Tuesday, December 6, 2016

In the Nick of Time

Today is the feast of Saint Nicholas or Nikolaustag. That probably means nothing to you but in my house, it's a means of measuring how far we've come and not just the distance traveled. The first time we celebrated this day on this side of the Atlantic, my wife and children had been residents of Das Land der Runde Turgriffe for less than a month

Something familiar from home, or what was to become their 'old home' was very important and as Sigrid has set aside some small chocolates for both Patrick and Michelle for today, it still is (though I wonder if not more for us than for our now adult children).


I confess to still seeing them as small. I remember hours of hollering "nur Patrick!" and his echo answer of "nur Daddy!" as if it were yesterday. Holding Michelle in one arm as Patrick and I sang "How Much is that Baby in the Mirror" to her reflection every night as part of the going to bed ritual. 

The bedtime story book with a story for every night-a different subject and a different adventure and how the two of them would sit up in their beds as my terrible German rendered any form of narrative nearly unintelligible for the two of them. And then afterward we'd all sing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and it was lights out.

Es war alles sehr gemutlich and so long ago. Coming out of the grocery yesterday, the shopper in front of me was mumbling about the youngsters, definitely NOT from here, playing under the overhang as their mother struggled to get their baby sister out of the car and into a cart.

It's funny when little ones stiffen their arms and legs and refuse to make it easy for an adult to seat them in a shopping cart. Of course, it's only funny when you watch; when you're the adult struggling with the child, the humor is quickly lost.

Some people reach an age when you cannot tell how old they are-maybe I already have. Wouldn't want to try to guess his age but I think he needed glasses. I say that because he saw in me, as I walked past him, a kindred spirit who'd appreciate his caustic characterization of where he imagined these children were from and where he wished they'd return. Except, jeder ist ein auslanderirgendwo

My response was he attempt something anatomically impossible, and not quite as much a suggestion as a directive. I could have been more polite and gotten the same effect.
-bill kenny

No comments: