Painting with kids

For some time now me and my daughter have a new hobby: painting or reproducing works of famous artists. We paint by numbers or we add paint on scketches or on 3D contours. Is a very relaxing activity and most important, a fun way for her to learn about famous artists or paintings.

Yesterday we started working on a new project: we paint by numbers on a canvas one of Leonid Afremov’s work. She looks at the painting and asks me:

– Mum, what this picture is supposed to represent?

– Well, if we are lucky, it will be a lady and a gentlmen walking in the rain.

– Now it looks more like Picachu…

– Picasso? I ask.

– Yes mama, Picasso! I got the name wrong, but I know how Picasso painted!

Work in progress

We all can show up and do our best

When I started this project, I knew nothing about blogging, themes or pages on wordpress. It still feels like I know very little, but somehow I tried my best to make it a place where I could interact with people that have similar interests. This need of showing up and doing my best was something I felt compelt to do. It was a duty, imposed by me out of respect. For myself and more important, for others. To, at list, show up and do my best.

My daughter is finishing kindergarten this June. She will go to school in September, where everything will be brand new: new teacher, new collegues, new classroom, new rules. A big, scarry unknown for her and also for us, her parents. It will be the start of a new chapter in her life; with duties and lots of things to do and lots of homeworks. A place where she will have to show up every day and do her best because she will have no other option.

She often asks me, in a small, almost crying voice, if I will go with her in the classroom. Of course she knows that it won’t be possible, but she still asks me. Is a thing she does, more like a ritual for her to be more brave in facing this big unknown she will meet soon. And somehow she is also morning the preschooler that she will no longer be. The chair she will no longer take in her actual classroom. The love she think will be lost in her kindergarten teacher’s heart. The memory of her, when all of her friends will go to different schools in town.

It is a process and her mind knows it. She cannot go over it or under it; she has to go through it. As the brave brothers from the book “We’re going on a bear hunt” found out, when you’re facing a big, scary problem you have to solve it.

I try to tell her the truth about the journey that awaits her: it will be hard sometimes, as any begining is; some days she will cry or laugh or miss me. She will learn new things and she would do everything to earn her place there, in the new group. She will not always be her best and she would sometimes fail. But she will try again and again until she will get the work done. Even if she hates not knowing stuff or how to do things.

And most important, I try to explain her that school will be her job, it will be her duty to show up and do the best that she can. And that she will be ok. I let her have her fears and worries, as one cannot tell a 6 yo:”Hey, listen, you don’t have to be afraid of the big unknown in front of you”. Because it is a normal emotion to feel scared. And to be excited and curious also. After all, is the journey that we remember, right? And the friends we meet along the way and all the things we discover. Because in the end every kid will learn to write and read and will certainly know the time table. So the journey is all that matters and we have to make the most out of it.

More on the books presented below: Going places by Peter and Paul Reynolds , The kissing hand by Audrey Penn, one of my favourite children’s book of all time, The pigeon has to go to school by Mo Willems and a funny Usborne book, Wild school

The atlas of beauty

Women of the world in 500 portraits

Beacause today is International Women’s Day and we celebrate the Woman and her beauty, I want to present you a book-work of art. It is a collection of beautiful faces, an encyclopedia that celebrates women, traditions, love, diversity, differences.

The author, Mihaela Noroc, was born in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova and moved at 6 years old in Bucharest with her family. Her father is a painter and she was surrounded by beauty and colors all of her life. And we feel that in the photos that she seeks and takes. The atlas of beauty started as a personal project, but soon her photos were a huge success and the book became an international phenomenon.

For us, two parents and a 6 years old daughter, the book was emotion! And love, warm, tenderness. We could see faces so different from the ones around us, costumes and traditions from 50 countries. That some of us can “visit” only by seing these photos. We understood that beauty is not about the standard 90/60/90. Ore the one promoted by mass-media. That a woman can be beautiful even if the has a prosthetic leg or she is 90 years old. That the delicacy and the bond between a mother and her nursing child can’t be compared with anything else. That even if these faces are so different, they are equaly beautiful. Even if they are burned by the sun or pampered with the most delicate creams.

