Jij werd een maand te vroeg geboren, 49,5 cm lang en 3570 gram zwaar. En….mamma was helemaal alleen tijdens die bevalling in het grote ziekenhuis in Antwerpen: je vader kon het ziekenhuis niet vinden.
Toen je werd geboren waren je longen nog niet volgroeid. Je moest aan de longmachine, omdat je nog niet zelf kon ademen. En je viel ook iedere keer in slaap. Dat kwam door de pilletjes die mamma moest innemen. Samen met veel andere baby’s lag je apart op een afdeling. Je lag in een couveuse. Mamma vond het vreselijk, dat ze je niet bij zich mocht houden. Je lag alleen in je glazen kistje en mamma lag alleen in haar bed. En opa en oma zaten tijdens jouw geboorte bij een concert, en tante Daphne had toen mamma haar belde net een heel lang telefoongesprek met een vriendin. Toen voelde mamma zich heel erg alleen en moest ze vreselijk huilen. Helemaal alleen!
De eerste twee maanden
Als wij je opzochten, moesten wij eerst een groot schort aandoen. Heel de afdeling met al die kleine baby´s moest immers schoon blijven. Op deze foto´s zie je hoe mamma, oma en tante Daphne er toen uit zagen.
Eind november mocht je uit het ziekenhuis. Kon je weer zelf ademen. Woonde je twee weekjes in het appartement van pappa in Antwerpen samen met mamma en Mirabelle. Maar Mirabelle en jij werden ziek. En 18 december toen mamma met jou naar de dokter ging, moest je weer in het ziekenhuis blijven. Je had last van het beruchte RSV-virus. Pas 30 december kwam je uit het ziekenhuis en toen bleef je met mamma en Mirabelle bij opa en oma in Hooge Zwaluwe.
Hoe was je als baby?
Je was een rustig ventje, dat geconcentreerd alles bestudeerde. Zo kon je tijden kijken naar opa’s boeken op de boekenplanken. En ook bestudeerde je de beweginkjes van je baby-gym. Je werd er zelfs door geobsedeerd, net zoals je later geobsedeerd werd door de bewegingen van de stokken die je al maar weer pakte. Het had iets magisch voor je.
Als ik je op schoot had, wilde je al gauw alleen maar staan. Dan pas was je tevreden.
Na 5 maanden ging je met pappa en mamma en Mirabelle naar Brisbane in Australië voor een jaar. Daar heb ik nog deze leuke foto’s van. Na dat jaar werd het plotsklaps allemaal heel anders voor je.
Both mamma and you alone
There you were born suddenly. A month too early, length 49,5 cm and weight 3570 grams. And mamma was totally alone during the birth in that big hospital in Antwerp: your father couldn’t find the hospital. When you were born your lungs were not yet fully grown. You had to be connected with the lung-machine, because you couldn’t breathe yourself. And you fell asleep every time. That was because of the medicine of mamma. You were laying in a special ward with many other babies; all sleeping in their incubators. Your mum thought it terrible, that she was not allowed to keep you with her. And opa and oma were not there, because they were at a concert and tante Daphne had a long telephone-call with a girl-friend, when mamma rang her. Then mamma felt terribly alone and had to cry enormously. You were laying there alone in your glass little house and mamma was laying alone in her room.
Those first two months
When we visited you we had to put on an apron. The whole ward with all those little babies had to be kept sterile. On these photo’s you can see how mamma, oma and tante Daphne were looking with those stupid aprons.
But Mirabelle and you fell ill. And on the 18th of December when mamma went with you to the doctor’s, you had to stay again in hospital. You were ill of the for small babies notorious RSV-virus. Just on the 30th of December you came out of the hospital and then you stayed with mamma and Mirabelle with opa and oma in Hooge Zwaluwe.
What kind of baby you were
You were a quiet boy contrary to your sister.
Long time you could concentrate on one point. So you could observe for long time all opa’s books on the book-shelves. Also you could explore for hours the movements of your baby’s gymnastics. Later you could be obsessed the same by the movements of a stick or branch making the movements yourself. Those movements had some magical for you.
When I had you on my lap, you only wanted to get on your feet. Then alone you were contented.
Lucas als peuter
Begon je leventje al problematisch in het ziekenhuis aan de longmachine, omdat je een maand te vroeg geboren werd en een paar weken daarna weer in het ziekenhuis toen je met het beruchte RS-virus besmet werd, later kreeg je weer te verwerken dat jullie na een jaar Australië aan de Rotterdamse Rosestraat 393 kwamen te wonen, dat daar al gauw een broertje geboren werd en vervolgens je mamma een studie HBO-verpleegkunde begon, zodat die zich veel minder met jullie bezig kon houden. Dat was heel wat voor zo’n klein peutertje.
Lucas as a pre-schooler
Started your life already problematically on the lungmachine in the hospital, because your were born one month too early,you were again in hospital some weeks later because you were infected with the notorious RS-virus, later 1. You had got to cope with the fact that you had come to live at the Rotterdam Rosestraat 393 after having been for one year in Australia with your parents and Mirabelle 2. You had to cope with the fact that already very soon after that removal your little brother Robin was born and 3. You had to cope with the fact that your mum started a study to become a nurse, so that she could not engage with you as much as she used to and you had to share her attention with your little brother and your sister and her new-started study. That was hard for such a small boy like you.
