…finding a life partner who shares the same goals as you, but who is just a little different from you and pushes you to get out of your comfort zone.
And at first you go “blah, I don’t want to do this, what a drag”, but then you just go and do it, and you conquer your fear and you end up with an experience that exhilarates and amazes you, and catapults you up from the mundane everyday life and makes you feel really alive for a moment.
This was my high-flying little brother, somewhere near Munich, this weekend.
Well there you are my little warrior, what you doing? Hunting a dragon? Off to a battle?Breathing fire?
You learn new things at such a pace, that we can’t keep up with you sometimes.
You saw Dadda shave one morning and the next day you were doing the same. You want to show that you are a big boy.
And you demand to do everything yourself. You used to find eating such a chore when it was just milk, but now that it’s different flavors and textures you love it. As long as you can do it yourself.
The great lesson in life for you will be to learn about patience. I know, because you are like your mama bear, we are made of the same stuff.
When you are angry the whole neighborhood knows. There is no negotiating with you when you are upset, but picking you up, holding you tight and giving you your rag and a soft toy helps.
But when things are good there is no end to your joy and you charm your way to anybody’s heart. You little flirt.
And we are so proud to see how you have become more social and accepting of other people. Now you approach other kids at the sand pit and you love your family.
So our little Mr Fox Fantastic, be exactly how you are and continue to surprise, amaze and dazzle us like you do everyday; “Grow, far over your Mother”.
You practically attached yourself to Ukki (grandpa) during our whole time in Finland. Was it because you share the same name or because you both are twins?
We were so worried how you were going to manage without him back home in London that we took a couple of Ukki’s passport photos with us to show you if you needed.
But we forgot how strong you are. Grandma says you are the mysterious one. “The silent fish with secrets” as the children’s song says.
Just as it didn’t bother you that brother learned to walk before you. You weren’t stressed, you didn’t show that you were jealous. You took your time and started taking steps in your own time. With confidence.
Now you reach for everything and climb on anything. Nothing can stop you when you put your mind to something.
And most of all, you are happy. You smile when you see that brother is happy, you smile when you see mum and dad kiss, people who meet you for the first time say that you seem like you don’t have a care in the world.
And you make us so happy. Our little lion.
So go on, follow your own path. And we’ll just watch you from the sidelines, beaming with pride.
Travelling with a baby is a kind of an extreme sport in any case. Add to the mix that there are two babies, who have just learned to walk and you have been away for three months and have six big suitcases to carry, and oh did I mention that we were going to meet our au pair for the first time at the airport? Well let’s just say that the stress levels were soaring.
In order to lower the stress levels we decided to stay the night at an airport hotel to give us all a break after the three hour drive from the summer house and take the first flight in the morning.
The Hilton hotel at the airport was really great. Big, nice rooms and very friendly staff (not always to be expected in hospitality establishments in Finland). The boys felt instantly “at home” and started moving all furniture around before taking a lovely bath.
The hotel provided two travel cots at no extra cost and the two rooms that we had booked were next to each other with an adjoining door.
This meant that when boys went to bed, our au pair stayed in the other room, looked after the boys (and ordered some room service) and we went downstairs and enjoyed a lovely dinner. What a great way to end your time in Finland, a super yummy Nordic tasting menu along with a glass of ice cold New Zealand white wine.
The hotel started serving breakfast at six which left us just enough time to get ready, pack our bags, have breakfast and then walk five minutes to the terminal building to catch our flight to London.
The flight went surprisingly well as the boys slept the most of it, but they were awake long enough to make us cancel our plans to take them to New Zealand next year (to meet that side of the family). A three hour flight is bearable, but two twelve hour flights to Auckland is a different ball game, a game that we dont want to participate in just yet.
Yes, we were all a little bit tired and weary, but we were home.