Category Archives: Childhood

“Stories of Dinosaurs” by Russel Punter

Standard

The Usborne Young Reader collection has some good and funny books. My kid picked the “Stories of Dinosaurs” from the School library. The book has three stories. In one, a brave Kriposaurus fights a Megalosaurus. In the second, two carnivore Raptor brothers save their restaurant opening by successfully improvising with a vegetarian dinner. And the third story…..I’ll let you discover it together with your young reader.

Advertisements

The Giving Tree

Standard

I was looking to upgrade our bedtime stories. With Jessica Joelle Alexander’s recommendation http://www.jessicajoellealexander.com I found “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.

The book was first published more that 50 years ago.

The book teaches the value of nurturing relations in a mutually beneficial way. It helps to explain to children that a balanced give-and-take is a good foundation for friendships they begin to develop.

It is a heartfelt story of a relationship between boy and a tree. At first, their relationship is loving and mutually nurturing.

It is a story about faithfulness and borderless generosity: As the boy grows, so do his demands for entertainment and support. The tree is a constant supplier and satisfies all his needs with all it has until it becomes a stump. The tree demands nothing in return. It is just happy to be there for the boy.

A beautiful story for bedtime reading. For both children and adults.

The sweetness of grandmother-granddaughter talk

Standard

In a doctor’s waiting room, a very talkative grandmother tries to get her granddaughter’s attention. The 15 year old tries to read. The dialogue goes like this:

– You can read your book at home.

– I can read and listen to you at the sane time, grandmother. I finally learned how to do it.

– You can keep your book. In my younger days, I was reading books all night long. I was 18.

– I am 15, grandmother.

– You can still read your book at home. What’s in you backpack?

– School things.

– Look at this! The grandmother seems surprised by the way the girl’s colorful backpack is made.

She then goes on about the lost value of Christmas, her neighbor crazy driving, religious tolerance … .

The appointment was for the young lady. I thought “How sweet! The grandmother accompanied her grandchild!” I almost wished she would never stop talking. I wished she would turn to me to get me to listen while waiting for her granddaughter to come out of the doctor’s office.

Then I got it. It’s their special thing: a 85 year old grandmother – 15 year old granddaughter dialogue, tune, reverberation.

Here is to all sweet grandmothers-granddaughters joy of sharing!

Children, parents, mirrors

Standard

One morning, couple of weeks ago I was about to enter a coffee shop next to my hotel for a dose of ristretto. The door opened suddenly and an angry woman pushed a girl out. A paper cup was on the floor. Coffee was spilled around. A taxi was in front. The lady was in a hurry. The girl looked ashamed, eyes on her hand. The door of the taxi slammed and the scene disappeared around the corner. All this – in 30 seconds.

I thought to my self : 30 seconds to start a day. To spend with your child ahead of a busy day for both… The coffee was definitely not for the child. Although she seemed to have been put in charge of it.

There is no judgement here. It was a reminder to self that as parents we need to maintain our awareness that children mirror our behaviour. Studies and research show it extensively for the still skeptical ones.

If we are in a hurry and angry and things start falling, it’s us, the adults. 

If we prioritise the concern over a spilled coffee instead of a burned finger, we, adults, set an example.

If we start the day with a smile and a belief that we have time for everything, it’s us, the adults. 

If we show concern over the child’s concerns, we set an example as a grown-up human to a growing up human.

A clean mirror gives a clear image. Up to us, adults, to keep it clean.

Family time: a walk in the park

Standard

Pourtales Park is at 10 minute bus ride from my home. Yet, our busyness kept it miles away. So one Sunday morning on a beautiful September day, we made it. What a lovely discovery! 

The Palace made it through wars and was reinvented and rescued with private investment by Dr. Leibrecht and his family. It is a hotel and an events venue today. 

The Park’s trails take you to places with surprises. Thanks to my kid’s previous school trip, we knwe what to look for. But it is also fun if you just walk and let the Park reveal itself. Portales: a place where nature meets art. 
  

Mean Mommy – P.S. I Love You – re-post

Standard

This piece is sharp as a scalpel. The type of writing to which i secretly aspire to. 

Thank you, Jordan Reid, for the inspiration. 

***

“Being a parent is different from being a friend, and it’s different from being a boss. You want to be both, but the truth is that you’re neither — you’re something in between, and something much more.”

https://psiloveyou.xyz/mean-mommy-834431e2f80d

Wonderful encounters

Standard

Sometimes all you have to do is open a door. 

Last week, I opened the door into the world of a French artist. His name is Rachid Madani. His studio is in Strasbourg. I often passed by his studio and admired the pastel, warm colours of his creations. I wanted to buy some of his wonderful cards. I love to have a stock to give them to friends to say thank you or just mark a moment. 

I pushed the door and was greeted with a warm pastel voice. My daugher joined me so he spoke to us about the book he wrote "Le turban du sultan" and about his culture. 

I did not have cash with me so had to borrow some from my kid's pocket money. "I did the same this morning", he told us in a moment of complicity.  He offered her one of his cards "Le jour se leve". 

If you are in Strasbourg, open the door to l'atelier d'Art MADANI, 16, rue Sleidan. 

More info on the artist, in French https://www.petitfute.com/v458-strasbourg-67000/c1168-shopping-mode-cadeaux/c408-galerie-d-art/242980-l-atelier-d-art-madani.html