Category Archives: Daily gratitude

Everything I need to know about life I learn from my 5 year old

Nestor {from the back of my bike, where he is always the most inspired to talk}: “Mama, leven is leuk.”

I {Instead of the only life motto you need, I hear a grammar mistake. Adults are funny like that.}: “Yes, darling, life is good. Het leven is leuk.

Nestor: “Nee, dat bedoel ik niet. Ik bedoel het.is.leuk.om.te.leven” (No, I didn’t mean it like that. I meant: It is good to live.)

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Filed under Daily gratitude, Out of the mouths of babes, Raising multilingual children

That moment when you close the door behind the last guest, walk into your kitchen and your first thought “oh, who is going to clean all this and where do I even start?” gives way to a warm feeling of what can only be deep gratitude for all the dirty plates and the food that was on them, and the friends, little and big, who came from near and far, with broken leg and head cold, to eat that food and drink that wine with you, to celebrate the birthday of your child and sing to him and spoil him and eat too much sugar and laugh too much and talk too much. That moment is what feeds your soul. IMG_0138

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Filed under Cherished moments, Daily gratitude, Growing up too fast, Life in Delft

… Deda, deda, deda, niko te na svetu ne voli k’o ja

Much like his nature in general, Nestor is quite chilled about his bed time routine. He asks that we lay by him for a few minutes, but for the rest he is pretty flexible. A book, a song, a tickling session, he is not picky. This time we read a book and I started singing to him.
Nestor: “Is that a song that ends with …good night, good night?”
I: “Yes”
He: “I don’t want that song”
I: “Ok, which song would you like me to sing for you?”
He: {long pause}. “Sing the song that Deka (grandpa) used to sing for me”.
I: {a few seconds to put myself back together} “Nestor, which song was that?”
He: “The one Deka used to sing, in Serbian. {starts singing} Dekaaa… Love… I …
I: “Nestor, I would love to sing that song for you but I really don’t know that song”.
He: {visibly disappointed} “Aaahh, ok. Sing the goodnight one first then, maybe you’ll remember…”

And so I sang the consolation prize song, frantically digging through my memory to find the song my then-2 years old child buried in his memory, almost 2 years ago. Listing the Serbian children music CDs in my head, recollecting the voices of beloved children music singers in hope I’d stumble upon the words, the melody, something, anything.
And then I closed my eyes and heard his voice, the voice of my childhood and my children’s childhood, and saw the goofy dance moves that became goofier over the years.

And the song came.
The song about the grandpa who loves his grandchild the way no one else does. And the grandchild who loves his grandpa more than anyone else does.

And with the song came silent tears, and gratitude, and more tears, and memories, and pain, and disbelief. All of it in a children’s song.

And my child drifted off to sleep, comforted by the reminder of the love he probably can no longer consciously recall. The love that remains deep in his early toddlerhood memory, in songs, in smells, in nicknames. And for that I am forever grateful.

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Filed under Cherished moments, Daily gratitude, Grief, Out of the mouths of babes, Tata

Picnic by the lake with my little man. How could I ever think life is anything other than perfect?

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Filed under Cherished moments, Daily gratitude, not such a zen mama

Day 104

Today I am grateful for the generosity of people, strangers with no connections to the endangered areas other than the sense of belonging to humankind as a whole and empathy for suffering of others. This is the only silver lining around large scale tragedies, it returns the faith in humanity.

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Filed under Daily gratitude, Expat life, Life in Delft

Day 100

Today I am grateful that my family and closest friends are safe and only marginally affected by the recent floods in the Balkans. My heart aches for all those who lost their lives, who have had to leave their homes, those whose houses have been destroyed, those who are still living in uncertainty of the hours to come.

I am grateful to hear that under such tragic circumstances people are showing their most human side, giving away to help their neighbours who need it, volunteering to build sandbag barricades, walking from one town to another to rescue those who can not be reached in any other way.

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Filed under Daily gratitude, Expat life, Family

Day 97

Today I am grateful for children books that challenge gender stereotypes. Nestor picked one out in the library today, about a princess who is going to a knight school and is the best knight of them all. He is very much into knights and dragons and swords right now so I hope the book helps that if he thinks of a knight doesn’t automatically see a man.

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Filed under Daily gratitude