Je kon in je eentje heel geconcentreerd bezig zijn met een stok. Soms was die stok een vliegtuig dat vloog in de lucht, dan weer een wapen. Dan weer een hefboom, die pas omhoog ging als wij jou zogenaamd geld betaalden. Meestal speelde je met een stok, als we aan het wandelen waren. Je liep dan helemaal in je eentje achteraan en deed deze spelletjes. Of je speelde dat je zelf een auto, motor of brommer was.
In de Asterdplas dichtbij Terheijden kon je uren lang door het water heen en weer lopen om te kijken naar het spoor dat je achterliet .
You could amuse yourself very much during long time with only one stick. Very concentrated. Sometimes that stick was an aeroplane that was flying in the air, another time it was a weapon. Another time a lever, which we only were permitted to pass if we would pay some money to you. This kind of games with sticks you preferred to play during our walks. Then you used to walk behind us on your own ( except when you played your lever-game, then you were the very first)and was playing these stick-games. Or you played that you yourself was a car, motor or motorbike.
In the “Asterdplas” near “Terheijden”, you might walk for hours round the water to look at the track you left.
Een eind boven de grond
Het opboksen tegenover je bijdehante zus begon al gauw. In de speeltuin van Diergaarde Blijdorp hield ik mijn hart vast, toen ik jou net als je zus ook op de touwladder zag klauteren, heel hoog boven me. Angstvallig hield ik je in de gaten. En ergens had jij wel lol in die oma die daar beneden zo bang stond te doen. En…het lukte je! Hoe blij was ik toen ik je weer heelhuids bij me had. Lichtjes van triomfantelijk plezier in die mooie bruine ogen van je om die bange oma.
Far above the ground
Very soon you had to compete your quick-witted sister. In the playground of the zoo “Blijdorp”my heart missed a beat, when I saw you just like your sister clambering on the rope ladder, very, very high above me. And somehow you had a great time seeing your “oma” below who was so anxious about you. And….you succeeded. How glad I was when I had you unharmed with me again. Your beautiful brown eyes sparkling with fun about that scared “oma” of you.
Oef, bij tante Renske in Hardinxveld-Giessendam kwam je zo’n groot brullend, angstaanjagend monster tegen. Je kroop tegen me aan om het monster maar niet te hoeven zien. Het monster op grote hoge wielen, dat met veel lawaai over het fietspad langs de rivier de Nieuwe Merwede denderde. Pas toen het kreng een heel eind weg was, durfde je weer te kijken. Die grote, enge tractor!
Phew, when you were at “tante Renske” in Hardinxveld-Giessendam, you happened to meet a big roaring, terrifying monster. You curled up against me to avoid seeing that monster. That monster on high, large wheels, thundering with a deafening noise on the cycle track along the River the “Nieuwe Merwede”. Not until the bloody thing was very, very far away, you dared to look again. That big, terrifying tractor!
In Hooge Zwaluwe hadden oma en opa een speelgoedmand staan. Daarin lag een gele kubus met een deurtje. Als je dat deurtje met een plastic sleuteltje open deed, kon je er twee driehoekige , twee ronde, twee vierkante en twee stervormige vormpjes uithalen die dan ook weer precies in de driehoekige, de ronde, de vierkante of de stervormige openingen boven in de kubus gegooid konden worden. Tijdenlang kon je ditzelfde spelletje herhalen: vormpjes door de openingen gooien , het sleuteltje met je kleine vingertjes omdraaien, het deurtje opendoen, de vormpjes eruit pakken en weer van voor af aan beginnen.
Cube with shapes
Oma and opa had a toy-bin in their living-room in Hooge Zwaluwe. There in was a yellow cube with a small door in it. If you opened that small door with a small plastic key, you could take out two triangle-shaped, two round-shaped, two square-shaped and two star-shaped shapes out of it which could be thrown precisely in the triangle-shaped, the round-shaped, the square-shaped and star-shaped openings on top of the cube. Endlessly you could repeat this same game: throwing the shapes in the openings, turning around the small key with your small fingers, opening the small door, taking off the shapes and starting it again and again.
Eén van je favoriete liedjes tijdens een logeerpartij bij opa en oma was “papegaaitje leef je nog” en bij de por in je buik bij “poef” schaterde je het uit. “Nog een keer”, zei je telkens weer.
Trouwens je kon heel aandoenlijk en ritmisch juist “Sinterklaasje bonne-bonne-bonne” zingen.
When you stayed with “opa and oma” in Hooge Zwaluwe as a small boy, one of your favourite songs was “papegaaitje leef je nog?” (parrot are you still alive?) and with the poke that I gave you then in your belly you roared with pleasure. “Still another time”, you said at every turn at the end.
By the way, you could sing very moving and rhythmically “Sinterklaasje bonnebonnebonne.”
Eén van je favoriete spelletjes was om met mij op de biels voor het huis te zitten en te fantaseren dat die biels een trein of vliegtuig was. We reisden overal heen: naar Parijs, New York, Praag, Rotterdam….
