This year the sint will have quite a boring birthday. There will be no parties and no gatherings. Still we seem to have gotten lucky and we received a letter from the Sint.
Dear Alan, Alex and Dario,
This year I am forced to celebrate my birthday a bit differently. Normally I go to hotel Barbacan in the south to celebrate my birthday with all the Dutch kids, but this year my plans for Sinterklaas have changed quite a bit.
This year I will stay at home, but I sent out my helpers to bring presents to all the kids that have been good. I have included a letter for you guys. I hope that Alex can help you if something needs to be translated to Spanish. All the kids that have behaved well last year will receive a gift, and in your case you have all been pretty good.
Alan, I want to congratulate you with your birthday tomorrow. I have been told that you started playing the piano this year, and that you are really trying hard to do a good job. This is really great! I love piano music and I am happy you started to learn how to play the piano. Your teacher told me you also started reading, and you are doing very well. Very good Alan! I would like you to think about this. When you get bigger people will start to expect more from you. Keep trying to do your best, and try to avoid fighting with your brother all the time.
Alex, this year you broke both your arms! That must have been a terrible experience. I’m happy your arms are slowly getting better but I would advice you to tke things a bit slower and be a bit more careful. I hear you are doing very well at school. This is super important for your future, and I hope you continue to do your best. Please try to not get angry when your parents tell you it is time to stop playing with your tablet.
Dario, you did very well this year. I am very happy with your school results. I have also seen a couple of your drawings. They looked very good and I thing you should keep drawing. Please try to be a bit more organised at home. Cleaning up your stuff after playing will keep your new house nice and clean.
I have one more piece of advice for all three of you. You keep getting bigger and are growing up really fast. One thing important about growing up is realizing that your actions have consequences. Whatever you do can effect your family, your friends or your surroundings. You should try and be aware of the effects you have, and you should all try to behave in a way that makes the effects positive for yourself and for others. Fighting and getting angry will never get you good results. Try and think about this, because this is what is important in growing up. In the end helping others will make things easier for yourself.
I can see that you are all doing very well. This makes me very happy. Next year I really hope to see you personally, and I hope this year you are happy with your presents.
This year Alan started taking piano lessons, just like his big brother. Normally he goed to the classes with his mother but today was the first time I accompanied him. The class was filled with 6 kids each with one parent. Alan was quite happy to be in the class, but it was clear that this was not the case for the majority of the class. Four kids were quite unhappy, and some did not want to touch the keyboard. One even looked to be asleep. Only Alan and one other kid were learning. Now if we can try and get Alex to practice at home for a few minutes a day I’m sure we’ll have another musician at home soon.
Uf, today it is my birthday! I’m getting old. 45 years already. An old fart.
This birthday is in the middle of lots of chaos. A pandemic with viri everywhere. Kids that have been grounded for months. Tickets to the main land that gets cancelled all the time. A strange year! My with for this birthday was simple. A nice family photo that represents the times in which we are living right now. Nice for later.
As an additional cherry on the cake we also received some other good news. Alex finished his school year very well, and today we received this notes. All his notes were 9s or 10s. We are very happy with that. Alan also has some good results. The can add and substract all by himself!
What is more relaxing than a weekend that had everything included. Food, drinks, and happy children running and playing around. The problem is that you do need time, but this month the kids have a full week off due to Easter, so that works out just fine. A great time to go down south and have some quality relaxing times near the pool.
Alan turns three years old today and that is a great reason to celebrate! For Alan we selected a nice big car as a present. He is obsessed by cars, so we thought and expect that this present will make him very happy. Alan moved mountains in his development the last year. He went from being a small child that liked to observe to a small child dominating his environment. We are very satisfied by all the improvement he is showing. At school he is still a bit quiet but we expect that this will get much better soon.
At home Alan is a great kid. He listens very well, he likes to play with his big brother or even alone with his car, and he learns new thing with ease. The last year he learned very fast how to spend the day without a diaper.
If we look at the ‘big picture’ we can only be very happy. Alan shows great improvements and great potential and in addition he brings loads of happiness into our home.
Alan is only two years, but he is developing very fast. A big role in his development is of course his big brother Alex who functions as a perfect example for lots of things. Still, there is room for surprises, like the event that happened yesterday. Alan is developing his skills to influence. The great and subtle art of preparing the now with small little details so that a desired future will be more likely. For a two year old a great achievement, in fact even with an older kid I would be impressed.
What Alan had done was the following. He saved one of his candies and placed it secretly on my desk, next to the bed, so I found if right before going to sleep. In the early morning Alan came to check on the candy and when he found it still in its place he even offered to put it in my mouth. I sure wonder what he was hoping to achieve.
I feel like I don’t have much to tell the world, but thinking about this issue made me realize that is not really true. I did move from Holland to Spain to a new environment and basically a new life. This made my own personal insights a lot more valuable. My life lessons could and should be shared with the world, so we can all get (a little bit) better. Sadly I don’t really feel like sharing, I feel the content I can provide will not be up to the task, and I think/feel there would be a very limited interest, so I’ll pass.
On the other hand there is something in my life that is even more exciting. My sons Alex and Alan also live in two worlds. Dutch and Spanish influences that help shape their realities and their vision of the world around them. The views these two boys have of the world is not contaminated by prejudice, assumptions, fear and diplomacy. Their view is still youthfully naive and full of hope, trust and faith. This is much more interesting and represents the real value. Even if the actual content does not mean so much these are the raisins in the cake.
Coincidentally I have been making small movie clips of our kids since their births, so all the need is a little tweaking. We need to add an intro, and at the and a nice “See you next time!”, and they will have a super interesting vlog. Lets just give it a try.