What do you really know about the world when you’re a kid? My life was carefree. The biggest problem was who to meet up with after school for a play date. Until I was about ten, my mum was at home. Me and my brother went to school in the morning, came home for lunch, went back to school for the afternoon, had play dates and sometimes sports in the evening.
My primary school was officially catholic, but other than the option to finish your religious upbringing by a confirmation, you didn’t really notice it. There were kids that had other beliefs and that was fine. No one was frowned upon. Most of the catholic kids didn’t even do their confirmation.
I guess most people can be considered working class. I grew up in a town of about 15000. There were farmer’s kids in my class as well as kids from the suburbs of town. Everyone either rode their bicycle or walked to school. We didn’t have mobile phones or computer games to think about. Instead we had snowball fights, or sand fights in summer.
There was one special thing about my friends at school. Our class had a deaf boy. He was a regular during the first years until he had to go to a special school, but he still came to our class every now and then to be with his friends. This boy had told us the special sign for play. You gently knock your fists together to ask someone if they want to play with you after school. So all our teachers saw all day was people banging their fists together and pointing at each other to decide whose house we were going to.
Sometimes I wish I could go back to such a simple life, even for a day, totally worry-free. Then again, life wasn’t spectacular either. Every day was pretty much the same, with some special holidays and outings, but even these you couldn’t fully appreciate, because life was easy anyway. As a kid everything seems almost equally exciting. Now, I’m making my own decisions and because the downs are worse, the ups are better too!
Check out today’s daily prompt here!
It is hard to explain my favourite holiday, as it is a typically Dutch one. Sinterklaas is a family event but the most fun as a kid. Yes, I know there are many similarities with Santa, but it is our own Dutch holiday and is very distinct indeed.
Sinterklaas officially starts when Sinterklaas enters the country. Although the candy is in the shops from about August, Sinterklaas doesn’t come until November. He arrivés together with his Pieten on the steamboat. Kids from all over the country are waiting at the harbour to welcome the Sint with his black Pieten. Black, because they are the ones delivering the sweets and presents to your home. They climb through the chimney while Sinterklaas waits on his horse on the roof.
The festivities come with songs to tell Sinterklaas how happy you are that he’s arrived. Furthermore there is a whole set of rules and expectations. Sinterklaas doesn’t just bring you good. If you’ve been a naughty boy or girl, he will take you back to Spain (where he is from) in the big bag that carried the presents for all the other boys and girls. He has a big book that tells him exactly what you’ve been up to.
In the period before Pakjesavond, the night you’ll get all your big presents, on the 5th of December, you can set your shoe near the fire-place. You put in a carrot for the Sinterklaas’ horse and during the night Sinterklaas will come and put something small in your shoe. Sometimes when you are singing songs for Sinterklaas, black Piet will come and throw some special candy in the room. Kids dive towards the sweets and collect all they can find.
According to my Kiwi boyfriend, the candy all tastes like gingerbread. He really can’t resist it. Sinterklaas is a holiday I hope to celebrate with my kids one day. Currently there is a debate within the European Union about black Piet. It is said to be racist. This claim is very upsetting to the Dutch. It is a festival we all take seriously, and nobody can take it away from us. No kid has ever become a racist from celebrating Sinterklaas and we mean nobody any harm. It is a tradition we simply cannot live without.
This post is inspired by the daily prompt: Memories of holidays past
As a kid I always wanted Barbie stuff. I’d received a big box with second-hand Barbies from my neighbour who was getting a bit too old for it. So I got a big homemade Barbie house and a horse trailer. I was the happiest kid ever.
But then I wanted more. I didn’t get more. You see, I didn’t actually play with them that much. I was more into Lego, building things and pretending I owned whatever it was I’d built. The Barbies were just for prestige. Every girl wanted them. So, so did I. I think kids that came over to play with them actually had more fun than I did.
This post is inspired by the daily prompt: Out of your reach.
Working with kids can be hilarious. No chairlift ride is ever the same. One day I am in between two 5 year-olds having a discussion about Starwars and the next day a kid is impressing another kid by burping the alphabet. So I’d like to share some of the things that made my day the last few weeks.
A boy comes from the toilet. I ask him if he likes skiing.
“And what are you going to do next?”
“We are going skiiing and we might look for unicorns.” says the boy.
Repressing a laugh I say: “oh, and where are they then?”
“They’re hiding. See, they are sleeping and we can’t wake them up.” the boys says with the most serious face.
Boy, that was one clever ski instructor.
On the chairlift I aks a girl if her instructor is cool.
“Yeah.” she says. Then she looks at me: “Does anyone think you are cool?”
We are on the big chairlift when I see footsteps in the snow and tell the 6 year-olds I am riding with about it. “They are really big.” I say.
“Yeah, wow! They must be from an ogre.” says one of the kids. The other one starts shaking her head actively in agreement.
The little kids are fascinated by the snow and the taste of it. No matter how brown or dirty it looks, while they’re skiing you see them scooping up bits of snow to lick off their gloves on the way donw. During lunch I see an 8 year-old pouring juice over his gloves. He wants to save some for later. It’ll make the snow taste even better.