this moment # 15

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*This moment*

A weekly ritual, inspired by SouleMama’s blog: a special picture, without subtitles. A unique, everyday or extra-ordinary delight that I want to record and cherish. Don’t hesitate to share your link in a comment for all to see if you wish to join in.

14

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And so it’s 14 now. Fourteen years since you’ve entered our lives.

Well, the very first time I was introduced to you was way earlier and I recall it as if it was yesterday. I was standing in the corridor of our old apartment (do you remeber it?) and it must have been late morning because the sun was shining so bright through the bathroom window and onto the wall that I had to look down while waiting for the pregnancy test to reveal its verdict. As the two positive blue lines appeared I stood there speechless for a couple of minutes, soaking in the fact that a true, tiny 2-week person was growing in my bosom (utter amazingness). Then I rushed to the phone to tell your dad because there was no way I could wait until evening. This happened 14 years, 8 months and 1/2 ago.

I had often wondered how it would be when we would gaze straight into each other’s eyes – check, that’s done now and soon you’ll look down at me. Your physical changes are so impressive lately that I sometimes stop and look at you while you don’t notice. Are you still you, the same you? ‘Cause, you know, a parent expects his children to grow but how, nobody knows. That’s a book that one unfolds one page at a time and that often makes sense only looking back. Your hair has turned from blond to chestnut, you’ve become so much taller and stronger, your figure is changing. Yet, when I look at you carefully, I recognize the same smile; those long eyelashes and something graceful about you that made people sometimes think you were a baby girl even if a dressed you as a boy; that dimple on your chin like your dad and that way you have to make a joke and remain serious while your eyes laugh. Yes, you’re always you.

Happy birthday beautiful boy

I’m happy and proud you’ve chosen me as your mama

this moment # 14

 

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*This moment*

A weekly ritual, inspired by SouleMama’s blog: a special picture, without subtitles. A unique, everyday or extra-ordinary delight that I want to record and cherish. Don’t hesitate to share your link in a comment for all to see if you wish to join in. Cheers!

getting lost

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Tiny citydweller happiness recipe

A sunny Sunday where spring is calling you, jump in your car or onto your bike with a mission to escape the city life. Of course you’ll need finding the right place, the one where greenery is still allowed, on purpose or by chance, to thrive on its own. It may take a while, so be patient. It may be that big parc on the other side of the city. Or that tiny patch of grass just around your corner which you had never noticed before. Trust your instinct and you’ll find it.

Once you’re on the right track, you must seek the most offbeat paths and make yourself tiny, almost invisible. If you have small children, ask for their guidance and they’ll be thrilled to introduce you to this secret world to which they belong. Then you’ll enter a parallel reality bursting with life that blossoms, sprouts, weaves and silently chews away while people rush by unaware, so busy with their very important tasks. They will not see that spring is slowly coming over. Nor be surprised to spot green leaves on a dry branch or a couple tiny flowers making their way out of dead leaves or seeds answering who knows what secret morse code and starting to sprout on the paveway. They might pass just a few inches away and not marvel at this miracle, but you will. And it needn’t be Thailand or Peru or the Arizona desert. You don’t need to go far to get lost and find yourself all of a sudden feeling connected to a bigger dimension that breathes in and out and creates a thousand forms of life out of death, in a relentless, constant transformation. It »s no big deal really, still it will make you feel alive. Maybe you’ll feel like putting words on it or you’ll keep silent – ’cause there isn’t much to say anyway – and just smile, like people who’ve just shared a tiny big secret and a moment of pure happiness.

Wishing you many of these moments, friends!

7

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So it’s 7.

