion too, as you have seen, and then we went and found our car. Other years we have gone to a buffet at a Chinese restaurant after the show, but this year we went to a show earlier in the day, so instead we drove to the fish shop and got smoked salmon and maquerel, bread and something to drink, and went to a big playground and had a picnic there.

A wonderful day out. We will surely be back for another play in the woods next Summer.


Housewifing on a sunny day


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh………… It is WARM OUTSIDE !!!!!! Oh me oh my this winter has been a long one!!!!! But NOW. I hope the sun decides it´s time to keep shining, not just give us a day a fortnight of vitamin D and then hide behind another autumn storm again…


My garden at the moment. See the stripey blue and “sandy green” (What kind of coulour name is that?!) hammock in the back, left hand? Got that in the mail yesterday. Our old one simply tore when we put it up this spring. It has also lasted a few years, so I forgive it. 🙂
The hammock is so popular with the kids and all their friends, so I will have to hurry up with this blogpost so I get time to lie in it before they come home from kindergarten!

Got the washing up as well. (And the dishwasher is humming its way through a load of dinnerplates and lunch boxes). Good mama! Deserves an hour in the hammock, yes indeed! (How to avoid feeling guilty for relaxing)…


Yesterday I went bananas in the grocery store!
As everything was half price!
Because they have built a new, much bigger store, and so now they empty the old one. I was there 08.30 in the morning, and there was no parking spaces left! Hahaha…. I had to wait to get a trolly. And then I joined the happy frenzy in there, people just filling their trollies to the brim with the items still left on the emptying shelves… treasure hunting… I bought lots of items that I normally don´t get because they are too pricey. Like dried strawberry pieces, and seaweed and sushi ginger, chilli mayo, spicey dressings…
Got some stuff for the barbecue (and hurray, today is a barbecue day)!…

Shot a short film in there. Feeling a bit nervous of filming people, although the law says one may film in public spaces, I would not publish such a piece if someone was seen picking their nose or something. I like to think I have a high ethical standard, and counsciousness of not hurting other people´s feelings.
If someone I filmed came to me and asked if I would remove it, I would.

But here you are. An impression of our goods-empty, people-filled grocery store yesterday morning.
Quite a fun experience. I also met a lot of co mothers in there… 🙂

Well. I think I will finish up here and get out into the sunshine. Tank up on warmth and vitamins.
Haven´t seen sun like this since August, I reckon. That´s a frickin´ 10 months! Imagine that!

Then later, I must marinate those big chicken thighs, and when my eldest girl comes home with her best friend, I hope they want to make a smoothie with all them frozen berries I got yesterday and that are taking up all that freezer space. We are going to have to do some serious eating this weekend, to plough through all that half price stuff.
That´s what we in Scaninavia call a “luxury problem”. 🙂


The First Soccermatch


tortoise and son

Yesterday we brought the three kids along to the football stadion in Esbjerg. It was the last Superliga match of the season, and 10.000 tickets had been sold, even though the weather was cold and wet.

It´s been a few years since I joined my husband for a football match, and it´s been years for the kids as well. It is no place for a baby. And even at the age of 3, my son got scared yesterday, when all the people jumped up from their seats and cheered, all of a sudden.

Luckily there were 3 goals. So after the first scare, I explained to him what the fuzz was all about. I turned myself into a sport´s commentator, and explained the game to him and my five year old daughter: “Look! There is the ball! Now the blue ones have it, look he passes it to his team mate now… oh no, the red ones have it now, they must not get a goal, because then they win…”

And: “Now he kicked it across the line, and so the other team gets to throw the ball back onto the field. That´s the only time they can touch the ball with their hands. Exept for the goal keeper. He is there to stop the ball from going into the goal…”

The explaining turned their focus from the candy and soft drinks, and they really got into watching. I told my son that this is a place where one is allowed to shout out loud… which he thought about for about twenty seconds, and then started shouting. Hahahaha…. he loves to shout, and at home we stop him because his voice is so sharp, it hurts our ears… “Come on now, Esbjerg!” he shouted… and just wordless cries… the third time there was a goal, (luckily it was the second one and the winning goal for the home team), then I lifted him up over my head as I rose from my chair and cheered with the rest of the audience. He laughed and cheered along.

