Important things children do

I’m preparing some materials for the activities I want to do with her today. I print some images and drawings for colouring, I trace contours on a cardboard and I apply adhesive tape on it.

Little miss is watching cartoons on TV. Even if she knows some of the episodes by heart, she pays a lot of attention to all of her favourites. She likes some of the characters so much that she tells us all about their adventures, with lots and lots of details. She loves to tell stories, every little adventure becomes a fascinating story when she tells it.

I do not know from whom she has this gift of storytelling, her mother is an engineer!

The publicity break starts and she comes to inspect the work table:

– Oau, how cool! You did this? she asks, turning the piece of cardboard I’m working on. And all of this beautiful drawings! We will colour them later, ok?

– Later, tomorrow, whenever you will like!

– I already told you, later, now I can’t! I have important things to do, children things!                                  

I don’t dare to ask her what important things she has to do, I’m afraid she will start a list with lost of household chores. Like she did the other night,  when her father came home from work and asked her what she did all day. She said that she dusted, made muffins, eat them, watered all the flowers (we only have 5 or 6 pots with flowers, but hey, who am I to comment?) washed the laundry…

– Oh! Is that so? And what important things you have to do right now? I reply after a few seconds I need to gather the courage to ask.

– To play, to watch cartoons, to organise missions with my superheroes team, I have important things to do, mama! Children things!


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.



Earth day 2020

Today we celebrate Earth Day. I’m talking with my 5 year old daughter about Earth Day and we read some books we have about Earth. Then, in a sad kind of voice, she begins:
– If I would only knew that this bad virus will come, I would have had the space racket repaired. That way we could celebrate it’s day by going around it or maybe going to the Moon and back.
I say nothing. What can I say, I wonder? She continues:
– The racket with wich I came from the little Moon, remember? It broke when I landed. It was green and had no.2 painted on it. Mattew had the one with no.1, it was red. But now we have to celebrated here. I will draw something nice for it, a cake and some flowers maybe.
– Well, after all, I say, the Earth is our home, no? I think it is nice that we get to celebrated it at home. Giving it a chance to recover a little from all the damaged we have caused it.
– Oh,no! The Earth is damaged too? Like my space racket?! This is the worst news and the worst day! It is not a happy day anymore, mama, you ruin it!

What we read and why

Although all the people in my family were avid readers, my first reading alone experience wasn’t so good. Some prince in a dramatic Romanian folk story had gone in the land beyond everything and when he returned, everybody in his family was dead. So, here comes one of the biggest trauma of my childhood. This is the reason why, until high school, I limited my readings to the mandatory lists I receive from my teachers.

Then, Jules Verne, Dumas, Heidi or The three musketeers came and little by little the trauma disappeared. No one was dying anymore, no one was left all alone in the world, without his loved ones. When I discovered the books from my parents and my grandparents library, I would “borrow” a book from my grandmother and when I would take it back we would stay with a cup of tea in front of us and discussed it.

At my mother parents house I discovered a first edition, from 1942, of the book that would become my favourite book of all time. It was called “A murit Luchi” , translated “Luchi is gone” and was written by a Romanian author named Otilia Cazimir. It is autobiographical and the main character, a preschool girl called Luchi has a lot of adventures until one day, the day that she has to go to school. Her teacher calls her by her birth given name, Otilia, and at first she doesn’t respond. Then, like in a dream, she realises that she is no longer Luchi, the little girl. She had become somehow this Otilia, the schoolgirl.

I used to read that book all the time, alone or with my mother, I knew it by heart. Is was a book with no pictures and only in 2011 was released a new illustrated edition. I bough it, of course, and I was shocked by the illustrations: the Luchi from my imagination couldn’t possible look like that!

In high school, under the influence of my coleagues, I started reading filosophy. I remember reading Kafka with the dictionary right beside me. Soon I discover that filosophy wasn’t for me. As they weren’t for me the motivational books. I mean I would always have an existential revelation when reading such a book, but I would soon forget the content, before getting to that “better me” version.

