Thursday, 14 April 2011

Little Grown-Ups

I had to contemplate the fact that German people bring their children up to be grown up long before the time.  I was standing outside the wine shop just looking into the distance and thinking about life when this german daddy and his son came riding past me up a sharp hill a few feet away.  The father told his son, "Put your bike into first gear and peddle harder for about ten seconds and you´ll manage the gradient quite well, ok!"  This was said in such an adult way as if he was speaking to a colleague.  I have heard this quite often before.  Teeny tots having an adult conversation with parents as if they were the same age.  It made me think that I brought up my kids to be morons.  I spoke to them in baby language and scolded a lot.  Did I do something wrong with my upbringing. Then it dawned on me that the kids here are abnormally old for their ages.

They drink heavily and almost all of them smoke by the age of sixteen.  The girls have all had their first sexual experience by the age of sixteen as well.  My kids grew up on a farm in Africa and were still climbing trees at that age.  They look far younger than the normal german kid and still make jokes and roar with laughter.  These kids have somehow forgotten how to enjoy the simple things in life.  They are "old".  Old in their thinking and very serious.  Life is difficult at times, I know, but it´s still worth living outrageously.  It must feel horrifying feeling like you are eighty years old when one is only twenty.  My kids are very well balanced and take life a lot less seriously than most kids here do although they lived in Africa where life is hard and at times really scary.  But there was always time for a good laugh as well as some ridiculous behavior.

Just as I was getting really annoyed with my thoughts, an Indian daddy came down the hill with his 3 kids shouting in a very heavy British accent, "Slow down!  Put your bloody brakes on!!!!"  I smiled to myself.  Now that´s far more normal in my opinion!!!!

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