Saturday, November 29, 2008


Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow are my kids' birthdays (4 years and one day apart - no planning!). Actually, they are not children anymore, but young adults, which is pretty hard to get used to. And they are so different.
Dan, my firstborn, raised by the book, a frequent mistake commited by first time parents, had to cope alone with the world (he didn't have an older brother to follow). He has high hopes for himself and wants to better the world. He has a plan for the next 10 years, culminating in diplomacy and ambassadorship. Or anything that needs a suite and tie.
He volunteers a lot and his milieu is a heterogenuous bunch: an ashkenazi economist, a fat bright Russian guy suffering from a mental condition, an army shirker turned into a fashion store manager, a Yemenite post person, another Yemenite wannabe, an epileptic Persian, a gifted computer science student, a Moroccan news editor and some new ones I don't know. He has an expensive taste and likes fancy meals and places. He invited his friends to Moses (fancy hamburger chain resturant). He did not ask for any birthday present because his self-designed new furniture are enough.
A few days ago, I looked into my cookbooks and picked a nice, rich chocolate cake for the joint birthday, but knowing my 'customer', I asked for his approval. 'No, I'll pick another one', he said, 'something special, out of the ordinary, something with mango or exotic fruits'. Never mind his brother Tom probably prefers a chocolate or nut cake. He looked and looked and just got more confused until there was no time to buy ingredients and bake so I bought a ready made one. Chocolate mouse.
Tom came to the world directly into the role of the spoilt and pampered 'little one', brought up with more love and closeness and less theory from manuals. He had his brother's footsteps to follow or turn away from, a reference in any case. He complains we have less photos of him as a child.
He likes the outdoors and playing soccer with friends. His two best friends are a dark skinned soldier, son of a taxi driver and houswife running a messy household, and a penthouse dweller Persian student, son of an investement banker and a city hall clerk. He also has lots of groups of friends he belongs to: from his former schools, his extreme trips, and the current boarding school.
He doesn't volunteer, but is empathic to all creatures, especially animals and children. He likes plain things, home cooking and a homy athmosphere. I asked him what cake he'd like for his birthday. 'Nothing or dad's chocolate yiest cake'. He got a nice watch for his 18th birthday. He decided he desn't want a party, he'll invite his friends into our new empty apartment (when we get the key) to sit on the floor and order pizzas.
He is non-judgmental. He tends to forget things, to mix up places and tasks. He doesn't have a plan for the future.
They are both thankful in their own way for the help and advice we give them. I know they will try to please us even long after we'll be gone. And although I find people's attempt to control things after their death quite pathetic (by writing complicated conditioned wills, for example), I'd like my two children to keep in close touch throughout their lives, whatever happens. I know they will. Maybe.

1 comment:

ioana said...

I very much enjoyed this description!It gave me some sort of sense of what my cousins are like, although I did meet Dan. I hope I'll also meet Tom some day soon. Also please excuse the delay and Happy Birthday! to both of them and congratulations to you.I think it's an achievement to have grown children you can be proud of.