He talked about it this morning again. How yesterday all these people screamed when there was a goal.
Made an impression and a half.
There is a place where grownups shout in this world! And drum and sing and show emotions!
Hallelujah. It must be such a relief for him to experience. 🙂

Ever since he was able to, he´s been throwing and kicking a ball around. So I suspect he will start playing either handball or football (soccer) when he gets big enough. I played soccer myself, from age 8-16. His dad did as well. So. Yeah.
I´m not that keen on the idea of standing in the freezing wind watching him play game after game for years and years. But. I don´t think that would be a valid reason for denying him to enter a sport. Hahaha…


He loves music as well. Here Linus-Ferdinand and Viola are having a go on their violins, that they received as presents from a friend of ours that builds them himself. Dad is a music teacher, who teaches kindergarten teachers to use music in their teaching of kids, and people with handicaps…
So our home is always filled with music. Guitar, piano, a lot of singing.
I learned to play the piano too, for 6 years, as a kid. Love to drum and sing and dance.
(Read more about that in the post “A blogger and her blog”).

I tried out a lot of different activities as a child, ballet dancing, gymnastics…
But I stayed with the soccer and the piano playing.

My eldest daughter played the violin for two years with a teacher, then guitar in a band for a year then she did vocals in the same band. Now she has started horse riding, and wants to join a trampoline group this fall. We will give her piano lessons at home. She enjoys drawing, and cooking and baking. And she is really good with little children, such a lovely big sister.

Music is a unique activity, in the sense that it is really good for the brain. It lights up and combines many different areas, creating pathways between skills in mathematics, language, physical movement of fingers or lips, arms and legs… in different combinations… rhythm is developed…
Music is also an international language, very useful for communicating with people from everywhere.

It is an exciting process to dicover my children´s fields of interest.
We had a great time at the soccer match yesterday, and I don´t think it will be years before we go again.


Slogans & short advice on parenting


raindeer and sleeping child

I feel… between-ish today… like a space between words… a kind of blankness… Neither pleasant nor unpleasant, I have shared some good conversations about important issues… I feel to just share with you some good posters about parenting right now.

encourager, not dictator

breast feeding cover yourself


children are more than raising them

gentle your children

These posters say a lot… so much food for thought in just these 5 posters…
So I just leave them with you, uncommented.

I think I will just go to bed now and drift off into a dream.
It´s 11.11 pm this moment, on my pc clock.
Must be the perfect place to proceed into post blogpost posting.
I wish I could have a nap like that kid, leaning safely on a friendly white raindeer…


Confirmations and Nonfirmations


konfirmander 20 maj 2011

This photo is of a group of “confirmants” from 2011. Just a random picture from the net to give you an idea. I don´t know how international this tradition is. Of confirmations. Which in Norway and Denmark is a ritual where every 13 yearold makes a choice about whether or not to be a member of the christian religion.
Confirming one´s christening from one´s babyhood. Saying yes, as an adult I choose to remain a baptized Christian.

The children, or…youngsters… go once a week for about half a year, to talks with the priest. And then in May there is a big ceremony, where they go in white cloaks into the church and receive a speech and a blessing. Afterwards there is a big, big party held for each of the confirmants, with his/her family. They all have a beautiful dress on or a suit, and they receive a lot of money gifts, and telephones and other expensive items. Many hold the party in a rented location with hired waitors. And there are speeches and home made songs about the young person.

In earlier times, the ritual symbolized that the youngster was no longer a child but expected to go out and get a job and be self sufficient, now an adult person. These days school lasts longer. So. But it still marks the transition between childhood and youth-hood, the teenage years, where there are new, different rights and duties and expectations.

I myself was christened as a baby, and I chose to be a confirmant because everybody else did it. That´s the main cause behind most decisions that age. “The others do it and so I must do it too so I am normal”.
I was actually quite opposed to the meetings at the priest´s. I tried to provoke him into talking about the birds and the bees, a topic that DID interest me. Not all that dull bible stuff that I already was being taught in school several hours every week.
He was a nice priest. I was just in the wrong place. I used to compensate by every Wednesday, on my way to the priest-meetings, going into different bookstores in the city centre, stealing pencils!! I never actually stole in my life, apart from during that period, on my way to the priest. Lots of expensive, nice pencils… My apologies to the bookstores I stole from.

I did not baptize my children. As I don´t think I should make that choice for them. For my first-born, I held a ritual privately, at a clubhouse where I was a board member. My family and closest friends came from my hometown to Bergen for it, and my Bergen network came and joined them, so that my daughter´s network was gathered.
My friend Shahroukh from Iran created a beautiful buffet of dishes from all over the world. A friend of mine held a speech about the concept of baptizing, from a perspective of zen. Hahaha…. how to imagine that. Well, he did. And I videotaped it.
I also held a speech to my child, that I had filmed myself reading out loud (I had stage fright back then).
We had a notebook, that the guests could write or draw something in, for my daughter.
And she received presents. She was 18 months old.