Seven years since the day I felt a tiny sting in my bosom while catching the bus and I thought « that’s it ». As I sat down because I had a long journey ahead, I looked out of the window and took a mental tour of all the things I had to take care of; the maternity carry-on, your brother’s activities and little gift, dinners in the fridge. Before telling anyone that it was it, I slowly carried my huge belly to some grocery-shopping and through all those tiny to-be-finished tasks. And all the while I whispered to you « hold on love, just a little bit longer, I’m almost ready » and to myself « hold on to this moment, before your world changes forever again, don’t miss a bit of it ». You listened to me, you know. It was not until everything was done that the pain grew stronger and the waters broke and we rushed in the car, my breathing more ad more ragged, the pain reaching its highest peak, the doubt, the fear, breath in, breathe out, you can do it, you’ve done it before, just lean in, the friendly voices cheering, we’re almost there, then my world stood still, unique incomparable wonder, meeting your eyes wide open as you were lying on my womb. 

7 days since that day, my joy fairy, my little bird. It feels like yesterday yet forever. For me, you’re always that tiny newborn, almost not crying and spending the night teaching my breasts how you want to be fed. But I know you’re growing up and, not so far away, the day will come when I’ll no longer be the center of your universe. I’m overjoyed to see you grow and become your own person, with your tastes and personality. But I would lie if I said that in this mama’s heart, who cradeled you, as your brother, each day ever since you were born, there is not also a pinch of apprenesion thinking about this. Thank god, there is a remedy. A panacea for this melancholia: seeing you happy and laughing. 

Happy birthday sweet fairy,

may all your future days be filled with such joy and wonder.

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the best day of my life

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« Mommy…? It would be nice if we went to Guadeloupe right? There are plenty of coconuts there. Coconut is yummy… Well, one must be careful when walking down the beach because if a coconut falls on your head…OUCH! Ha ha…Mommy, mommy!! Look, there are coconuts there, can we buy one, please please?? yes? Thank you mama, you’re the best mommy in the world! Oh, it’s beautiful, I wanna carry it, can you give it to me? Yes, I can carry my bag but I’ve got one spare hand because I must carry the coconut…Mommy? can we open it when we get home? I can’t wait to taste it, it must be sooo good…And I’m gonna drink in it with a straw, ha ha ha…it’s gonna be so fun…! Oh..you can’t open it?…we must wait for papa, he’s stronger. Mommy…? When does he arrive?…late? ohh…Mommy!! Mommy!!! Look, we’ve opened the coconut, look! We can drink the milk with a straw, do you want some? Ahhh…it’s the best day of my life! …Then we can also eat the coconut, with a knife, like in the organic store, it’s good right? Uhmm…you’re right, it doesn’t taste as good…ohh it’s a pity…mayve we have chosen a bad one? Well yes, we’re not coconut experts…Anyhow it’s beautiful right? Never mind, we can clean it and I’ll put my things in it….Mommy!!! Look what Gema has done!! She’s cleaned the coconut, isn’t it great?! Oh, it was easy, she took a knife and hop hop…she knows well coconuts, Gema. We can ask her to choose a good one next time ». 

Chiara, 6 yo, and her first coconut…

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hello 2015

Nous voilà de retour après nos vacances en Italie. Deux semaines de congé au milieu de l’année pour la première fois depuis des lustres. C’était bien, les amis, oh que oui! Mais, les jours ont passé et le temps de partir, avec son pincement au cœur, est arrivé. Les enfants étaient ravis de retrouver leur maison à Paris, pour moi c’est toujours un peu plus difficile, ça demande quelques jours d’acclimatation…

En regardant l’année qui vient de se clore, je suis reconnaissante:

pour mes deux enfants magnifiques, sains, sensibles et drôles, qui s’épanouissent sous mes yeux jours après jour

de m’être rapprochée encore un peu plus de la personne que j’ai envie d’être et d’avoir appris à m’accorder plus de temps pour moi

d’avoir, dans des moments difficiles, trouvé la sérénité au fond de mon cœur

d’avoir beaucoup plus souvent ressenti de la gratitude pour ce que j’ai plutôt que le regret pour ce que je n’ai pas

d’avoir trouvé le temps et le courage d’accomplir Ce (petit grand) pas sur la lune!

Je n’ai pas de résolutions particulières pour cette nouvelle Année, sinon de continuer à chercher la sérénité, la gratitude, la joie et confiance en ce que j’ai.

Et vous, les amis?

