As a mother, I feel that there are mostly the small victories that matter.
Sure, there might be the big births, the graduations and the big or small weddings..
But the everyday life has golden moments that a mother lives to cherish or lives to regret.
One big small personal victory is that I have more and more of the first and less and less of the last.
Last weekend I gave myself a small holiday after the hard (and loved!) work that April's Shine was.
I also kinda had it in my system as May 1st till May 5th were imprinted in my memories as free days, in RO for different reasons than in the NL. Especially as a student I loved going with my friends to the seaside in a small vacation in the first days of May..
As this time I lacked the energy to go anywhere else, I decided to offer me and V a relaxed time @home.. :-)
Which we enjoyed thoroughly, watching superhero movies back to back and eating whatever V wanted.. Which included the odd sourdough pancakes and the freshly made pizza with virgin olive oil, fresh pesto and a too pink tomatoes sauce - and lots and lots of green smoothies and fraise kefir (which I have specialized in lately)..
We also worked in the garden when it did not rain and we've read books, made sourdough bread and enjoyed our new family-baby-addition, the lilac tree..
The superheroes movies we love at the moment are the Marvel series with the Avengers.
We started a month or so ago with watching the Iron Man.. We watched Iron Man 3 before we realized that there were more movies with Iron Man.. And I also realized that I was desperately out of touch with the superhero world - given I had no idea whatsoever that there was more than one Superman movie ever made.
So we watched Man of Steel - wonderful, I loved it (V fell asleep, probably it was too much for him).. I loved the new guy and the new story - although at the beginning I had no trust in any other actor than the beloved and perfect Christopher Steel.. We watched the Spider Man movies and I was very disappointed, both those two actors - I'm sorry - are so boring to me.. I loved the girl in the last Spider-Man but didn't like the one in the first two spider-man movies.. But the result of watching the spider-man movies was - we went for a first wall-climbing lesson (V requested)..
Next we came back to Iron Man, not in the least because of Robert Downey Junior.. And it's wonderful how everything turns into a learning opportunity when we are open to see it like that. V asked me a few days ago what does the word Junior means..
..Of course, I explain that these heroes do not exist in reality and that they are played by actors, just as he plays that he is Superman..
Next we discovered the first Avengers movie and went from there, quite erratically, watching the Thor movies and only at the end the two Captain America and the Guardians of the Galaxy.
And yes, we already watched the new Avengers.
This series is AWESOME. I understand that Marvel made also some tv shorts series in between - they would probably make the underlying story better understandable and now that I discovered what the timeline is, we will probably watch them in chronological order soon. (See link)
The only thing that I do not understand yet is who are the older guys that appear sometimes at key moments - but I will look it up soon.. (edit: I found out :-) )
I laughed when I saw that there are specialists in these and other series, and that they discuss at length all the details on the YouTube - it's fun to make your work from watching enormous amounts of movies every day..
(If you know me a bit you know I could totally do that :-) My personal record is 7 movies a day in my old times when I would go to film festivals and practically camp there.. I never understood how some people say that they are full after one movie and cannot see another - and I was glad to see that V does not have that problem, either :-) )
V is learning English (including what he is not aloud to say, like cursing) in a extremely rap tempo (I raised him in Dutch until now, he is almost 6, but now, at his request, we speak English most of the time).
He remembers things that he hears and asks me to explain the whole time that we are not watching - and while watching movies. I am practically translating the movies to him as we go and although I found it difficult in the beginning, I find it really wonderful and powerful how his understanding grows exponentially every day. He understands the interaction and his favorite game at the moment is to stand in front of the screen and be in the movie. He chooses a hero and he talks like him/her, he does the stunts (as much as is possible in our living room :-D) and he wears the outfits.. (as much as the wardrobe and the stretched imagination permit it).. He loves some movies and some heroes more than others, of course, but he knows them all and if we see a movie a second time he already remembers all the things I explained the first time and he asks for more and more explanation until he totally gets it - the language and the actions..
He even invented a new way of saying 'what the Hell?!' - he says 'what the Heaven?!' :-)
Luckily these are movies even I want to watch a hundred times :-)
And while these are big victories that I might miss (if I don't write about them), there are the small moments when V comes to me and says that he loves me - or when he says that he is happy - that are so special.
Yesterday evening he did not want to go to bed (like every evening) - and he had invented something new.. I was already in the bedroom and preparing, I turned all the lights and the wi-fi off in the living room - and he was still sitting on a chair in the dark, refusing to give up being awake and come to the bedroom.. He asked me loudly to come and get him because he 'did not want to move'.. I refused at first because I was doing other things and wanted him to just come to bed and go to sleep.. I felt really tired and my first impulse was to get angry that he is asking me to carry him while he can totally come to the bedroom.. That he should not make a fuss..
But then I thought, why not? Why not give him that, why not carry him to bed while I still can and he is still carry-able.. So I went and took him in my arms and took the five steps from the living room to the bedroom, really simple. And still, ever so tender, to feel his little arms around my neck - and he kissed my cheek and said 'thank you'.
..A way for him to check if I loved him and accepted him the way he is right then and there - and not, as it would be commonly interpreted, as a 'pushing boundaries' moment.
Sometimes our babies want to feel that they are our babies - even when they are older than a baby.
While we walked those 5 steps I asked him what could we do about tooth-brushing - given that we could not really brush our teeth while he was in my arms.
He said, in English: That will not be a problem, Wonder Woman.
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