One of your favourite games was as we were sitting on the sleeper in front of our house and were fantasizing that that sleeper was a train or aeroplane. We travelled everywhere: to Paris, New York, Prague, Rotterdam…..
De hele wereld
Als je helemaal hoog in het klimrek aan de overkant van de Roosestraat zat, was je wel zo hoog, dat je “de hele wereld kon zien”, zei je.
The whole world
If you clambered to the top of the climbing frame across the Rosestraat, you felt yourself so high, that “you were able to see the whole world” , you said.
Buisjes in je oren
En och, wat heb je getobd met die oren van je. Waren je amandelen al geknipt, toch had je nog talloze malen last van een gemene oorontsteking .Eén keer was het zelfs zo erg, dat er vocht achter je trommelvliezen zat. De KNO-arts moest buisjes in je oren zetten om het ontstekingsvocht weg te laten lopen. En dat moest onder narcose. Arm klein jongetje.
Small tubes in your ears
And oh, what did you struggle with those ears of you. Were your tonsils already out, yet you suffered very often with a terrible inflammation of the ear. One time it even happened to be so bad, that there was liquid behind the tympanum. The ENT-specialist had to bring in small tubes in your ears to make run out the liquid of your ears. You had to be anaesthetized. Poor little boy.
De “Efteling” noemde je “Zeppelin”. Vol was je altijd van die Efteling, als je daar met mamma was geweest.
Tante Daphne had een grote, harige kater. Een lief beest. Hij heette “Boozul”. Jij vond dat waarschijnlijk een moeilijke naam en noemde hem “Borstel”(brush). Hoort wel bij zo’n groot harig beest.
Small talk of children
You never said “Efteling”, but “Zeppelin”. You were always full of that “Efteling”, if you had been there with mamma.
“Tante Daphne” had a large, furry tomcat. A sweet beast. He was called “Boozul”. Probably you thought it a difficult name and called him “Borstel” (brush). The name you gave to the beast wasn’t really so strange, because it was such a large, furry beast.
Uit bed vallen
Weet je nog, dat we één keer in het jaar met zijn allen op vakantie gingen? Zo vierden we het eerste jaar onze vakantie in een huisje in het Belgische badplaatsje Breedene. Je was drie jaar en moest in november vier jaar worden.
Jij sliep naast mij in het grote bed op de overloop. Zeker één keer per nacht schrok ik wakker, als je met een bons uit bed viel. Je sliep gewoon door als ik je weer naast me in bed legde. Alleen na één of twee keer dat meegemaakt te hebben legde ik een kussen op de grond. Viel je tenminste zachtjes.
Falling out of your bed
Do you still remember that we went one time a year on holiday for a week? Your mother, Mirabelle, you, Robin, tante Daphne, Finn, Kirse and me, your “oma “. So we were that very first year in Breedene, a sea-resort near the Belgian coast. Then you were three years old and had to become four years in November.
You slept beside me in the large bed on the landing. Certainly one time a night I woke up with a start, when you fell down the bed with a loud bump. You used to continue your sleep when I laid you down in bed beside me. But after having experienced it one or more times I laid a pillow on the ground. Then at least you could fall very softly.
De speeltuin van Teun
Een hele tocht was het op een klein kinderfietsje met zijwieltjes naar de speeltuin van Teun. Als oudste fietste Mirabelle naast me, Robin zat voorop aan het stuur en jij achterop het stoeltje op de bagagedrager. Altijd vond ik het heel spannend om jullie door die drukke stad Rotterdam te loodsen. De smalle, wat hoger liggende fietspaden en vlak daarnaast het autoverkeer. Ik paste maar net tussen het fietsstoeltje voor aan het stuur en het zadel. Moest ik onverhoopt stoppen, dan was het zaak zo snel mogelijk naast de fiets te springen, anders viel ik met fiets en twee kindjes en al om. Het was maar goed dat jouw oma zoveel fietste.
Het was een hele toer voor Mirabelle om te fietsen. Eindelijk waren we bij de beloofde speeltuin, maar wat een teleurstelling de speeltuin was gesloten. We moesten terug. Dat hele grote eind op dat kleine fietsje. Terecht dat Mirabelle dat wel heel erg veel vond. “Ik heb buikpijn”, klaagde ze. Ze viel soms van het fietsje van moeheid. En ineens zag ik daar die Stadionweg met die grote stoepen. “Lucas wil jij fietsen?”, vroeg ik. Je bruine ogen lichtten op. Klein parmantig kereltje kroop jij op het fietsje en reed trots heel de Stadionweg over de stoep. Het duurde wel een poos, want je moest stoepje op en stoepje af. In die tijd kon Mirabelle goed uitrusten achterop mijn fiets, zodat ze aan het eind van de Stadionweg in staat was naar huis te fietsen.
The playground of Teun
It was a considerable long trip to the playground of Teun on a small children’s bike with small side-wheels. As the eldest one Mirabelle was biking beside me on that bike, Robin was sitting on his little chair on the handlebars and you were sitting on your little chair behind me on the luggage carrier. I thought it always very tensely to pilot you through that big city of Rotterdam. The cycle tracks which were narrow and somewhat higher than the road with many cars passing near to us. I just could sit between the little chair on the handlebars and the saddle. Had I to stop unlocked-for, then I had to jump immediately beside the bike, else I would fall together with bike and children. Fortunately your oma biked enough to prevent falling on that bike.
