I’m back in the Netherlands, and this time I’m in Tilburg. Ana and Alex came to visit me for a couple of days and that proved to be the perfect moment for lots and lots of activities. One of the things we did was to go to the Efteling. A fantastic park of which I have very fond memories. I remember going there when I was still a little boy. At the time there was a new attraction called ‘Droomvlucht’, which was inaugurated in 1993, meaning that my last visit was 25 years ago which means there must be quite a lot of new attractions.
Our visit to the Efteling was really great. Alex loved the rides, Symbolica, Droomvlucht, Fata morgana, the Pirana, the boat trip around the lake, the ‘Joris en de draak’-rollercoaster, the ravenstein show, the weird villa volta, holle bolle gijs, the fairy tale forest, longneck, the closing watershow and much much more. In the rollercoaster ride he was sitting next to me shaking and surprised by the massive speed, but he liked it. The pirana was great when in the beginning Ana got wet, but later even better when both Alex and I got thoroughly soaked.
To top it off one plan was not enough for this weekend. We also went on safari at Beekse Bergen, had a nice visit by Bert, Sally and family, Visited the animals at the olie meulen and went canoe-ing. All in all a great visit.
Alex has only recently started and he already got the yellow band. To get yellow he needed to learn a few taek wondo routines and execute them without any mistake during his exams. The exact movements are a mistery to me, so we could not help Alex, and still it all went perfect. *super proud*
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.
The Cola Cola Mentos experiment is quite simple. Throw a couple of mentos in a bottle of Coca Cola and a huge fountain of cola will be the result. At least in theory. To Alex I had to explain that this experiment would be impossible to do inside the house. Everything would be covered in cola. This one needed to be done outside.
The somewhat disappointing result can be seen in the video below.
Sport is not only fun, it is also very healthy. Alex goes to taek wondo twice a week, and these classes are basically running, jumping, doing obstacle courses and every now and then also kicking and hitting an imaginary enemy.
His taek wondo teacher is a nice man who has quite a bit of authority (great for getting all the kids in the class to behave). He knows very well how make all those kids behave and we can really see the discipline in all those kids. Sometimes the teacher gives a compliment, and you can almost see the complimented kid grow a little. Bad behavior results in a punishment of a couple of pushups or sitting on the side for a while without participating in the current game. Simple and effective.
After a little getting used to Alex is going really great. So good that after a couple of month he already had the basic 20 taek wondo moves down, and this is enough for a promotion to the white-yellow band!
I have been noticing for a couple of months that Alex and his friends have a scific movement for when a (difficult) task is achieved. Today I learned this momenent also has a name. A “dab“. The dab is shown in the last part of the video below.
Making a nice picture of our kids has turned out to be a very difficult task. The kids need to get dressed, they need to sit still for a while, a they should smile a bit for the camera. All these things can be hard to achieve, but we were lucky and during a moment of relative peace we managed to get some very nice pictures of our boys.
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.