Beeping message woke me up. “Please tell me the boys are okay”.
Ran to my phone, hands shaking, it rang forever no answer no answer no answer. Kalle turns on Al-Jazeera, chaos, carnage, child victims, 84 dead… After an eternity, answer from sleepy ex husband who doesn’t know what I’m talking about. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
They are in Nice but hadn’t gone to watch the parade.
Thank you all dear friends for your messages, this is to let all of you know they are still safely sleeping in their own beds.
Al-Jazeera repeats the image of a little girl in her mother’s arms, staring with empty eyes as a man next to them is covered. “The father died” Kalle says silently.
Like my friend Lea wrote, today even the sky cries.
…one being my youngest son teaching me chess <3. Well, more honestly, having him kick my ass at chess.
He has a wonderful logical mind, not quite so directly inherited from me I suspect, and the sweetest spirit of sportsmanship. Neither of us wants the other one to loose, so whatever we play, it lasts forever as we give each other tips and freebies.
Luca learned so much about chess during that awful summer when his beloved grandmother had gone through radical cancer surgery, and needed mostly to recover in bed. Independent in spirit, competitively sporty, highly social and intellectually vivid person that she is, making her stay (or at least lie down occasionally) in bed was my responsibility for the summer. Well, chess she loved. That summer, she introduced that love to Luca. They enrolled in daily chess matches, sitting on Mamie’s bed, discussing strategy… I think he was only five at the time.
Me for my part, I know nothing. Where can this button go, I ask, and immediately forget.
But in Madeira last month, they had this wonderful life size chess board at the hotel, and Luca challenged me every day. Well, many times ever day.
We became known at the hotel as the mother-son chess team as other visitors came to watch my mistakes and his attempts to save my game… My favorite was when he asked me “Maman, I’ve never seen moves like this… Do you have a strategy behind this?”.
Needless to say, none whatsoever.
My son was sweet enough to find that interesting <3.
Well, doing just about anything with him would go down on my list of my favorite thins to do *<3~…
There we were in Madeira, surrounded by eight (EIGHT!) pools, spa facilities, tennis court, minigolf… And the great topic on my darlings’ minds were spiders (Madeira is the lucky home of Europe’s largest spiders…). So the boys had an agenda of capturing one 20 cm long monster, secretly bringing it to the hotel… In the hope it would make baby spiders for us. You can only guess how popular this idea was amongst my love and I.
My determined baby
Well, as this plan turned out slightly complicated to implement, they shifted to ants. More specifically, building an ant farm. My older son studied everything there is to know about ants in this world – now his plan is to capture a queen ant, bring it home and start a terrarium. He was thrilled to discover the queen ant can live up to 30 years, all along multiplying the size of the nest… What other future plans does one need…
The no-nonsense brother
I tried to say no in a million ways – and then some – but he is just too sweet in his arguments… Quoting books ‘Owning pets grows a child a sense of responsibility, I sure could use some’… If he studies very hard all next year, could I then reward him with the farm next summer… He will pay all the costs from his weekly allowance… He has always wanted a pet, yet can’t have anything cute and furry as I’m allergic – therefore he is generous in compromising with the ant farm… And the worst point of them all – I had promised he could choose something he really loves for his birthday. And now this is the one thing he really loves.
That did me in. Can you believe it, I promised.
Next summer, if he still loves the idea of ants, we will take shared custody of them with my ex husband (they will live with HIM but I have to take care of the buggers when Serge and the boys are on holidays). They take darn many holidays.
Okay I hear I am the best mother in the world. Definitely one of the most desperate.
I just wanted to hang around the eight pools… And somehow ended up in a soup. Argh.
There is a very special person in this world – in MY world – who didn’t want the children and I feeling cold… And arranged this when I was on a business trip in Paris. The car has absolutely everything you could dream of – even a little jar where to put perfume <3 <3 <3. Well, she is French after all <3.
You can imagine how spoiled I feel… Both feet firmly off the ground as usual.
First time since ages, my youngest son and I got to spend a full evening together. Dinner and a movie it was, both chosen by him. Pirates of the Caribbean… Pizza dinner, eaten in bed… Many laughs, him explaining the plot and characters to me, laying together on our small sofa – total stress release. My guys simply are the best company ever.
After, Luca asked me to stay with him until he fell asleep, to chase away any potential nightmare. My baby.
Then in the morning he sneaked silently into my bed, whispered into my ear. “Do you remember when I told you that you’re the best mother in the world?”. Yes of course, I answered. No mother would ever forget – he’s said it only once, in those exact words.
He hugged me tightly. “I really meant it”, he whispered.
Huoh now I’ve learned what it’s like to try to try work when surrounded by 5,6 million angry Frenchmen on strike… And these guys sure take their strikes seriously. Taxi drivers, who were let’s say a little less than satisfied with their benefits, blocked all possible roads. Overnight, Paris became dead empty, a deserted city. Tires were burned on highways leading to airports… Flights cancelled… One temperamental bus driver got fed up with the taxi drivers blocking him and drove head on into the demonstrating crowd… Police and soldiers with machine guns everywhere.
And there I was, in my hotel, with altogether 50 kilos of cargo. Not realising a strike was imminent, I’d dragged all my newfound LadyBohemia treasures to the hotel, thinking I’d ship them to Finland the next. morning. A day fully booked with meetings, this amount of clothes shoes and bags to carry, and I was so heavily charged I couldn’t even move.
It took half a day and dozens of help begging phone calls to get a lift from anyone – just anyone. At the end I just asked drivers to name their price to take me around for a few hours so I could make my purchases and ship the goods By the time I was almost in tears along came Lee, a wonderful gentleman who agreed to be my private chauffeur for the day. He carried my bags, boxes, suitcases; took me all around the city for my meetings… Took me to airport next morning … And even carried my suitcases all the way to the check-in counter. Salvation.
I made it, was able to send my goods to LadyBohemia, and was able to even get to the plane I’m sitting in when writing this. Just yesterday all this would have been impossible.
Today I’m positively floating. Love is in the air, beautiful plans being made, most romantic city of the world surrounding me, feeling so loved and utterly spoiled… For the first time in such a long time, I dare to dream. Sounds little and humble yet means everything. Just like missing someone is the sweetest pain in the world… Cause you understand the bliss of having that somebody to miss.
My favorite ever Paris hotel, where they blow kisses my way and wish me welcome home when I enter… Dinner at my local restaurant where they remember which music I love…