But it was a hard thing for Mirabelle to ride the whole distance on that bike. Finally we were at the promessed playground, but what a disappointment that the playground was closed. We had to go back. That very very long distance on that very very small bike. It was right that Mirabelle thought it very, very much. “My stomach is aching “, she complainted. She sometimes fell down of her small bike with exhaustion. And suddenly I discovered that the “Stadionweg” had very large sidewalks. I asked: “Lucas do you want to bike?”Your brown eyes lightened. Dapper little boy you climbed the small bike and very proudly rode along the sidewalks of the Stadionweg. It lasted a long time, because you had to go down the sidewalk and again on the sidewalk very many times. In the mean time Mirabelle could take a rest on the small chair on the luggage carrier, sothat she was able to ride home from the end of the Stadionweg till Rosestraat 393.
Fietsen naar Hooge Zwaluwe
Eigenlijk verraste het me niet, meerijden achterop de fiets vond je leuk, dus helemaal leuk vond je het om van Rotterdam naar Hooge zwaluwe bij oma achterop de fiets mee te rijden. Onderweg kon je dan mooi van alles en nog wat zien: water met schepen, de autosnelweg waar we langs reden, grote Billboards met een mevrouw die een sprong van vreugde maakte omdat ze een mooi huis had gekocht, de Moerdijkbrug, waarna we zomaar ineens in de provincie Noord-Brabant waren. Je wilde zelfs niet van de fiets, toen we bij een speeltuin kwamen. Alleen een ijsje kon je wel bekoren vlak voor de Moerdijkbrug. Veel te gauw waren we in Hooge Zwaluwe. Volgens mij kon je zo wel een hele dag bij mij achterop de fiets zitten.
En weet je, dat je nog een hele tijd erna wist waar we gefietst hadden. Zoveel indruk had de tocht op je gemaakt.
Biking to Hooge Zwaluwe
Actually it didn’t surprise me that riding along with me on my bike you did like very much,. So you liked it the more riding along with me from Rotterdam to Hooge Zwaluwe. On our way to Hooge Zwaluwe you could look at many things: water with ships near Dordrecht, a bill-board with a jumping woman who was so glad with the new house she bought near Barendrecht, the Moerdijkbrug (bridge) after you crossed it you were in the province of Noord-Brabant. You never wanted to go down the bike, even when we discovered a playground. You preferred continuing biking. Only with an ice-cream I succeeded to invite you to go down the bike. You thought we arrived too soon In Hooge Zwaluwe. In my opinion you could ride along with me for days. It could not annoy you.
And do you know that long time after this biking-tour you still remembered exactly where we biked. So much did this biking impress you.
Lucas as a pre-schooler at school
How were you?
You were a very intelligent boy with a lot of fantasy. Always in action, often playing your own play with often simply one branch of a tree. Often testing mamma, Mrs. Fanny and me. When we were consistent with you, you appeared to be a very original and nice, little boy.
Going to school
At the seventh of November you became four years old and you had your first school day. You thought school okay and listened very well. But alas there was one naughty boy in your class-room who didn’t behave. He even kicked you. Subsequently your father kept you at home till the naughty boy was admitted with a special education-school. At the second of December you went to school again.
Not in a good mood
You hadn’t your day that day. Went standing in the windowsill, which wasn’t permitted. Said angry to me when I faked the crocodile was speaking to Robin, that crocodiles are not able to speak. Briefly, you were disturbing the play I had with Robin. But when I read aloud from Dikkie Dick, the red cat, step by step you approached Robin and me and listened at the story of that silly Dikkie Dick, who let go his beautiful balloon. And, thank goodness, when later, you saw all those beautiful Christmas decorations you forgot your angry mood. And we admired all those Christmas decorations we saw in the houses, when we walked down the street.
A little angel with brown eyes
I was telling about the moon which is giving yet some light in the night. I told when there are clouds before the moon at places where there aren’t any streetlamps, there isn’t any light. It is totally dark. You are not even able to see your hand. I told I once experienced it on the Collada de Arnicio in Asturia in the North of Spain. I told I didn’t dare to continue walking on that dangerous mountain, because I really didn’t see anything. “But then I was helping you, didn’t I?”you said. “Oh, were you that little angel with those brown eyes? “ I said. You nodded strongly, contentedly proud.
Trimming your hair
Oh you naughty Lucas you trimmed your hair with mamma’s pair of clippers. She was so angry with you, because your hair looked ugly. And Mirabelle had to laugh at you. Mamma couldn’t make anything of it and fortunately I came along, so that she could send me along with you to the Turkish hairdresser. He shaved you bald. You looked like a street urchin. Then we all had to laugh at you. You never did it again.
Who or what have I got in my head?
One of your favorite games was: “Who or what have I got in my head? “ And your favorite toy still is a branch of a tree and you later want to become Spiderman.
