Monthly Archives: November 2014

How long are five minutes?

Past weekend Niklas asked me, if I would allow him to watch cartoons on YouTube. I said yes. As soon as one of the episodes I put for him ended, he requested to start the next one. I was just finished with my shower and asked him to give me five minutes before fulfilling his request.

“But five minutes is very much! This is this much!” Niklas spread the fingers on one of his hands.

In that moment I recalled that he shows a spread palm, when he wants to express a large amount, and that “A LOT” is demonstrated by stretching all fingers on both hands and exposed palms.

I love being challenged by my wonderful boy. Well, at least most of the time. He definitely keeps my brain in regular exercise.

After a short contemplation, I said, “You are right, if you show like this (I repeated his gesture with an open palm and five-fingers spread), this means five. But five minutes are not as long as five hours. If I would say ‘five hours’, then you would have to wait way until after lunch. And if I would tell you to wait five days, you would need to sleep five times until watching.”

Niklas narrowed his eyes, looked at me thoughtfully, then straightened his shoulders and declared, “Then I want to watch YouTube (pronounced “NuTube”) in five minutes and in five hours!”

You probably can guess my answer to this. Yes. Laughter, amazement at his resourcefulness and agreement.

Picture: My resourceful, sweet, quirky boy.


Light of smiles

I discovered this quote on a restaurant’s wall in Aalborg last week:

“Smile is a light in the window. It lets people know you’re at home. “
(Author unknown, might be Chinese wisdom, since on the wall of the restaurant it was shown with its Chinese version)

Many wonderful emotions washed over me when I read and let this quote in. It switched the light on in my home.

Picture: My son in September at Tivoli in Copenhagen. I am so happy to see him smiling and laughing every day. Re-discovering this picture made me think that the brightest light is when we laugh. Did you notice that you can’t laugh before smiling first? I loved realizing this. 🙂



The beauty of fragments

I used to moan about availability only of separate fragments in our memories, with many and sometimes large gaps in-between. We have a number of stories saved inside our heads, which we tell again and again. Time to time, some lost stories come to surface, but there is no continuous recording up there in our brains.

As a writer, I recently realized the blessing of such fragmentary memory. If we would have a capability for continuous memory, two things would happen. First, our brains would be too full at some point and nothing else would fit in there. And the second, what would be fatal for me as a reader, the books would appear quite unbelievable, because without gaps it would never be possible to fit a whole story into a book.

I realized this just before finishing my very first novel last week. It was very gratifying to realize this. Also because my book is based on a true story and I had only fragments of it available to base my novel upon. With this insight, writing of the end went faster and smoother.

And now I am enjoying editing my first book and working on my next. I will inform you on the progress as soon as any of these go into the next stage.

The plans are the following: my second child will come into this world this year, and next year my very first novel-child will see the world.

Picture: What a blessing to have pictures to fill in the memory gaps. Together with notes in diaries they can bring some wonderful discoveries about our pasts. I completely forgot about this zoo visit in May. It was a wonderful day!


In his own words

I accompanied Niklas to vaccination and the four-year-check to the doctor’s today.

He did cry a bit during vaccination, because it did hurt, but he was truly in the moment, also right after the vaccination, accepting the praise for being so brave. He did calm down fast and said shortly afterwards that it didn’t hurt anymore.

Then we went to the doctor’s for the health check. When Niklas got measured in height, I got completely excited. My son is 105 cm tall! Now he could go for the carrousels and adventures in the leisure parks, which he wanted so much before but couldn’t attend because he was smaller than 104 cm. Now he is hundred and five!

Niklas didn’t quite understand the number, but by seeing my reaction he also got all excited. He tried to remember the number several times and then gave up by saying, “You will tell Papa how big I am when he comes home.”

After some time though he found his own definition for his height: “I am big up to the head!”

He also said, “Mama, you are not big up to the head anymore, you are bigger. The adults cannot be big up to the head. Only big children can. And I am a boy, you are not a boy.”

“No,” I said, “I am a woman and I was a girl when I was small.”

“Yes, and I am not a girl, I am a boy. And I will be …”

I helped. “A man when you grow up.”

“Yes, I will be a man.” After a pause, my very proud boy asked, “When is Papa back [from his business trip], so that I can tell him that I am big up to the head?”

Picture: my big boy jumping from big heights.