Then, for a long period, I bought a lot of books online, in kindle version, all the “trending” novels: Twilight, Game of Thrones or His dark materials ( the translation of wich, in Romanian -my mother tongue language, left me very dissapointed).

When I became a mother, in my late 30’s, Alfie Kohn, Anne Bacus or Sir Ken Robinson were my allies in fighting my DNA, the habits from my own home or the stuff I learned in my comunist childhood.

Soon started the era of picture books for me and my daughter. I read all the reviews and international tops and I bought my daughter all the best picture books I would find. She is 5 now and already has a library bigger than ours (maybe because of lack of space or priorities). We read whith her, for her, for us. She sees us reading and when we begin a new book she studies the cover or tries reading the title. Sometimes she would ask us what the book is about or if we could read a few pages to her.

I like reading any good original story. Because everyone has a story to tell, even if is not his own.

And because sometimes the stories are today version of reality that we can make possible tomorrow, all by ourselves.

Reading is something we owe ourselves, because one idea gives life to another idea, words come from other words, our evolution is based on the things we learn from others. More talented, more experienced, more original, with different views on the world around us. Because life isn’t about one tree, it is about the forest. And the stronger the tree is, the stronger the forest is in the face of the storm. And the forest around my daughter is a fragile one, a new one, that goes where the strong winds takes it. And we have to change something in us first to make the forest strong again.

For her.

Traditii de Anul Nou

Este ziua fiicei mele, nascuta in prima saptamana din an. Iesim din casa si ne intalnim cu unul dintre vecinii nostri.

La multi ani! ne ureaza el. Intram intr-un supermarket, unde si vanzatorul ne ureaza La multi ani! Apoi in farmacie, unde toate cele trei farmaciste ne ureaza, pe rand, La multi ani si un An nou bun.

Copilul, putin emotionat si fastacit, intreaba:

-Tati, de unde stie toata lumea ca astazi este ziua mea?

Ilustratie de Katrina Lange

Toamna se numara bobocii

Si frunzele ruginii si cele aurii. Si roadele viilor si ale pomilor, gradinilor si ogoarelor.

Se numara stropii de roua gasiti dimineata pe firele de iarba, pe frunzele si pe crengile copacilor. Se numara razele de soare ce inca ne intampina cu caldura. Se numara pupicii primiti cand plecam dimineata din casa si mai ales pupicii primiti cand ne intoarcem acasa.

Se numara, cu multa grija si atentie pentru a nu scapa niciuna, imbratisarile celor dragi.

Si zambetele oferite cuiva care poate a uitat cat de minunat este sa ti se zambeasca. Cuiva care poate ar vrea sa zambeasca mai des, dar nu are cui. Toamna se aduna toate amintirile zilelor de vara, una cate una, pentru a retrai toata emotia si incantarea de atunci.

Cand toate roadele au fost stranse, cele mai de pret se pun bine in cutiute mici si se pastreaza pentru iarna. Pentru zile mohorate, cand razele soarelui nu mai ajung la noi. Pentru zilele ploioase, cand caldura unei imbratisari va sterge toti stropii reci de ploaie. Pentru prima ninsoare, cand bem o cana de ceai cald si aromat in fata unui album cu poze.

Toamna se numara prietenii noi, dar si prieteniile vechi. Se numara aventurile ramase de explorat. Se fac planuri si vise si se gandesc noi experiente ce vor astepta cuminti sa fie traite. Toate, absolut toate. Pentru ca inainte de a inchide inventarul anului trecut se bifeaza mereu si aventurile ramase pe lista.

Si da, toamna se numara bobocii, mugurii de viata noua, de aventuri noi, de noi si noi inceputuri. De gradinita, de scoala, de liceu, de serviciu.

In fiecare toamna avem norocul unui nou inceput. Hai copile spune, ce nou inceput te asteapta toamna asta?

La cules