This day… Irene about her teenage kids during this time

What is going on at the moment, and how do we deal with all the changes? In this blog, someone from the Flow team shares how she is dealing with the current situation: both on a practical level and in her head. This time: Irene (Flow’s creative director) talks about her teenage kids during this time.

This week I had to shed a tear again. Apparently, that’s now become part of current life. And fortunately, everyone is quite open about it. During the first week of this whole situation, I was overwhelmed with emotions and the second week with stress; this week I mostly struggled with what it is like for adolescents. Because let me be honest: I myself have sort of found my feet now.

I can work at home, I have transformed my ironing room into a cozy office and I have meditatively arranged my books by color. And to still feel like I have control over something, I have already booked my supermarket grocery delivery and collection times for the next three weeks. I did a jigsaw puzzle to silence that brooding mind of mine and started online live sessions via Instagram . So all in all, I seem to be managing quite well. I’m finding my way and trying to keep an eye on what is possible, what is working and what is going well.

But then there are the adolescents… I have two at home. And my seventeen-year-old son, a real social animal, showed me a movie that he had made this week. He had edited together all kinds of beautiful moments with his friends: King’s Day [an annual nationwide celebration of our king’s birthday, which is one huge orange-colored street party for all], festivals, soccer matches, school assignments, parties, his vacation in Albufeira in Portugal, boat trips, pub crawls. And I saw a movie full of happy seventeen-year-olds. They were singing, playing soccer, laughing, hanging over each other, packed on a boat, diving all together into the water, standing arm-in-arm…

The movie only lasted two minutes. But those two minutes contained everything that I now so dearly wish for all adolescents: Going out. Messing around at school. Acting crazy. Doing sports activities. Learning at school. Hanging out. Laughing. But most of all: living a carefree life. And that’s when they came: those tears.

Right now, it is what it is; for us and also for them. But luckily, they are also making an effort and I am proud of how these adolescents are finding their way in this time. And I am grateful for all the mindfulness lessons  from recent years. Because thanks to mindfulness I have especially learned to live in the now. Something that adolescents can do like no other. It’s wonderful. And now it’s their strength.

Text Irene Smit; Translation Julia Gorodecky; Photography Daniel Roe /