My child could see mothers and children that have another colour of the skin than hers. In their natural homeland, relaxed and happy. And even if she has a very strong rejection reaction for all kinds of “old”, she accepted to look at faces of women with wrinkles or white hair. She knows that her mother will age too, but she doesn’t want to accept it yet. She always wants to buy me a shampoo that she saw in a TV commercial to have it in the house, to use it really quick when my first white hair will appear. For me, to see her looking at old women faces on her free will was the greatest joy!

The three of us learned to really see the diversity and not only turn the page when we feel a discomfort. To understand that the exterior is always the reflection of the soul, a beautiful, good and loving soul.

That traditions are still important, in some places in the same way they were hundreds of years ago. And tgis is a rare ans precious thing that needs to be protected, otherwise will perish. That the bond between a mother and her child is the greatest creation on the entire planet.

I learned that only when thwey are ourselves, in a warm loving enviroment, where we are happy and appreciated, women are radiant and glowing. And that, no matter what, our children already think that we are the most beautiful. And today, on International Women Day, is the time to remember that and enjoy all the priceless gifts we have in our life.

Happy anniversary beautiful Woman, wherever you are!

Designer … everything

It’s a sunny and beautiful Sunday, 1st of November. After a rainy and chilly Hallowen evening, now the sun and the good weather have made a lot of families went out for a walk. The park is full, in a way it was never full before the Covid-19 pandemy.

My daughter is making mud “meatballs”, there is plenty mud after the last day rains. I prefer to stay on a bench and enjoy the sun, along with her father. On the alley before the bench we stay on walks a father with two daughters, one my daughter’s age and the other one around 9-10 yo. They wear protective masks, all three of them. The oldest daughter is having a very passionate dialog with her father.

A “SHE” person thinks that Gucci is a better brand than Balenciaga, even though she had explained her that is not true! Balenciaga is a more calitative brand than Gucci, everybody knows that! But maybe the “SHE” person they are talking about doesn’t have any Balenciaga clothes and that’s why she thinks that! The father doesn’t respond anything ( what can he respond afterall?) but touch her blonde and curly long hair as they move along on the alley.

I laugh, a rude and almost nervous laugh. And then my daughter comes with her mud meatballs, that she is serving us with some “salad” from a green bush she found. She is happy, as always, with her hands all dirty from the “mud kitchen” and her hair all messed up by the wind. Her sneakers have some mud also on them. We thanks her for the treats and she goes back to her play.

I’m having a strong feeling I’m not a good mother at all! She doesn’t know who Gucci or Balenciaga is. Well, until a decade ago I didn’t knew who they were. What if she goes to school with a fashion expert like the girl that just walked by and then my precious girl will become the “SHE” person in some other girl’s story? I mean, I can be the “SHE” person, I don’t have any Balenciaga clothes. Or Gucci… I had a fantasy with a LV backpack for a while, but since you can get a “better than original” made in China copy, I let it go.

And one more thing: Gucci, Prada, Louis, why don’t you make some designer protective masks? I mean, come on now, the girl was wearing a simple blue mask. God only knows who designed it!

School in time of Covid-19

We’re back in online now. And, beside all the tehnicalities that can go wrong (and sometimes they sure do) there are a lot of other aspects that can’t be ignored.

For instance, if you are a parent of 2 or more children, you must possess the following:

1. a big house, with a number of rooms, equiped with table,desk and chairs, bigger then the number of children attending online courses. And the rooms must not be too close, in order that the online classes can be held properly; the teacher and the students will talk loud.

2. a number of electronic devices on wich the lessons can be watched equal or bigger then the number of children. A spair one would be a plus, if a battery wears out or something goes wrong on one of the devices.