With the two younger ones, we have not held an alternative baptizing gathering. It has not felt like a need.

Yesterday we were guests at the confirmation of our really good friend. They held the party in a tent in their garden. 45 people around the table. Three courses delicious food. Many speeches and songs. And gifts like tickets to a show with his favourite stand up comedian (together with his parents, restaurant and hotel included), and from his adult sisters he received a trip with them to Hamburg, Germany…
It was a lovely celebration.

I asked my daughter, now 10, if she wants to be a confirmant in three years when it´s her turn to make that choice. She answered that no, she does not want to have a confirmation. As she wants to choose for herself what to believe in, when she feels ready to make such a choice.
I told her that I could understand her reasoning. But that maybe she will feel different in a year or two, and that it´s okay if she finds out she wants to follow christianity, she doesn´t have to make the choice quite yet. But she replied that she has felt this way since she was little, and she does not think it will change.

In which case we will hold a nonfirmation for her. Which is to hold a party and celebrate her growing from child to youth, just without the structure of the church framing the day.

In Norway we have something called the Human-Ethical Foundation. They organize a “civilian´s confirmation education package”, så that when your classmates to to visit the priest, you go meet other youngsters at the foundation, learning about humanism, ethics, responsibility, and other issues to do with growing into an adult of integrity.
No such thing here in Denmark! Quite shocking actually.

I think I will email Human-Ethical Foundation and ask if I may have some of their material they use for their confirmations of non christian youth in Norway. And then when my daughter´s classmates go to see the priest, I will make a kind of home schooling programme where we use that material (or other things I feel would be good) and sit down and have talks together. Maybe I can also take her to meet someone… a philosopher og artist that has some kind of independent outlook on life and death… we will see…

Some people say that they don´t get it; why would a child get the party of confirmation for choosing NOT to confirm their belief.
What I don´t get, though, is that a child should be forced to choose to manifest its membership in a religious system, in order to get the party and the money!! That would be like bribing them into choosing a faith!! The party and the money should NOT be the reason for choosing to belong to a religion. Should it?! How can one do that to a child? “Oh, so you don´t want to be a christian? Well then there will be no celebration of you, no tons of gifts and speeches and that stuff. That´s only for the Christian kids.”

So of course there will be a celebration of her coming of age. A rite de passage.
They have them in every culture on the planet, why does the church have monopoly on this in Denmark?!
It is the time when she will receive her monthly periods, it is a time for great changes in a human´s life.

And I most certainly find a lot of meaning and value in celebrating a child´s ability to do something else than the crowd does, and to take her choice of faith so seriously she says “I am not ready to commit to a religion, I want to find out for myself what my faith is, when I know it”.
That takes reflection, it takes insight into her inner truth and it takes courage to stand up and speak out. Bravo.

It is a matter of being conscious. making a conscious choice. In my view, at 13… why doesn´t the church wait until they are 16 or 18 before asking their members to make this big life choice of which faith to commit to? Are they worried that if the question came later, more of the youngsters would say no to be a confirmant?

The video below is a short presentation by one of the course holders in human-ethical confirmations. He speaks in Norwegian, subtitled but no English I´m afraid. He says that it is intersting to meet young people who make the active choice of not being a member of a religion, and they teach them analytical thinking, they talk about bullying, morals and ethics, the earth´s climate challenges etc.etc., hoping they will come out of it a littlebit wiser and more mature than before they entered the course. And then, after the course, they hold a public ceremony in a theatre or similar building, where there is a speech and each confirmant´s name is called out and they come forward and receive a diploma.
(The last picture in the video shows a happy Norwegian girl in her “bunad”, which is a Norwegian traditional folk costume, showing off her civilian´s confirmation diploma…)

I am sorry for my daughter that she will not be able to attend group meetings with others like her, in Human-ethical foundation. The feeling of community, of being part of a group of similar thinkers….
Well. I will see what I can do. She is still a Norwegian citizen, so maybe we can hold a civilian´s confirmation for her in Norway, who knows. I will research and together with her (and her father of course), plan her big day.

Freedom of religion.
Such a deep, personal question. Spirituality. What to hold on to, for hope and comfort.
It is such a serious question.
I am proud of my daughter for her conscious attitude towards the making of such a choice.