To kiss your children goodnight and their children’s children….

I often find myself reminiscing my childhood. I had a wonderful childhood, with lots of happy memories. A family of 5, with grandma living in an apartment connected to the house. My brothers and sister were both older than me and when I was little, I remember them spending much time with me. We had a playground right next to our large yard, and often got to go and just play.

We played often in the yard, and I helped my Dad to take care of the plants. I remember endless afternoons with him, just watering and talking about things.

I remember planting flowers with my Mum and making little bouquets of flowers for the inside of the house, which she always decorates for the current season. I remember how they showed me little tricks how to clean glass properly, with newspaper.I remember decorating for Christmas, cooking special dinners for special occasions and always adding that extra little touch to make things just a little bit more wonderful.  She taught me the true meaning of having a family and making a home.

I remember many, many, many long afternoons cooking and baking with my grandma. Maybe I was just very interested at a young age to do all these things, but maybe it was just the way we lived from day-to-day….

My grandmother has lived with us since I can remember when. Her husband passed away when I was very young. She had a hard life and often talked about war times but then again also about  the good old happy days. Things she remembered and made her happy when she was young. Also things they didn’t take for granted when she was young. I love listening to her stories, still today when I have the chance and I wish I could have written each and everyone down. When I was younger I didn’t know how special these stories were. But I try to connect the dots back through my memories. Maybe, just maybe, that’s why I love history so much.

When I was a little older, my parents opened their own store. I spent many, many days there.  Often went there after school, did my homework there or helped out. I was working the register at probably 12 years old. Not that I was really supposed to, (laws and all) but I loved it, it was fun and I was with family and friends, I learnt things that interested me, read any magazine that I wanted while I was there, explored travel magazines, read newspapers in different languages, or just read cartoons.  it certainly awoke an interest in the world and culture itself, and a huge interest in reading.

My brother has always been interested in computers. He was unstoppable, programmed things at a young age, when all of it was still so new . He loved building computers, updating them and so on.  It wasn’t hard to guess where his career would lead him. Sometimes I wanted to do other things with him, would have loved to do more bike rides or play basketball together, which we still did often. But it was his thing and I loved spending time with him, so I watched him often or sat next to him when he let me. And I appreciated that time. The games we played together or building a new computer. He is the one who got me interested in computers and taught me so much at a young age.

My sister has always been the artsy one. I was always a bit jealous of how wonderful she would draw and paint.  She studied art in college for a while but since it is hard to make money with these majors, decided for something else at some point. Nevertheless she often spent hours painting and drawing.  I watched her, sometimes “borrowed her art supplies, and tried to copy her work. I was proud when she spent time with me and showed me her techniques. I have to thank her for this time, I don’t think without her I would appreciate art as much as I do.

My father doesn’t want to admit it, but he is a writer and a really wonderful one. When I struggled back in elementary school, I remember when he sat down with me and composed little stories for my homework with me. He is an amazing story-teller and a wonderful writer and reader. I love watching him read stories to my girls and wish they could do it more often.  He pretty much reads whenever he has the time, no matter where or when. He always carries notebooks with him, writes down thoughts . So much I learnt just by being with him,

These are the things I remember most from my childhood. Yes of course there are things I remember from my school days as well. Some happy, some wonderful, some not so much. I remember some amazing teachers, especially my first Latin teachers and some history teachers. They all seemed just to be full of wisdom. I remember most, when we got teachers to tell from experiences. I’m sure everyone knows how hard it can be to get a teacher off topic sometimes. But then some of them start telling stories, and when they do they just can’t stop.I was lucky to have some of those teachers. They cared. I remember one of my later german teachers. She did everything she could to go on an amazing classtrip with us, to visit Berlin. Unforgettable.

I remember a young, very fun, energized English teacher. He sang songs with us, got off subject from the books to talk about real life moments. He participated in the school/church choir and made it more fun than it ever was before. he encouraged us to follow our dreams.

I remember my first lesson in catholic class. A very young priest who came to our school just for the classes from his church. He was so sweet, loving, caring and I will never forget him.

I had some bad teachers as well. Mainly in math, which made me literally hate math. It made me sick just thinking of it, the classes were long and I was scared. Humiliation in front of the whole class was a given almost daily. Parent teacher conferences didn’t help much back then. The school knew about those practices but didn’t want to really address them. Later when I had other teachers, it got better but the damage was done.

Now that I homeschool my own children I see the moments we truly learn more and more. I understand more and more how little of the strict, uncomfortable, school days we really must have  and instead how important it is to just have fun and have a loving atmosphere to share with one another to learn in.  Some people might now say, we will miss out on some amazing teachers. Maybe we will, but we will also have the chance to meet so many other people, some who also actually might be teachers. It’s not like homeschoolers never get out ;))) and don’t socialize ;))

If you have the desire to homeschool or not, my message is, to truly spend quality time with your children. It doesn’t matter how many people they have in their life, you are there for them, and you have things to give them. You have stories to tell, experiences to share and love to give.

“Do not kiss your children so they will kiss you back but so they will kiss their children, and their children’s children.”