3. two sets of hands, heads and bodies entirely, to be fair. If the children are preschoolers or first graders, they will need some asistance on their online courses. And since the classes are generaly in the morning, if you can’t double yourself, find a helper. Or own the fact that you are serious limiting your children rights to a free mandatory education. If they attend a public preschool or school. If not, save some money for later therapy sesions, it will be needed!

4. if you are a teacher yourself, that could be a really big challenge. The biggest of all I assume. In one room of the house your kid is having his online classes, in the other you are holding yours. Top that!

5. money to pay your electricity, heating and cable bills. Imagine having online classes in a house without electricity, cable or heat. As a lot of the houses in rural Romania are.

I heard today at “radio gossip” that the Romanian Minister of Education, when asked how can the online courses can be held in a house without electricity, she replied that the children can watch the lessons on TV. I sure hope it was a misunderstanding and that the history will remember her for something else, bigger then all of that.

Last day of school in pandemic times

When I was little, the middle of June was the happiest time of the entire year. It was the end of the school year and the begining of summer holiday. We would braid crowns from oak leaves to receive as prices for our academic results, we would make plans with our friends to meet and play all summer long.

Today is officialy the last day of this school year. In fact, the kids haven’t set foot on a classroom in the last 3 moths. They haven’t seen each other, nor their educators or theachers.

For my daughter is the last day of kindergarten. For the last 3 years, she had a teacher. Her first teacher. The arms that welcomed her with love and patience, the arms she ran to everytime she needed. The eyes that validated her accomplishments, the voice that taught her all the things she needed to know. To become the preschooler that she is today. A young lady that seems to know everything already. And which, for the last 3 months, had only one wish: to be her teacher’s student one more day, after the bad virus goes away.

It seems that this was one wish faith didn’t grant her…

In life, in any stage or relationship, we all need closure. To prepair ourselves for what it is about to end and to enjoy the time we still have together. Somehow this pandemic took away from our children the right to this important stage, closure. They should have been able to say good-bye in their own classroom, to properly hug their classmates and teachers they are saying good-bye to.

If one good thing came from this horrific time is that our kids learned to adapt even more than they had to before. They understood that we cannot go to the park or to the playground, that we have to wear mask in public places, that we cannot meet or hug with our loved ones. The pandemic took all that away too from our children.

But it didn’t took the love they feel in their little hearts. The love will always be there to remind them who they are, who they were, who our teachers or classmates were!

Good bye teachers, good bye friends

We thank you all for everything!

We have places to go and people to meet

But our memories of you will always be sweet!

Family Day

Family is that feeling of complete safety and belonging. Is where you can relax after a hard day of work or where you can recharge your batteries. It is mother’s hug when you see each other after the classes. Or playing in dad’s hair when he comes home from work and a tiny voice, the most precious voce in the world, tells him: Dada, you should shave, your kisses are hurting my cheeks!

Family is home, your own house or it can be someone who is very far away, but still close to your heart. And which, with just one word, makes you feel like everything is alright, even if to you it seems that the world around you is falling apart. Family means not only the people that have the same name you do. Family stands for everyone who supports and encourages you to go further, even when the obstacle is big and you can’t see anything beyond it. Family is like a big invisible mechanism that helps you go go through everything, to enjoy the happiness and cry the sadness.

For the little ones family are all the people dear to them. The ones they feel comfortable with, they play with as much as they want and share stories about moon, stars and everything in between. The ones that have the time to discover all the surprises life had prepared for them. The ones that encourages them to move further when the fear had blocked every movement. The ones they laugh with, eat ice cream at noon or a big bowl of popcorn at ten o’clock in the evening.

The ones that tells them that is okay to make mistakes sometimes because nobody is perfect anyway.

Family? Family is each one of us and all of us together.



Aliens are humans too

I give her a big hug. She looks at me, as if she will have to remember all of my face features for her entire life.

-Mammy, ale you an alien?

-No baby, why?

-Because you have gleen eyes, mama! We all have blown eyes in oul family. Only you have gleen eyes. Tell me, mama?Ale you? An alien?!