Staying with tante Daphne
In the spring half-term the three of you were staying with opa and oma. By turns you were allowed to sleep with tante Daphne. When it was your turn, you were so happy, that tante Daphne permitted you to stay up. The other day you slept until half past nine.
Dead and getting alive
You were telling me that Mirabelle hit you with a hammer on your head. You said: “I died, but somewhat later I got alive again.”
You have to say good-bye
I came to fetch you of school. You shouted with joy when you saw me and forgot shaking hands with Mrs. Quirien, the class-room assistant. You had to come back from Mrs. Fanny and gave Mrs. Quirien your hand.
The Fast Ferry
Robin and you were staying with opa and oma in Hooge Zwaluwe. Back to Rotterdam we went by bike. Robin fantasized that all the sheep and cows we met on our way were his and opa explained to you as the elder of the two everything about dikes and bunkers. We stopped with a bench in the Biesbosch and had a drink there and then went on the Fast Ferry to stop at last at the Willemskade in Rotterdam. We saw the Feyenoordstadion, the Wilhelmina bridge and the Willemsbridge and the old lift bridge. The two of you enjoyed it very much to see all those for you so well-known buildings from the water. At the end we crossed the Erasmusbridge by bike up to Roosestraat 393. There mamma embraced her two little boys, glad to have you back.
Holiday-week in Brittany
In 2006 we, tante Daphne, Finn, mamma, Mirabelle, Robin, you and I went to Brittany at the French West Coast. There we rent a large, old house near the beach. You only had to walk out the street and there already was the sea. The tide in Brittany is very quickly coming in and gives a beautiful spectacle. Small boats lying on the sand during the outgoing tide are swept along quickly by the sea as the incoming tide starts and as a tourist you have to take care of being out of that dangerous area.
That old, large house also had a very large garden where you three and Finn could play undisturbed. And when you had too much energy I said: “Lucas, come on, run three rounds along the garden.”And you did with your small flexible body. Sometimes I ran together with you to keep up my condition.
Together with tante Daphne and Finn you drove back with me in my old blue Mazda to Holland. Lots of French also were on their way back from holiday so the journey took a long time. But you didn’t bother any moment. Especially after we had dinner in the evening in a wayside restaurant. There you received a placemat with drawn on it the map of the region. You had already looked with much interest at all those billboards with maps. In a jiffy you knew that blue on a map meant water, that a broken line meant a railway line and so on. But with that placemat you, instead of tante Daphne could point out the way to me. You were so proud. You also received a bouncing-ball in the restaurant, but you thought that placemat far more interesting.
The pirate ship of Sindbad
Mirabelle was not there. So mamma asked me to go with Robin and you to the Kralingse Plas. We always went to the botanical garden then. You two enjoyed to walk over the wooden platforms. We knocked at the door of a wooden shed in which I fantasized, lived a witch. But she didn’t open the door. She was sleeping. We talked to the swimming ducks and I translated what the ducks were saying to you. We saw some trees where lived gnomes and you fantasized that you saw the pirate ship of Sindbad. We fantasized as children of five and three still can.
Land van Ooit/Land of once
In the Land of Once children are the boss and parents and grandparents are a kind of footmen. There I was doubled over with laughter. Two actors were standing on an old rusty boat. They told the children that they wanted that sea-gulls will make their nest on their boat. They asked the children present to entice the sea-gulls with clapping their hands. You were clapping the most fanatical of all the children, hoping that those silly sea-gulls would ever come down to make their nest on that old, rusty boat.
Another actor played that he was a knight. Knight Courageous he was called. He taught the children how to sneak out silently. “Oh, I always want to fly”, knight Courageous exclaimed. “I can fly”, you shouted. “Wow”, knight Courageous shouted, “you must show how you do it.”And you showed it flapping about with your arms. And knight Courageous shouted: “We all have to fly like Lucas does.” And every child did like you. Oh, you had such a great fantasy.
Your fifth birthday
On your fifth birthday you invited three children. And together with your father, mamma, Mirabelle and Robin you went to the indoor-play-palace. And because you were very in love with Ines, you asked her to marry you then.
When opa, oma, tante Daphne, oom Leander and Finn came, mamma organized a search with penlights on the Kralingse Plas. Yes with penlights, because in November it is already dark very soon and you thought it wonderful. Yes mamma could organize funny feasts. And mamma made a Spiderman-pie with three Spiderman spiders on it.
A bombed house?
It was the fifth of December. Saint Nicholas. You had the afternoon off because of this children’s feast. Mamma had to study for her education to become a nurse and that’s why she asked me to go with the three of you to the Discovery Corner. You were dressed up as Saint Nicholas or as his servant, Black Peter ( Zwarte Piet). But the Discovery Corner was closed because of Saint Nicholas. What to do now? And suddenly the Lawrence Church (Laurenskerk) rose up there. The three of you were very eagerly to see the mysterious inside of a church. I told already another time that the three of you wished to see the Lord, but I didn’t tell that especially you were very intrigued by photo’s of the bombed centre of Rotterdam during the second World War. These photos were showed there in a kind of exposition. You wanted to know every detail and reflected it deeply. After an intensive visit to this church we left the church and very soon you descried a heap of stones. With a lot of seriousness you diagnosed that once this must have been a house bombed during the second World War.
