On making memories

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Children are grown up before you know it. And you realize it too late. The most important task for us as parents is to make our children whole human beings, and love is the most essential part of this. Love can be given in many ways, and I believe that one way is to fill children with good experiences and good memories. Isolde inspires me because she talks a lot about memories, but I also know it from myself. You can go a long way on good memories.

Good memories are rather relative, because we remember different things. What Isolde recalls is often not the same as what I do – even if the situation was the same. We remember different things, and that’s how it should be. Sometimes it’s the smallest, silliest you remember, but nature and family experiences make repeat appearances in some of my strongest memories.

It’s not because I’m dead set on the children having special memories or that I arrange things for the purpose of creating a memory. But I make an effort to provide all the children with good experiences and create a space or an atmosphere that they will remember as something special. This past summer we spent all the time we could on the beach. Everybody enjoys being at the beach for a full day, but they have different ideas of what is fun. Some will fish for crabs, others will sit in a dinghy and someone just wants to dig a huge hole in the sand. It’s the same playground and it’s a common experience from which we each get something different.

When the Copenhagen Pride parade was on, Claus and I took all five kids down to the street where we stood and cheered on the side-lines for three full hours. Not one of them got tired – they were totally absorbed by the whole thing. Afterwards, when we talked about the day, we remarked on how the children had noticed different things. And it was also a great opportunity to discuss things that can be difficult or not so obvious to talk about – police, human rights, other countries, love, being who you are and being proud of it. It became a memorable day for me, in any case.

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I’m also trying to give the kids one-on-one experiences whenever possible. The divorce factor may also play a role here. It’s not necessarily a bad thing and it’s not about bending over backwards for the kids when we’re together, but time becomes precious in another way when you have them with you, so I want to do something extra.

Isolde and her stepmother have a real connection based on the Harry Potter universe, which I think is amazing. It’s something only the two of them have. It’s so cool and so nice that they have this connection together. It’s their little thing. So they are absolutely an inspiration. Claus and Isolde have handball together, which I’m not a part of. Likewise I try to make one-on-one time and give my undivided attention to all the children separately. There don’t have to be many of these moments, and they also don’t have to be something that requires a lot of planning. I just want all of our children to be seen and for us to cultivate their differences.

Basically, I hope to be the kind of parent who can accommodate their diversity and their different needs and interests. I make that a priority, and I spend time observing the children – together and separately.

Love, Andrea 

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