Matthijs no longer believes in Saint Nicholas, but he does enjoy the tradition. At the school’s Piet-party (Black Peter is St Nick’s sidekick – he used to be a bogeyman but these days he is much more “Santas little helper”, a loss in my opinion…) Matthijs created a poem for Marjolein that unfortunately loses something in the translation
I love you so
I’d eat you up
You’re the sweetest mother there ever was
because you’re never late
You are so nice
You are a darling
You are so strange
Like a burning candle
A flame of happiness
I said you were ok
Daniel couldn’t sleep and sat on Marjolein’s lap in our library/workroom asking questions: "You have so many books, did you used to be rich?”
“Well, not rich, but we had more money then. Now we chose to have less money and more time to be with you guys. That’s ok isn’t it? Or would you rather we had more money to spend and were home less?”
“Actually I’d rather you had happy lives”
Falco had some questions too during the day:
“When is it going to happen that people don’t ever die?”
“I don’t know Falco, perhaps never. But some people don’t mind dying, they have had enough living.”
Falco nods, “Yeah, me too”
“Oh, you wouldn’t mind being dead?”
“No, I get tired too, of having so many problems”
“Like when you tell me that if I steal biscuits I’ll have a problem”
“Of course you could try, not stealing the biscuits”
“I try. But it’s hard because the biscuits are so nice. But I will keep trying because I don’t want the problems”
“That’s great, because we would like you to live to be a hundred”
“Good, because I don’t want anyone killing me”
Exit Falco leaving Marjolein slightly dizzy. This is the kind of conversation that gets your children taken away…hmmm that’s a possibility then…
We discovered that Matthijs had been experimenting with matches in his bedroom. After some major talking to we took away his internet access until he had written a short essay on the dangers of fire. It took a while but we got his handwritten missive (“I can’t print without Internet”, looks hard done by). It started with “fire is a energysouce. it gets its energy by stealing it. it breaks down the thing it is burning and steals it’s energy. This is why burning things break.” Wonderful sideways thinking.
This is the month of Chrimbo of course, very stressy, busy and lots of presents to buy. Daniel and Falco did birthday treats at their old school because they would not be back after the break. We took round little treats and some presents for the teachers one of which, in the foto, was hand-painted tree decorations.
We also spend a week of the holiday in Brussels with my family. My mum was a bit late back from Britain as she had had a fall and bruised some ribs. We stayed week because we had not seen them since June and we also slipped in a day out with old Belgian friends of mine at the Christmas market in Brussels. We even got a night out at the pub… I had almost forgotten what that was like.
We were home for New Year. Marjolein would not think of celebrating it in benighted countries that do not do fireworks on New Year. The two oldest stayed up till midnight and we woke the youngest just in time. He liked the fun and the company but curled up again after and hour while his brothers carried on watching the fireworks and waving sparklers. All in all a memorable conclusion to a memorable year.