Welcome to my blog. Since this is my first post, it’s going to be about everything and nothing.
The header I have now, with the bridge strongly reminds me where I lived in Holland (Goes; pronounce: goose) in my teen years. It’s below sea level, and when the dykes broke in the 1950ties this whole South West province was under water.
The bridge connected the residential neighborhoods with the small inner city. Two main narrow streets with stores, both leading up to the city square. The city hall, a big building in gothic (architectural) style, where one regularly could see who married. People would actually take a pause from their shopping trip and look at the wedding party come in or out of City Hall.
In Holland, the whole wedding party and guests all go dressed up to city hall and get a formal speech of one of the city officers about marriage. Usually one of the friends of the bride and/or bride groom sind the marriage document officially as “a witness.” It’s considered an honore to be “a witness.”
The rest of the city square was taken up with stores and restaurants. The restaurants all had a large patio where one could sit outside and watch the people go by while sipping on one’s coffee (that was decades before the time of Starbucks!).
On the opposite side of the city hall was a tiny store (my favorite)where all they sold was a fluted bag with “patat frites” (large French fries). Ask any European, the fries are not only French, but also Dutch or Belgian. This is my nationalistic European side coming out :). You ate the fries with mayonaise and mostard, not tomato ketchup like here in the US.
It was during these years that I discovered my love for art. Everyone in high school knew me as the one who did art, because every year I won 1st or 2nd prize in the local school competition for art.
Back then I was also caulky, like teens can be. I would sing a song with my friend who also accompanied us with the piano, and only practiced for half an hour. When we won 2nd prize, we said to each other, “Let’s not do this again, it’s too easy.”
I was hardly interested in anything else, to great dismay of my parents. School campuses at that time were not closed, so I skipped school half of the time, to go to my favorite coffee store where they also sold yummy pastries. With my friends, I solved the problems of the world there, so we thought.
Of course, this could not go on without any consequence, so I didn’t pass to the next grade, 2 seperate times. Later, in my adult life I sublimated and got my doctorate degree and made sure my children finished high school and got into college.
Looking back I was bored with school and art was the only thing that interested me. The upside of this is that as a therapist I understand when children are not doing well in school, while they have an IQ above a 100. Most of the counsel is with their parents, and when I have a session alone with the child or teen I tell my own story, with the encouragement to tell their parents what is really going on. They have a choice: they tell, or I tell the parents. It’s amazing how communicative they suddenly become!
Well, this is a very long way to tell you why I chose this background. But now you know.
PS If you are the parent of a creative or gifted child, the books of Alice Miller (The Untouched Key, and The Drama of the Gifted Child) and Howard Gardner (Creating Minds) may give you more insight into your child – some of it, is not a quick read :).