Corona, Christmas and Molly…
Well, how are we doing right now?
The pictures on Instagram show one happy family, who are constantly enjoying themselves. And most of the time this is the true and honest presentation of our everyday life. Of course, the girls fight, we get tired of arguing about the “right” bedtime, we get frustrated about not knowing, where we are able to go next because of Corona, who is doing the dishes, why are we not able to ride our bikes more and so on…
But most of the time we are actually really happy, enjoying each other and enjoying this journey. The constellation of us four really works! We know each other, and we know each other’s needs.
Not that we do not like other people’s company – we do – and we actually crave after some social interaction once and awhile. There are not that many people travelling right now, and we have not met many kids at the same age as ours. So, as parents we are really at work – and that is just fine. It is what we signed up for 😉
There is just one huge “but”.
Going home for Christmas was definitely the right choice for us, but it was also really hard. The absence of my stepfather was not too tough when travelling in Molly but arriving back home, it became really clear that something was missing. We were all really sad, we cried a lot and we tried to be supportive as well.
But it was difficult. The whole concept of gathering the family was kind of out of place, since there was one family member missing. We all tried to cheer up, have conversations and enjoy the traditions, but for me at least it was sort of meaningless. All the gifts and all the food. I was not able to really enjoy it, and luckily, we had the kids. Their joy and true happiness lightened the mood and saved the evening.
And Katrine and I would like to give them that. The Christmas “vibe”. They really enjoy the gifts and so, we like to give them gifts. But for us as adults? Not really. For me it became a meaningless exchange of currency, which I am not sure, I will ever get to really enjoy again. After all, we live privileged lives. We can afford most of the things, we need, and after having lived in Molly with very few things, I am not sure, how much more, we “need”. And if there is something, we need, we are likely to go out and buy it, instead of waiting for the Holidays and then send an “order list” with internet links to the family.
Maybe I am too radical in my opinions, and I also respect the persons, who just love receiving gifts and giving gifts. For me, it has just become a hassle to try and find the right gifts, stress about not finding the right ones and then dealing with hassle of trying to return it again, because it was not the correct size or colour. We have talked a lot about this over the last years. Last year we spent Christmas on Secret Island in the Philippines. The girls got one gift, and they where happy. Katrine has read about a family doing full time travel. They made a rule – 4 gifts pr. child. One they need (new shoes etc.), one they wish for, one experience with the rest of the family and something that will make someone else happy – that is also a way to go. We have not found our way yet in this circus of gifts – but we are getting closer. All we know is that for us it has to change, so that Christmas is about something else. Not to be ungrateful but the best gift, we received this year, was a handwritten and very personal card from my mom.
When boarding the ferry to Norway, we were on the move again. Ready to be together with the girls and Katrine and to give them something. It is once again “More Time to Be” time for us – spoiler: we have already been really frustrated about being together with the kids all the fu…. time 😉
But we are here, we are continuing our journey – this time in a flat in beautiful Beitostølen, Norway. (Yes, we also visited Beitostølen in August, but we have found out that there is something really nice about knowing an area and some of the persons there.)
Molly is with us, but she is not going to be used that often, so she will probably be really eager to go, when we drive south again at the end of February.
And we actually know somebody here, so we get some of that social interaction, we were sometimes missing before Christmas.
It feels safe, if some of you are wondering: “How about Corona?”
We took a test before departure and immediately after arriving in Norway – both negative. Then we went in quarantine for ten days, and now we are “free” to move around. So, we actually feel a lot safer here than back home, where the kids would be in institutions, and the parents would be working.
So, for now:
The MTB Family are going skiing, snowboarding, Nordic skiing and playing in the snow! Also, we have something special arranged for Sofie’s birthday the 2nd of February …
Cheers – Jakob