I am lucky.
I get to experience – on a deep level – how circumstances are not merely circumstances, no, how circumstances are reality.
It´s those small, insignificant circumstances that shape our everyday life.
I became a mother of twins when I was 20.
Back then I believed in every authority. I was insecure. It´s like young mothers are per definition bad mothers. At an early age my whole existence began to revolve around not being a bad mother. I tried so hard.
I fed the twins on a schedule.
I was told it was the best thing to do.
When they cried at night I didn´t pick them up.
I was told it was the best thing to do
Children needs sleep patterns. Children needs feeding schedules.
Children need stability.
Children need normal lifes. Right?
I was told they needed their own room.
I was told the needed to go to daycare.
What most people don´t know is that Denmark is the country in the world with the highest rates of children in institutions. This is the dark side of our pretty damn society, this is the fact behind the little mermaid and the wellfaresystem.
I rebelled though. I waited. I send my twins to daycare when they were 2 years old. What a revolt!
Time passed. Catastrophes and love.
I studied Psychology. I lectured on developmental psychology. I learned that nothing is as infested with the culture as the way we treat our children.
That the concept of good mothers and bad mothers change over time, that these concepts are so socially laden that you won´t believe it and that the rules about what children need…. change all the time.
All. The. Time.
Later I began to work in the institutions. I observed. I tested. I concluded. I tried to help the unadjusted. I really tried.
Then I met Jeppe, childhood compadre, I got pregnant.
This time around I was not insecure. I knew more. I was older.
I knew that developmental psychology is the number one main opressor of women. I knew that there are no rules but the rules of the heart (yes, I´m a hippie, I´ve realized, I embrace it)
When Sigurd was 1 year old we moved into the wild. He dosn´t remember anything other than this.
First time I took him to the big city everything was new to him. The cars. The escalators. The big mirros.
His life is a life with every day contact with both his parents, all of his siblings. In the summertime lots of people come to our house. His life is a life of action. His life is a life of quiet contemplating, sitting as he does, halfway naked in a field of blueberries down by the lake.
It´s not like everything is fine and fancy. Sometimes we work too much, too hard, sometimes he watch too much movies on the screen, sometimes he´s bored – what I notice though is the profound way his circumstances makes him different.
I´ve never seen a child develop as he has.
He is not even 3 years old yet he speaks fluent Danish. He has a rich vocabulary, he expresses himself, his needs, desires even dreams and fears. Allthough his sense of self is not yet fully developed he has extreme empathy and sense of others. He understands the relations between his actions and other peoples actions. Abstract thinking is not foreign to him, he can even read (well, allright, he memories books).
We decided to enroll him in kindergarden so that he can learn the rules of children. He goes there around 3 times a week, half a day.
He dosn´t always understand the language of the other kids, both their actual language (Swedish) and the social language. Why can´t we all share? Why won´t you play?
He is trusting. He is caring. He is courageous.
I wish sometimes that all of my kids could have had an upbringing like his. But then again: we are who we are due to our background and experience, no reason to blame the past. It´s futile.
I realize though that it DOES matter under which circumstances we raise our kids. It´s not like it dosn´t matter.
I was told that it dosn´t matter, just as long as I followed the rules. These standards.
I didn´t question it.
I do now.
Sigurd has been sleeping in our bed ever since he was born.
To have a close physical contact with him makes me feel better. Like all of his caressing could take away the pain. Like all of the times he whispers in his sleep “mommy, I love you so” …. could fill that deep, dark hole in my soul.
I know this is not his job nor his duty – I´m just saying that I really didn´t mind that he was sleeping in our bed.
However time passes as time does and today was the day where I made him his own bed. He is getting bigger. He´s growing up. Big boy. Big day.
He calls the bed “my room” and he loves it so much.
All day he´s been in his room. Playing. Reading. Watching movies. He even made a party in his room. We were all invited.
I´m not sad. I am lucky. I get to understand that circumstances matter.
Him and his snacks
Star. And stripes.