for a wonderful and sweet time with friends and family,
staying true to kids-friendliness and all the fun which goes together,
creating royal experiences at Kinder Museum in Schönbrunn with lots of fun for both kids and adults,
your tour train to keep us dry on a rainy morning in the Schönbrunn Park,
gorgeous Gloriette, where Maria Theresa – the only female ruler of Habsburgs, used to have breakfast,
the Sunny afternoon for the Zoo visit and all the delights of meeting cute koala, panda, a baby elephant, baby zebra, my fave pink flamingos and the rest of the rich animal world in the oldest zoo in the world,
the treasures of the Natural History museum: the 29500 old statue of Venus, huge dinosaur skeletons, largest turtle in the world and many other interactive and child friendly features. And for getting a dinosaur roaring to my face. Scared of nothing now 🙂
the gorgeous Belvedere and coffee&cake with friends to celebrate Sofia and friendship
and a small pink print for Vienna – street art by Sofia:
– How old is she? i was often asked about my kid while strolling and playing in the park.
– Why? i would ask. The faces of inquires would get usually very puzzled.
– Hmm, to compare her with my daughter/niece/cousin’s kid…, would be usually mumbled in response.
– Do they need your comparison? would be my usual good-buy.
At school, my best friend’s mom would use two rulers to follow the marks on her daughter and my rows in the teachers notebook. I can only imagine the talks they had at home. As a result, our friendship suffered. My now ex friend has a PhD and i hope she did it for her professional fulfillment.
Comparison leads to wanting more, consuming more, spending time and effort on others ideals. We rarely spend time and effort on comparing where we are now to where we started from and analysing how much we achieved.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” said Theodore Roosevelt. I realise we cannot escape comparison fully though. Social media and glamorizing TV do not help with endless status updates, instagrams, tweets and alike. We see the surface and our brains make conclusions. It often does so from perceived weaknesses on our end.
I was raised in soviet union and even that “egalitarian” regime had a built-in competition. “Better”, “faster”, “more” were teachers and trainers favourites. In my grandmother’s village there was a competition for fastest growing trees. How can you make trees grow faster? They grow depending on their roots and need for light. They do not grow to compete with the neighboring forest.
I missed many joyful moments in life because of comparison, imposed or self-imposed. I also learned that Comparison can still be a friend when applied with care and in line with own intrinsic philosophy, values and aspirations.
I care now to make sure my kid learns to apply comparison when it benefits her growth. And it also helps me grow. The same way a tree does 🙂
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.”
– You know what I did today, sweetheart? I had a strategic planning workshop.
She is intrigued :). so I continue “It’s a bit like your lego. You need to know what you are building (your objective), how many and what kind of bricks you need (resources), your dinner time a.k.a. process interrupted (constraints), who can help you when you cannot find a brick (partners), the instruction (action plan)… ”
– and at math today …. (she takes over without me asking).
I kind of believe it works for adults too 🙂 :
– You know what I did today, honey?….
***Re-post “Want your kids to tell you about their day? Instead of asking questions, try this.” by By Sara Ackerman, September 27, 2016 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2016/09/27/want-your-kids-to-tell-you-about-their-day-instead-of-asking-questions-try-this/?utm_term=.67bdac3b9c2e
My end-of-year message to my kid’s teacher read:
thank you for the wonderful school experience we had with you this year. Is there anything else we, as parents, can do to help her on the trip in the knowledge world?”
Her response is priceless:
continue to do what you do: take care of her and continue to travel as you do.”
What we learn on trips from people we meet, places we see, flavours we feel, landscapes we look at, customs we get privy to, food we share, adventures we embrace offer unique opportunities to
strengthen family bonds through time together,
shape our/adults’ understanding of the world through child’s eyes (the opposite is also valid),
acquire new skills (trying that water-ski this year?),
get to know the shades of the diversity and, in consequence, improve tolerance,
practice a new language by playing on the beach with other kids,
unconstricted splish-splash (watch out for the severe looking lady tough),
build our stay-in-the-moment ability to knit common memories and create treasures to last.
About two weeks ago, at a cross-road, i met a friend who proudly showed me the pic of her beautiful and smart daughter. They went to Florence on a trip together. Her eyes were sparkling while she was telling me about the nice time they spent there and the discoveries they made together. Looking at “The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli for instance…
First time travel anxieties are part of the process. It is normal to ask yourselves lots of How questions. Plan well and trust yourselves and your kids. Travellers in less comfy and infrastructure-deprived times managed it well. So there is no reason, you cannot. The joy and sparkle generated by joint experiences will erase by magic all preparations anxieties for treasures to last.
Travel well. Travel safe.
– Thank you, mom, for the things you bought me today!
– with pleasure, sweetheart. I would like us to be grateful also for today’s experiences we lived together.
– Thank you, for giving birth to me.
– You brought yourself forth, sweetheart.
By my experience, it is the child who decides when and how she will (be) born. I also believe we choose our parents for an experience or lesson we need. Parents are only a door into the physical universe. Nothing more. Nothing less. The word “Par-ent” sounds to me as meaning entering the world par/throug… .
As a baby, whenever a new sound, smell, thing, person would enter her life she would seek my eyes and look into them to see if it’s safe. To see whether the door shall be opened or closed. The expression on my face would give her clues to understand.
I thank my child for choosing me to be her mom and ask her to help me to be a mother she needs. My motherhood needs are irrelevant. This is her life. Her experience. I hope and try just not to spoil it too much.
Happy par-enting to all!