A surprise for oma
You observed that oma loved her garden very much. As a surprise for me you put a grass-clump into the ground. “It is for you”, you said proudly. “Water it well.”
From time to time you behaved ugly. Then I had to become very angry with you. One time after you behaved so ugly you explained to me that the Lucas who was so annoying wasn’t the real Lucas, but a sham-Lucas. “The sham-Lucas externally resembles the real Lucas, but wasn’t the real Lucas,” you said. “Is the real Lucas then the nice Lucas?” I asked. He was.
Keep closed your eyes stiffly
You had a lot of difficulty with the fact that your father went back to America, when it appeared that mamma and your father couldn’t live together anymore. At first when I had to take care of you, you stayed in your bed and didn’t want to get up. It cost me a lot of difficulty to get you out of the bed and I had to take you in a hold to hand you over to Mrs. Fanny.
Much later you explained why you did so. You thought that when you stayed in bed with eyes closed stiffly, maybe when you opened your eyes again after some time your father might be back.
The book of the ten little niggers
Your favorite book was: ten little niggers. You nearly knew the book by heart. First there were ten little niggers, but at last still one.
The wood of Lucas
In Hooge Zwaluwe we have got a small wood. We called it the wood of Lucas. You fantasized that you were a knight and that you caught monsters and scoundrels. And you took care of your wood too: it took you a lot of time to get rubbish out of the small pond which was situated in front of that wood. You did it with a large branch of a tree. Actually this wood is called “dawn”, but opa, oma, tante Daphne and Finn keep calling it “het Lucasbos” or in American “the wood of Lucas”.
In 2007 mamma with you and Robin, tante Daphne with Finn and Kirse, and oma rent a holiday-house in Petit Mormont in the Ardennes in Belgium. Mirabelle went some weeks to America with your father.
You liked Petit Mormont very, very much and you later often referred to the great time you had there.
Together with Robin and Finn you often played in the large garden. At the end of the garden was a wooden climbing equipment existing of a ladder leading to a small house upstairs and getting out of that small house by sliding the slide. Also there was a balance. And it was there where you, Robin and Finn could enjoy a lot of time.
Once tante Daphne and Kirse were so tired that they went to sleep, but mamma took her car and we, Robin, Finn, you and I went with her. Mamma liked to drive on the winding roads in the mountains, windows opened, wind in her hair. She brought us to the river near the old ruins of the castle of Rochefort. There the three of you built strong points of wet river sand and also you made a witches ‘medicine in empty bottles existing of….sand, leaves and…..urine. Maybe these bottles with your witches ‘medicine are still there in Rochefort.
Cycling on two wheels
And yes in the summer holidays you learnt biking on two wheels in Hooge Zwaluwe. You couldn’t stop.
How sad. You, together with Robin and Finn received a beautiful balloon when we were looking at the hot air balloons. Alas the bit of string slipped out of your hands and away your balloon went far away in the high sky. Finn still remembers. It gave you a lot of sorrow.
I put you to bed. You wanted such a long kiss that it smacked. We had to laugh very much. You liked it. I was not permitted to go away.
You promised me that when you are going to earn a lot of money you will buy a cabriolet for me, instead of that old blue mazda.
You liked to be beautifully dressed. One Christmas your father gave you beautiful trousers, with a white blouse, black vest and black jacket. With the Christmas celebration at school the children of your class room thought you the most beautifully dressed of all.
At the Rotterdam Clipper school you had got two boy-friends called Rutger and Rico.
Weighing cuddly animals
It was early in the morning and you were staying with opa and oma in Hooge Zwaluwe.Opa and oma still laid in their bed. I heard some special noise in the bathroom upstairs. When I went there I saw Robin and you weighing your cuddly animals on my pair of scales.
Writing and drawing
You had a special book in which you wrote and draw when you were staying with opa and oma. It was a diary of a past year which I didn’t use. I still have got it as a memory to you.
A wounded nose
Yes, you could just bike on two wheels and you cycled too rapidly and then….fell on your nose. Your nose was covered by a thick scab. You felt interesting, because it gave you a lot of attention at school.
The heaviest punishment for you
You thought it the most terrible punishment when you weren’t permitted watching the news for children in the evening just before going into bed. You liked watching the news very, very much.
The capitals of European countries
You had a good memory for the names of the capitals of European countries: Germany-Berlin; France-Paris and so on.
You had assisted oom Leander in his vegetable garden. Together with him you pulled out onions. Also one extreme large onion. Oom Leander gave this onion to you and you took this onion with you to school to show Mrs. Fanny.
You stayed ill at home. Not too ill to make an animated cartoon on a large roll of drawing paper you received from Ischa. When you succeeded you got ready a room in which you could show your animated cartoon. And just like in the cinema you made tickets to sell to people and you also made a poster to make advertisements for your animated cartoon. And there came people to watch your animated cartoon: mamma, Skenca, Mirabelle, Robin and oma.
Mrs. Breuseker taught you first to think and then after thinking doing it. Every time she and you exercised this by playing darts.