Je vous souhaite une année pleine de joie et de beaux moments à partager,

bon 2015!

*En photo, quelques-uns des petits cadeaux fait main qui ont rempli notre calendrier de l’Avent arc-en-ciel. Ils ne sont pas beaux? Je les aime d’amour…

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And so we’re back from our holidays in Italy. A two week break as I hadn’t done in a long time and it was good, oh so good. The days have flown by and the time to leave, with its bittersweat taste, finally arrived. The kids were happy to find their home back while for me it’s a bit more difficult, it takes me a few days to settle down. 

Looking back upon the year that has just come to an end, I am grateful for: 

my two beautiful, sweet and smart kids whom I have the chance to see evolving each day 

having come a few steps closer to the person I want to be and having learned to grant myself more me-time 

having found peace and strenght in my heart in this year’s difficult times 

having felt gratitude for what I have rather than regret for what I don’t have

having found the time (and courage) to do this Step on the moon!

I don’t have any special resolutions for 2015 apart from walking further on this path of finding peace, joy, strenght and gratitude in what I have. 

And you, dear friends?

I wish you a bright New Year, full of joy and of many tiny happy moments to cherish,

happy 2015!

*Pictured above are some of the handmade gifts that have filled our origami Advent calendar. I love them so!

 

Une nuit spéciale – A special night #2

La nuit entre le 12 et le 13 décembre est une nuit spécial dans beaucoup de pays du nord et aussi dans ma famille du côté maternel: c’est la nuit où la Sainte Lucie descend du ciel et apporte des douceurs aux enfants sages.

Quelle émotion, enfant, ce coucher-la, en regardant le ciel étoilé qui n’était plus vide et obscur au dessus de nous, mais soudainement tout habité par cette présence amie. Combien d’heures passées au fond de mon lit à guetter le moindre bruit sur le balcon. A l’imaginer, elle qui remplissait nos chaussettes de dons, chaque année, sans que personne ne l’aie jamais vue. Combien d’allers-retours pipi/j’ai soif/j’ai pas sommeil, juste pour jeter un œil si elle était déjà venue. Et son âne, il pouvait donc vraiment voler? Qu’il était dur de s’endormir ce soir-la, même si on savait qu’il le fallait pour qu’elle vienne. Quelle émotion, au petit matin, en se ruant vers le salon où juste les lumières du sapin clignotaient. On cherchait des yeux et la, on les apercevait, nos chaussettes gonflées et boursouflées  de bonbons, fermées avec joli ruban rouge ou vert. Quelle joie inoubliable, de les retrouver là, encore une fois! Que c’était beau de croire en cette magie. Et puis, plus tard aussi, en comprenant que la magie était réelle dans le don et l’amour de celle qui faisait vivre cette tradition, année après année.

Comme alors, demain soir les enfants choisiront leurs chaussettes à déposer devant la cheminée (toujours les plus grandes, bien sur). Une carotte et de l’eau pour  l’âne devant la fenêtre. Ils iront se coucher et la magie opèrera, comme elle l’a toujours fait.

Mais demain soir (enfin, dès qu’elle peut), la Sainte Lucie exceptionnellement déposera aussi une chaussette garnie à la porte de celle qui l’a si longtemps aidée à rendre les enfants heureux. Parce qu’il n’est jamais trop tard pour dire merci, n’est-ce pas.

En images, quelques souvenirs d’un concert en célébration de la Sainte Lucie organisé par l’Ambassade de Suède à Paris dans la Basilique Sainte Clotilde. Quel moment magique! Les jeunes choristes ont chanté avec beaucoup de justesse et de douceur et quelle émotion quand la jeune fille qui interprétait la Sainte Lucie a rejoint le coeur apportant sa lumière, pour ensuite repartir en guidant le choeur à illuminer la nuit.  Quelle jolie symbolique! Un moment hors du temps.

Douce nuit les amis, et n’oubliez pas de regarder le ciel…

** Vous pouvez encore participer au concours de Noël! **

Vite, vite, le tirage au sort aura lieu dimanche soir.

