„Are our kids different than the others?“ – I think this question we hear the most of all. Hmmmm.
Are they? Are they not?
Mila is 2 years old. Hanna is 3,5 years old. They visited more than 20 countries until now. They speak Polish and German, they understand English and some basic Spanish. They can fall asleep everywhere: between people, noises, in the plane, on the ferry or at the concert. They are not surprised with people of different colour of the skin, of covered heads, of another new language. Hanna is proudly telling that she was carrying a huge parrot on her arm and Mila says her favourite food is mango and mango ice-cream.
They don’t have beds, they sleep at the matraces on the ground (like we do). Their clothes are not ironed (neither are ours). They usually wear two different socks (they dress up alone and Hanna few days ago said: „Mummy, looking for two same socks is a… waste of time. In this time you can for example..give somebody a kiss!“). They have a lot of people around (we live in so-called WG – Wohngemeinschaft, a shared flat, with three more people from Greece, Germany and Singapore, plus there are always few visitors around). People they know and people they have just met (for example couchsurfers).
Our girls know that food can be very tasty even if it doesn’t look like it (for example the Maya chocolate), so they are not afraid of trying new food. Hanna is basically not afraid of anything: high, water, jumping, skiing, downhill biking… But Mila is. She prefers to read a book. Hanna would do everything alone. Mila has no problem with asking for help.
But I’m happy they were trying to do the Chechen dances in the villages of north Georgia, they were trying to take out golden teeth of Roma women in Moldova, they were trying to feed a monkey, a wolf or a toucan.
Because we were always living with many people – sharing is very important and very normal part of our life. Sharing things, cooking together, doing things together.
I will always remember this scene from the playing ground when Hanna was playing with toys of different kids in the park. – Look at this naugthy girl – said some papa to his daugther – she is just playing with all the toys. – Girl looked on Hanna without any respect, Hanna was still playing, I decided not to comment. After few minutes Hanna came to me for a cookie. She took six of them and gave to each of the kid in the sandbox. The girl liked it very much, so Hanna came back to me and took one more, the very last one, and brought to that girl. You should have seen the face of this papa.
Just a small story, one of hundreds, but showing a lot. We came back from our Central American trip almost without toys, because girls were giving them away. Not because there are poor kids there and we were doing lectures for our girls about it. Just because.
There are clean kids or happy kids? Kind of. There was this day, back in 2009, when we were sitting with Tom on some sweet square of Macedonia, and we saw this picture. On our right side: a very well dress small girl, with her parents, walking slowly in her beautiful girlish ponies and hat, trying to eat some lolly pop and being all the time cleaned by her mum. On our left side: a small Roma girl, dirty from heads to feet, jumping around like crazy, with her messy long hair. The most happy kid on this planet, I’m telling you. We looked at each other in that moment and we knew: that our girls will dress up what they will want and they will be allowed to walk bare feet from the kindergarten, if they will have a wish like this.
After sleeping in so many different countries during our trips, we (and our girls too) know very well what a good host is. And we try our best to be good hosts too. A lot of people are staying in our flat (friends, friends of friends, friends of friends of friends, couchsurfers or even just readers of our blog). And even if the conditions are not crazy (usually there is no free room, usually the only option is to stay with other people), we hope our guests feel free, comfortable and.. home. Girls do it too: by helping me to make the beds, prepare food etc. Once our flatmate was away, Hanna looked into his room and told me: – Mummy, the room shouldn’t stay so empty, we should invite somebody. – I totally agreed.
For sure our girls are happy. But are they happy because of the travelling? I don’t think so. I think kids are happy when they have happy parents and they can do things together with them. May it be travelling, or playing football, or doing art, or singing, or what-so-ever. Our kids have cool kindergarten (where they for example go for a walk altogether to buy new books, isn’t it awesome?), have cool flatmates and friends of the family (quite multi-kulti, but it was not planned, we just live like this!), are involved in the decisions what are we doing in the afternoon or at the weekends, sing loud in the car and go to bed when they are tired. But they eat ice-cream only after the dinner and wash their dirty feet in the evening. Just… living, loving, laughing.
So are they different or not?
This post is also available in: Polish
Our first book is out!
We have published our first book (for now just in Polish:) about our Central America Trip.
See, read and order here »
Zazdroszcze takich dzieci co to wszedzie sypiaja…My nasza corke przezywamy ” nocny jastrzab” :) Gdy Jana bedzie miala 23 miesiace urodzi sie jej rodzenstwo, zastanawiamy sie gdzie i jak je polozyc. Czy Wy spicie wszyscy we 4 na jednym duzym materacu? Czy dziewczyny maja swoj? Spicie w jednym pokoju?
Świetny tekst. Może Kajtostanowi przydałby się dłuższy wyjazd ku radości z tego co ma:) Uściski dla dziewczyn.