Scared out of your wits
I took Robin and you to the island of Brienenoord. You biked on your little bike and Robin was sitting behind me on his bike chair. On our way back on the Oranjeboomstraat you biked on your little bike on the pavement and I biked on the road. And then suddenly you were scared out of your wits: an old Muslim woman standing on her balcony just threw down a box full of rubbish. Just before you. You fell down your bike. The old Muslim man standing on the pavement helped you getting up your bike. I had to laugh very much. It looked so funny.
Just before moving to Dordrecht we found your guinea pig, Rosa, dead in her cage. You were so upset and told it to Mrs. Fanny at school. She let make you a drawing for Rosa. In the afternoon we buried Rosa together with the drawing you made for her.
In Dordrecht you came in the class-room of Mrs. Gerda. You said to me, that you were much nicer at this school, because it was more quiet there.
You had a little accident at school: your tooth hurt your lip. It was bleeding profusely. Mrs. Gerda called for the First Aid. According to you they laid down blue ice on your lip and it helped to stop the bleeding. On your yellow shirt were bloodstains. But you didn’t cry said Mrs. Gerda.
And in the summer of 2008 your pre-school time finished.
Lucas at the Primary School
How were you?
You needed a lot of structure and had to know where were your bounds and also where were the bounds of others. Within these bounds I saw an authentic, sweet and intelligent boy. Also a very good-looking boy with your brown eyes and well-muscled body.
At the first day of the new year in which you should be taught reading, writing and arithmetic you fell ill. At first you said to me that you were hungry. And when you were hanging at the table with breakfast, you said you were going into bed. You went to bed and there you were sick all over the place. I put clean sheets on your bed and you stayed there sleeping during the whole morning.
So I had to tell to your new teacher, Miss Ute, that you were ill.
Swimming-lessons during the evening
I went with you to your swimming-lesson in Aquapulca. When we went back and I had to drop you at William’s at the Meranti it was nearly dark. With respect you looked at the moon.
A fast motor-bike
Thanks heavens that I always was so severe when you were biking. Always saying: “do bike at the right-hand side and don’t bike too fast.”
And then suddenly a motor-bike came tearing along taking the blend much too wide. Then you yourself already said that it was good you listened to oma.
Reading your first words
Proudly you came from school with a certificate for being able to read your first words. At home you read aloud these words for me.
The school-photographer would come at school and you wanted to be well-dressed. You went to school with the costume you received from Mark with Christmas. Then you felt so beautiful.
I said already that you needed structure and also that you needed to know where were your bounds and that you needed to know what were the bounds of others. That’s why you went to the Boddaert on Monday afternoon, Wednesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon. The name of you mentor was William.
He was training you and other children to keep you to the rules. As you behaved well you received a cheerful smiley. With the Boddaert you learnt to pay attention to the expression on the face of someone else. Is someone looking angry at you, then you may wonder if you did something with the other about which the other is not so happy.
And before starting dinner everyone has to be silent during ten moments and no one is allowed to speak when another is already speaking.
Except following and training rules, you also did funny activities with the Boddaert. In autumn holiday you went to the Drunense Duinen for instance and baked marsh mellows above a log fire and played hide-and-seek. And the birthdays of the children were celebrated extensively.
You learnt a lot and liked to go to De Boddaert and were fond of your mentor William.
Your seventh birthday
The eighth of November you had your birthday party and on the ninth of November family and Ischa and Femke came. On the seventh of November, your real birthday, mamma had to work, so we started a bit with the celebration of your birthday. Mirabelle gave you a case for your pencils with your beloved car-illustration. From the Boddaert you received an ambulance which you had to construct from lego and from me you received a castle which you must construct by laying bricks yourself. With these three presents alone already we amused ourselves a lot. First we constructed the ambulance and later we constructed a part of the castle.
As I wrote already, the next day you had your birthday party and mama and I drove you by car to the pirate-play palace in Gorinchem. There you could play to your heart’s content on a pirate-ship: climbing in a kind of climbing-construction on the ship and jumping on the spring-mattress. And you could drink as much syrup as you wanted and eat chips. And at the end all of you received a football. It was the such-and-such football for your boyfriend Winston, who was always playing football from the moment he left school to the moment he went into bed and so on. Winston was picked up as junior football player by the Rotterdam football-club Sparta (opa’s favorite football-club you remember?). There he went several times a week to train. And which boys did you invite? Winston, Luc, Max and the son of a baker, I forget his name. And what did they give? Cars, only cars.
And on Sunday tante Renske, tante Daphne and oom Leander with Finn and Kirse, Ischa and Femke and opa and oma came. We went to the children’s farm in the Weizigtpark. And at home mamma baked pancakes.
You received tattoos to stick on from Mirabelle on your birthday. Everyone received tattoos from you. You sticked them on their hands or arms. Also you gave them to William and Chantal of the Boddaert.
Mamma’s last birthday
You gave a white Christmas-angel to mamma on her birthday. We celebrated mamma’s and tante Daphne’s birthday on the same day in Ossendrecht. Tante Daphne’s birthday is on the thirteenth of November and mamma’s birthday is on the nineteenth of November. Mamma baked one of her delicious pies and Finn, Robin and you played outside with the dogs Gaski and Dranga.