Bonne chance!

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The night between the 12nd and the 13th of Decembre is special to many Nordic countries and therefore to my mother’s family. It’s the night when Saint Lucy flies down from the sky and brings sweets to children who have been good.

How I loved this evening when I was a child. How sweet it was to look at the starry sky, no longer cold and empty, but full of this friendly presence. How many hours did I spend picturing her while tucked in my bed. How was she, this lady who would bring us sweets without anyone ever seing her? How long would I lie awake waiting for the slightest noise outside the window.  How many I’m thirsty/can’t sleep/must go to the toilet just to be able to glance if our stockings were already full. And her donkey, could it really fly? Oh  my, it was tough to fall asleep. Yet I knew I had to in order for her to come. How expectantly we would jump out of bed in the morning and dash to the living room where the lights of the Christmas tree would flicker in the darkness. Our eyes would scan the room for one second and there, in front of the mantelpiece, stood our stockings now (so) full of sweets and topped with a nice ribbon. How incredibly happy I was that the magic had worked once again! How good it was to believe in that magic. And later on too, realizing that the magic was in the gift and the love of the person who did carry along this tradition, year after year.  

Tonight, as we used to, my children will choose their stockings and put them in front of the mantelpiece (the biggest ones, hey, they’re not kidding either). A carrot and some water for the donkey in front of the window. They will go to bed and the magic will happen, as it always did.

But tonight (well, as soon as she can) Saint Lucia will exceptionally deliver a stocking full of sweets to that same lady who spent so many years helping her making children happy. Because it’s never too late to say thank you, isn’t it. 

Pictured above are souvenirs from a special celebration of Saint Lucia which was hosted by the Swedish Embassy in the Sainte Clothilde Basilica in Paris. The young choristers had such lovely voices and the crowed room was enchanted when the young girl playing Saint Lucia appeared in the alley bringing light with her then leading the whole choir to brighten the dark night outside. What a beautiful, timeless moment.

Sweet dreams, friends.  And don’t forget to look up at the sky…

**  You can still enter the Christmas giveaway! **

Hurry up before Sunday evening. Good luck!

with his hands

* with his hands *

Because I was blessed with a boy who likes to create magic with his hands. Because his pockets are always full of bits and pieces, in case he needs them. Every once a while I’ll share a pic of these handiworks here. As a souvenir for him. And a reminder of all the magic that’s around us, ready to unfold. If you wish to join in with pics of your kids’ artworks, please share your link for all to see. Enjoy your day friends!

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* Avec ses mains *

Parce que j’ai été bénie d’un garçon qui aime créer de la magie avec ses mains. Parce que ses poches sont toujours pleines de bric-à-brac, au cas où l’inspiration viendrait. De temps en temps, je partagerai ici une photo de ces trésors. Comme un souvenir pour lui. Et pour me rappeler de toute la beauté qui nous entoure, prête à éclore. Si le cœur vous en dit, n’hésitez pas à partager des photos des petites grandes créations de vos enfants avec un lien en commentaire. Je vous souhaite une douce journée, chers amis!

In her hands #6

* In her hands *

Because I was blessed with a little girl who sees magic and beauty everywhere, because her pockets are always full of wonders that she loves to show and tell you all about. Once a week I’ll share a pic of these treasures here. As a souvenir for her. But most of all to remind me to see all the beauty that’s around me, just like she does.  If you wish to join, please share your link for all to see. Enjoy your evening friends!

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* Dans ses mains *

Parce que j’ai été bénie d’une petite fille qui voit la magie et la beauté partout. Parce que ses poches sont toujours pleines de merveilles qu’elle est ravie de vous montrer et raconter. Une fois par semaine, je partagerai ici une photo de ces trésors. Comme un souvenir pour elle. Mais surtout, pour me rappeler de regarder toujours la beauté qui m’entoure, comme elle sait si bien le faire. Si le coeur vous en dit, partagez votre lien dans un commentaire pour que tous puissent le suivre. Je vous souhaite une douce soirée, chers amis!