Miss Ute and Miss Francina were the teachers of the third group. When Miss Ute wanted to start the lessons she always took her guitar and plucked the strings.
On your first report were only satisfactory marks for reading and writing, but for arithmetic you received even a good mark.
You were staying in Hooge Zwaluwe. With opa you looked on the website of opa’s favorite football-club Sparta to look if you could find the name of your boy-friend Winston.
On television at news for young people you saw that Islamic terrorists attacked a hotel in the Indian town Mumbay. That you were impressed appeared from the fact that you drew a dead woman. She was a victim of the attacked hotel in Mumbay, you said.
Yes finally you were allowed to swim for your certificate. Although you were flexible enough to get this certificate in a shorter time, it was difficult for you to stay only attentive to the swimming-lessons. You were always apt to play or doing silly with other children. I was so happy for you that at last it was also your turn to get the swimming-certificate. On the evening of the examination I went with you, because mamma had to work. And you passed the examination and received presents like Mirabelle before. You were so extremely happy.
You were playing tennis on the Wi. You played so fanatically that I laid down a pillow between you fanatically playing and the screen. I was afraid you would jump against the screen.
With Saint Nicholas you received a tool box. Robin and you thought this tool box very very interesting. The tool box stayed with opa and oma’s, because there you were often and there was also place enough to tinker. Oom Leander gave you some pieces of wood. You built an airplane and colored it with felt-tip pens.
Still your tool box is standing here. Still Finn doesn’t want to play with it, because it is yours, he said.
Talk about stars
Planets and stars. At school you gave a talk about them. You thought it very interesting. You knew all the signs of the zodiac. I wonder if you still know them by heart.
New Year’s Eve
At New Year’s Eve Robin and you stayed in Hooge Zwaluwe with opa and oma’s. Tante Renske was also there to celebrate the feast. We baked doughnut balls and cakes. The two of you ate a lot of them. Robin and you built a hangar for the airplane you made already with your tool box.
New Year (2009)
After breakfast we were going for a walk to “De Put” to see the New Year’s dive. But De Put has been frozen. So the diving would not take place.
The walk back on the path with wheel-tracks was amusing for the two of you. And when you were getting tired, we played we were soldiers and tante Renske was the officer and beat time: “Left, two, three, four.”And in that rhythm we quickly arrived at the Burgemeester Vlaklaan 30. We drank chocolate milk with cake and juice with doughnut balls. Oom Leander brought Mirabelle who stayed in Ossendrecht for some days. And later mamma came and stayed for a while because she thought it so very pleasant to be all together.
Laughing or crying smileys
Robin is playing that he is the teacher of the cuddly animals. Some moment all the cuddly animals became naughty and lively. That’s why you thought that all those cuddly animals had to go to the Boddaert. On a paper you wrote all the aims with which the cuddly animals could earn a laughing or a crying smiley.
To the psychologist
Because it was difficult for you to concentrate yourself on your work at school you had to go to the children’s psychologist. He thought you extremely intelligent. Your intelligence would turn out only at the secondary school, because there you would be in the opportunity to work independently.
I wasn’t surprised at all:
1. For with a talk about the book “Valentino the frog” which I read one time aloud, you could tell me back in detail what was the story about. I was left speechless.
2. And…in the library when you wanted to borrow a book you had to pass the book along an electric eye which registered the book on your library-pass. Independently you made the link that at the cash desk in the super-market all the products we bought had to pass along a comparable electric eye like in the library. Again I was left speechless!
Valentino the frog
The book “Valentino the frog” you received with your birth from a lady-teacher in music. She made play music all her pupils in the musical “Valentino the frog”. And who did paint the décors? You are right. Mamma did. In that time she was pregnant of you.
On the first page of the book was written:
Your mamma painted a splendid décor, it was finished and then…..You were born!
Your interest in newspapers and news for young people
When I was reading the newspaper it often occurred you crept on my lap to hear from me everything about what was written in it. You were very interested in all the news and reflected it on your own authentic way.
The castle which I gave you with your birthday constructing it by laying the bricks yourself was for your father, you said. Together we worked on it on Friday afternoons when the weekend started. Your father would come soon at the sixteenth of January 2009. You painted the castle black.
On my birthday
As I wrote your father would come the sixteenth of January. So on my birthday on the eleventh of January I took care of you for the last time. During the day mamma had to work. The three of you were very exited on my birthday feast. When I went away by car for a concert with my sisters tante Domien, tante Rense and tante Marijke and with my brother in law Oom Lo, Robin and you tried to run along with my car. Tante Daphne would take care of you until mamma and William would come on the feast. When we came back we found Mirabelle, you, Robin, Finn and Kirse quietly drawing at the table.
The last time
It was on tante Renske’s birthday on the thirty first of January that I really saw you for the last time. You were so glad that you didn’t need to speak English all the time, you said to tante Renske. When you went away in the evening you showed me proudly that you were able to tie your shoelaces yourself. I started to teach you this and your father finished this teaching. Mamma, Mirabelle and Robin had gone already, but you stayed to show me.
And then Mirabelle, who was already outside, came to pick you up….Mamma was waiting for you in the car…..